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Council mixed on closing Kelley Park access road

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

One councilman was for it, while another remained unconvinced, about closing one end of the access road that runs in front of the lower shelter house at Kelley Park.

During discussions about the road at the regular McCook City Council meeting Monday night, the council debated closing the road and will vote either aye or nay on it at an upcoming meeting.

City staff had come up with the possibility of closing the road due to increased foot traffic. The road is slated for resurfacing this year at $42,680; costs of re-surfacing part of the road plus installing a cul de sac and parking spaces are slightly higher at $48,666.

The option presented Monday night closes the road at Kelley Park Drive, near the sand volleyball courts, with parking spaces added plus a turn-around area constructed just north of the shelter house.

Councilman Jerry Calvin called it a "brilliant move" that would enhance the park and encourage more people to use it. Closing the road a one end would force motorists to slow down, increasing safety for kids and families.

"Kelley Park is a park, where you're suppose to have fun and not worry about traffic," he said.

But City Councilman Aaron Kircher said traffic concerns were exaggerated and that many motorists use the road from Kelley Park Drive.

It would result in a "major inconvenience for a little parking," he said. He added that motorists have to slow down anyway when coming onto the road from Kelley Park Drive and doubted closing the road and having a cul-de-sac would make that much difference in vehicle speed.

Mayor Dennis Berry said he had talked with officials at Mid-Plains Community College, who said they had no problem with the idea.

He also stated that both councilmen had brought up good points and requested that the item to be brought back to the council for an up or down vote.

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