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Hearing to decide Bethel Park’s fate

It’s time for Brookhaven citizens, especially those in theneighborhood of Bethel AME Church, to put their interest intoaction at an upcoming meeting and public hearing about a playgroundscheduled to go in area.

Brookhaven Recreation Department Director Terry Reid said agrant that would allow the city to pay nothing for park developmentcould be in jeopardy if there are not enough volunteers to do thework on the $100,000 project. After fielding more than 150 interestforms, now he needs those volunteers to show up at the publichearing on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the city boardroom at thegovernment complex.

The public hearing will be immediately followed by a communitymeeting to fill people in on their roles in the building of theplayground.

“If we don’t have people there, it isn’t happening,” Reid said.”We need as many people from that neighborhood as we can get.”

The government will provide 70 percent through the grant if theterms of the grant are met. The community can meet the other 30percent through the value of volunteer labor.

Reid said recreation department and grant officials are hopingto see at least 100 volunteers come to the meeting.

“The public hearing is to prove people want it, and thecommunity meeting is to tell them what we’re doing,” Reid said. “Ifyou have a comment, question or complaint that’s the time to doit.”

All the preliminary work, as far as meeting Department ofEnvironmental Quality standards and doing environmental studies,has been done, Reid said.

“Everything is done except this meeting, and they’ll sign off onthe grant if they’re just happy with the turnout of the meeting,”Reid said.

Bethel Park’s playground area will be just like the one atBicentennial Park, Reid said, but other parts of the park will alsobe improved upon.

“We’ll resurface the basketball courts, and paint lines on them,there’s an old pavilion we’ll replace,” he said. “We’re going toput a retaining fence up, and add parking off the street.”

Recreation department officials say once the park is in place,it will be the perfect place to take the family for a picnic.

Reid said anyone with questions is welcome to call theBrookhaven Recreation Department at (601) 833-3791 for furtherdetails.