Collegedale Outlines Hours, Allowed Activities At Parks

  • Tuesday, April 16, 2024
  • Gail Perry

Parks and recreational opportunities in the city of Collegedale were discussed at the commission meeting Monday night. The commissioners approved an ordinance on the final reading that established regulations for the city owned recreational facilities. Collegedale will formally be able to enforce hours from sunrise to sunset that the parks are open and also outline activities that are allowed. That includes, among other things, no use of fireworks or projectiles, no advertising no alcoholic beverages or use of tobacco products. There will be no overnight camping or parking, and no fires allowed or swimming in the pond. Groups using the parks will be required to clean the area of all rubbish and trash and to not cause excessive noise from devices. And dogs are required to be on a leash with a maximum length of six feet.

A lease with Common Ground, owner of two acres across Swinyar Drive from the Little Debbie Park, was also deliberated. The city has the opportunity to lease the property and use it for a soccer field until the land is developed. The only cost to Collegedale for the month-to-month lease, will be to cut the grass, maintain it and put up nets. City Manager Wayon Hines said the full-sized soccer field would be used for pick-up games, not leagues, and it would be open from sun-up to sun-down, the same as the playground. Some commissioners expressed concerns over the parking, noise to neighbors living in the Greenbriar Cove subdivision, and the danger that could result by soccer balls leaving the field getting in the street. He will get a quote for the cost of netting meant to keep the balls out of the street before a vote to proceed with the lease.

Resident of Collegedale Debbie Alden clarified her suggestion for the city to charge a small but reasonable fee to those who live outside the city limits for using the parks and recreational programming. She said her recommendation does not apply to using Collegedale’s parks, just organized programming. If there is a charge for an activity, she would like to see two fee structures, one for residents and another for those who live outside the city limits because it is Collegedale’s citizens whose tax money is paying for the programing. She said that the Collegedale library verified she lived in Collegedale before issuing a library card, and proposed that the verification process could be shared with the parks and recreation department.

Use of the Collegedale Police Firing Range is also shared with other agencies and the city does not charge them. Police Chief Jack Sapp said he considers it an act of good will that contributes to good relationship building. "They help Collegedale when we ask," said the chief, and he said he sees no reason to change. There is no expense to Collegedale and the other agencies provide their own insurance. Commissioner Tonya Sadler was the only vote opposed to allowing other law enforcement agencies to use the firing range, saying that they should pay since residents of Collegedale support the facility. Approving a Memo of Understanding was passed on votes of four in favor and one against to allow the Chattanooga State Police Department, the town of Lookout Mountain Police Department, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol to use the Collegedale Firing Range for training.

Finance Manager Michelle Toro reported that at 75 percent of the way through the fiscal year, the city has received 86 percent of expected revenue and has spent 78 percent of expected expenses.

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