Community wants to see Dougherty Co. focus funds on kids

Community wants to see Dougherty Co. focus funds on kids

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A Dougherty County commissioner is pushing for repairs to an East Albany park.

Parents in the area said with upgrades to C.W. Heath Park, their kids could play sports and keep out of trouble.

Dougherty County parents said their kids need some place safe to go after school, whether it be at the playground, the baseball field or the basketball courts.

East Albany’s C.W. Heath Park has all three, but parents said it’s not exactly a suitable place for their kids.

Broken basketball hoops, swing sets with no swings and a baseball field missing plates, parents said C.W. Heath Park is no place for their kids.

A slide and playset at C.W. Heath Park in East Albany.
A slide and playset at C.W. Heath Park in East Albany. (Source: WALB)

“There’s so much crime in Albany now. The crime is crazy and it’s young people crime,” said a parent, Kenneth Florence.

As a parent, Florence said parks with baseball fields and basketball courts give kids a positive outlet for their energy, rather than getting involved in gang activity and trouble.

“There’s nothing for them to do. There’s no incentive out in the public for them to go play baseball or other sports,” said Florence.

Swings are looped all the way around the top of the set, you can barely even reach them. Profanities are written on the basketball courts and paint on the playground equipment is chipped.

Dougherty County Commissioner Clinton Johnson said it’s time they do something about the park.

“One thing the county can do to show this really is one Albany is to take on that park and take it off of the city’s hands and to start doing some rebuilding there,” said Johnson.

Johnson recommends they spend around $90,000 to improve C.W. Heath Park. He said they should even look into eventually buying it from the the City of Albany so they can continue to maintain it over the years.

“Keeps people in safe places, and it helps people to know where their child is,” said Johnson.

County commissioners will take these park renovation ideas to the Albany City Commission to see what can be done and how quickly they can do it.

Dougherty Co. kicks off campaign against littering

Dougherty Co. kicks off campaign against littering

Dougherty County commissioners said they’re starting a zero tolerance campaign against littering.

There has not been a single case of littering or illegally dumped debris brought to court within the county limits and commissioners want this to change.

Leaders are taking to social media and to the streets to try and put an end to littering. They say solving this problem may actually start with you.

The biggest issue with littering cases, is no one is ever punished for the actual act of littering.

County Chairman Chris Cohilas passionately spoke out about the issue Monday.

Attorney Spencer Lee said the biggest problem is trash flies out of the back of trucks that make trips to landfills.

Cohilas said they need people who see trash flying out like that to write down the license plate and report it to the 311 number. He said you should not take videos of it while you are driving because they cannot use that video in court.

“You know, we’ve all been behind a truck that has it come out. You know, if you’re cleaning up demo from a house that has a bunch of bricks and stuff like that, you’re not going to see as much coming out. But if you’re picking up somewhere and there’s cardboard boxes and Styrofoam and stuff like that, it’s going to come out,” said Scott Addison, the assistant county administrator.

Dougherty Co. goes green

The county is starting the “Dougherty Green, Dougherty Clean” campaign in response to the issue of litter.

It's purpose it to educate the public, especially kids, on why they should not litter.

The Public Service Campaign features videos and testimonies from each of the county commissioners as well as Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful Executive Director Judy Bowles.

The goal is to educate people on the negative effects of littering and illegally dumping debris.

“The first thing we need to do is educate the folks and let them know what we’re going to be doing through the school system. Then we need to come up with the PSA,” said Wendy Howell, the Dougherty County spokesperson.

County commissioners now want to talk to city leaders to bring the issue back up again in 30 days. They hope to find a solution that works in both the city and the county limits.

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