01/06/06 — Planning Stoney Creek Park; security, privacy concerns

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Planning Stoney Creek Park; security, privacy concerns

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on January 6, 2006 1:57 PM

Flooding, lack of privacy and the possibility of children drowning.

These concerns and others were addressed by city residents Thursday as the Stoney Creek Park Development Committee hosted a public forum at the Herman Park Center.

Officials unveiled the final draft of the park's master plan and opened the floor to more than 50 neighbors to allow praise and concern for the project to surface.

Mayor Al King said the meeting was a chance to give residents a voice in the park's final design.

"I think it (Stoney Creek Park) has tremendous potential," he said. "Now, the citizens and councilmen have to make a decision on where we need to go with it."

Some of the residents on hand Thursday evening voiced concern.

Jodie Wyrosdick lives in the neighborhood bordering the new park and said she is opposed to putting a Frisbee golf course close to homes located on its perimeter because it could potentially violate her privacy.

"We would prefer if the golf course area was a bird-watching area instead," she said. "Our primary concerns are with security and privacy."

Others, including Brian Woodard, said they feel the course could benefit Goldsboro's youths.

"If you ride your bike a couple miles to the park, you want to have at least one activity to enjoy there."

Woodard added he feels a Frisbee golf course will bring a younger crowd to the park, giving airmen from the base and Wayne Community College students an activity to enjoy there.

Most of the concerns voiced, however, had nothing to do with Frisbees. Instead, many of those who spoke said they feared a tragedy would be imminent if fencing was not constructed.

Mike Farfour is one of those concerned for the safety of children around the lake.

"Aren't we opening ourselves up for a lot of problems with kids getting drowned out there?" he asked.

City Manager Joe Huffman responded with the committee's plan to make the lake area safe.

"We have plans in place for some heavy vegetation around the lake," he said.

Huffman added that water features are a part of most communities across the country. Furthermore, he said, if the park is highly used, those who frequent the area will be able to help prevent tragedies from occurring.

Others, were impressed by the master plan and the lake, and offered thanks to the committee.

Tom Brown said while he had some concerns about safety around the lake area, he was impressed with the project.

"I think this idea is one of the best to come down the pike in a long time," he said.

Don Sutton was so impressed with the plan, he wanted to see the park expanded.

"Stoney Creek is a gold mine for Wayne County and the people of Goldsboro," he said.

Despite a few concerns and a relative few at previous meetings who suggested disbanding the project altogether, King said there will be something done to revitalize the park -- even if the final look has not been officially determined.

"We're gonna do it," he said. "It's just a matter of what the final product is going to look like."

The current park plan, designed by Kimley-Horn and Associates, was given preliminary approval by the City Council Nov. 7.

That plan featured a dominant six-acre lake in the middle of the property -- surrounded by trails, walking paths, a community garden area and a passive lawn.

The plan also includes a disc golf course, which plays like golf but uses Frisbees aimed at chain baskets, and will feature an informal stage area that parents can use at birthday parties or family reunions.

The cost of the new park did not surface as an issue of concern Thursday.

Recreation and Parks director Neil Bartlett said he hopes roughly $500,000 for the $2 million project will come from a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant, which the city will apply for in the coming weeks. Additional money could come in the form of a Clean Water Management Trust Fund Grant, he said.