State Says OK To Town’s Plan To Close Showalter Park Overnight

February 22, 2018

Century Mayor Henry Hawkins wants to close Showalter Park between sunset and sunrise due to multiple problems, and concerns that a fine print on a grant might prevent that have been elimated.

“Somebody in their infinite wisdom went out there and took a crap on a slide,” he said.

Hawkins said the park has been the target of vandals, and an area around an adjacent cemetery has become a “lover’s lane” during the night hours.

Town Planner Debbie Nickles expressed concern that a state grant used in the park stipulated continued public access, and it might be a problem to close the park overnight. Thursday afternoon, Nickles said she checked with the state, and the park can be closed as long as hours are posted , and it is open from at least sunrise to sunset.

“It’s costing us money to fix stupid,” the mayor said,  adding the vandalism incidents have happened despite frequent patrols by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. He said deputies ride through the park about every hour at night, unless they are on other calls for service.

Showalter park includes the town’s splash pad, a playground, ball fields and more amenities. photos, click to enlarge.


21 Responses to “State Says OK To Town’s Plan To Close Showalter Park Overnight”

  1. Billy miller on February 25th, 2018 8:42 pm

    Close the park at night . Ain’t nobody but a bunch of dope heads in a park after dark . They ain’t going to get a lawyer. And as far as the graveyard , that’s trespassing . That is not public land .

  2. tamijane on February 25th, 2018 2:13 pm

    Hallelujah!!! I have been wanting this to happen for 10+ years!!!

  3. chris on February 23rd, 2018 9:24 am

    @stumpknocker: people from Pensacola would drive to a park in Century?

  4. joy oliver on February 22nd, 2018 7:59 pm

    Close the park at night, anywhere else it would be closed, ymca

  5. Stumpknocker on February 22nd, 2018 2:10 pm

    Many buildings and parks are built with grant money, that doesn’t the public has access 24 hours a day to the building, what the public access means is it that anyone can use it from anywhere, such as people from say Pensacola could drive up to Century if they chose to. Another words no exclusive use by just one community. Put signs up like other parks have and when law enforcement patrols the park and sees someone out there they can check them out and explain the park is closed.

  6. ProudArmyParent on February 22nd, 2018 1:03 pm

    Motion Detection Lights, BRIGHT ones with maybe horn attached! :)

  7. Chelleepea on February 22nd, 2018 12:16 pm

    I dont think federal govt would say anything about closing at dark for security reasons. How would you close up the park where no one could get in? I’m sure people will find a way in anyway unless we put an alarm on the whole property. I like the suggestion here about bright lights and cameras.

  8. Bama on February 22nd, 2018 11:57 am

    Foe those that want the park to stay open at night, let them visit first thing in the morning with a pooper scooper.

  9. Bewildered on February 22nd, 2018 11:45 am

    Hoss is correct. Video surveillance and then hold these trashy people accountable. If they don’t work and you cannot hit them in the pocket book, make them work to clean up the mess they created. Publish their names and pictures – a billboard of the nasty individual who did his business on the kids’ slide might discourage him/her from doing it again. Disgusting.

  10. anne 1of2 on February 22nd, 2018 10:10 am

    Crime Stopper = Bright Light at Night!

  11. SLIM JIM on February 22nd, 2018 9:11 am

    for those that want the park to stay open 24 hrs. let them take turns standing

  12. Gene on February 22nd, 2018 8:58 am

    sad thing is – Closed or not… Walkers are most likely the culprit. as seen in other parks.

  13. Nana of 16 on February 22nd, 2018 8:54 am

    @John. You do know you are talking about a Government Entity right? Most of there money is Government money, including your water/sewer bill money once it reaches their bank accounts

    Ask the City Clerk in Flomaton how they are able to lock up the tennis courts day and night and the park at night? I am sure that was built with some Grant Money.

  14. SW on February 22nd, 2018 8:17 am

    Honestly, who didn’t see that coming!

  15. john on February 22nd, 2018 7:52 am

    To the town mayor, never accept government money, there are always strings attached.

  16. Carolyn Bramblett on February 22nd, 2018 7:42 am

    Since when does the term “public access” not have hours attached? No one needs to use a park in the dark. No children should be out at 2 a.m. let’s say. Close the park at night. If someone cannot live without swinging and sliding at midnight let them fight for it in court.

  17. Hoss on February 22nd, 2018 7:11 am

    Video surveillance??(Hello)

  18. Sam on February 22nd, 2018 7:10 am

    I commend the town for trying to provide kids area recreation area. There are no areas in century now where i would want kids to go alone. People that prey on others get caught and released repeatedly. The park is off the highway abd secluded. Not good.

  19. Really on February 22nd, 2018 6:49 am

    There is absolutely no reason that park should remain open after dark. I cannot imagine that public access would mean 24 hours a day. Many parks close at dark to prevent idiots like the crapper from abusing and vandalizing equipment that is meant for the public to enjoy.

  20. Kathy Brady on February 22nd, 2018 6:29 am

    It’s a shame childern can’t enjoy the park I agree with closing the park at night,you can’t fix stupid, we need to put lights up like century woods ,that stopped a lot of drug active.

  21. Angel on February 22nd, 2018 3:47 am

    I read this and sit here shaking my head. If you can’t say anything nice don’t say nothing at all. So I won’t.

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