Park Board, May 5, 2016

Signs like this came down across Alabama after a state AG opinion based on Alabama's 2013 open carry laws. Homewood responded earlier this year.

Signs like this came down across Alabama after a state AG opinion based on Alabama’s 2013 open carry laws. Homewood responded earlier this year.

The May discussion clarified changes made in the Overton Park playground equipment and removal of signs banning firearms due to statewide petitions citing Alabama’s 2013 open-carry laws. The firearms ban remains in place in the Rec Center itself. More, below.

Members were cautioned to renew their memberships before the pool opens May 26, the day after school lets out.

Members present: Chris Meeks, chair,  Gary Isenhower, Michael Murray, Keith Stansell and Marjorie Trimm.

Members absent: Jody Brant and Paula Smalley.

Staff present: Berkley Squires, public service superintendent, Rusty Holley, Rec Center director, and board secretary.

Audience attendance: 1

Approved the April 2016 meeting minutes.

Announced change of playground equipment at Overton Park: The parks department will pay for changes to equipment, making it safer for young children. The equipment present is designed for 8-12 year olds.

Change in firearms policy explained: The removal of signs banning firearms was the result of an organized legal challenge to public facilities and municipalities across the state including Homewood, Vestavia and Hoover, citing the state’s 2013 firearms carry law. The state legislature in that law took control of all firearms regulations to itself–nullifying local regulations–and enumerated changes (State Code 13A-11-61.3). The bans could have remained in place if the areas were limited access or posted with security guards, which they are not. For the same reason–the presence of security guards–firearms are not allowed inside the Rec Center. Firearms are not allowed in schools.

For more information from al.com:  http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2016/04/signs_banning_guns_outside_sec.html

Approved the Exceptional Foundation’s June event calendar: The calendar includes the Knights of Columbus event June 25, from 6-11 p.m., with an estimated 35-40 cars in the shared parking lot.

The Urban Cookhouse sponsors a weekend Farmers Market at SoHo and at their Summit location throughout the summer. The board denied its request to move the long-running event to Central Park.

The Urban Cookhouse sponsors a weekend Farmers Market at SoHo and at their Summit location throughout the summer. After hesitating, the board approved its request to move the long-running event to Central Park contingent on not allowing vehicles on the grounds and using a remote parking location, now set at OLS.

Approved the Urban Cookhouse Farmers’ Market series, to begin June 18 and run for 10 Saturdays: The board and director appeared reluctant to approve Central Park for the series because of the impact of vehicles on the park and the fact the event benefited a private business. Nevertheless, it was approved on condition no vehicles would drive on park grounds. Parking will be at Our Lady of Sorrows Church.

 

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