The Town of Bay Roberts is taking steps to protect valuable infrastructure at the Wilbur Sparkes Recreation Complex in light of recent reports of people with vehicles hanging out in the area.
Recreation director Ian Flynn, who attended the June 11 council meeting to update councillors on a variety of items, mentioned the barricade was recently removed from the bottom parking lot. Barricades were placed there and at the top parking lot to discourage people from hanging out during the winter months.
"It was causing some concern with local residents, and there were some safety issues," Flynn told council. "We had litter. We had garbage. We had broken glass, bottles, and that sort of thing. So we barred it off, but we're at a point now where we have no choice but to open it up."
According to Flynn, as soon as the barricade was removed, vehicles started showing up. On the night of Saturday, June 8, the fencing was damaged. Broken beer bottles were also found along the walkway and the rubberized surface of the complex. He said town CAO Nigel Black has met with local police to discuss increasing patrols for the area. The town is also looking at getting cameras set up at the complex.
To address some drivers known to speed around in vehicles, Flynn said plans are underway to install to speed bumps. One will be by the tennis courts to prevent vehicles from generating speed near the playground.
"That's the best option we can come up with now for speeding outside of increased RCMP patrols," Flynn said. "But it is a concern. It's mind blowing actually to see how many cars are up there at 4 o'clock in the day with a playground full of children, and they're up there just hanging out and driving at excessive speeds through an area where kids are supposed to feel safe and parents are supposed to have their kids feel safe as well. And we haven't even opened up the top parking lot yet."
Flynn said these measures are all about protecting a significant investment the town has made into its recreation infrastructure over the last few years.