Prep work begins for fence installation at Van Eps Park - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Prep work begins for fence installation at Van Eps Park

Posted: Updated:
 Van Eps park has seen a lot of activity the past few weeks. Many have complained about people hanging out and drinking in the park.

Thursday, the park was busy with construction equipment.

Just two days ago, KSFY News spoke with a Minnehaha County commissioner who said the county wants to build a fence at Van Eps Park. That fence will separating the park from a parking lot used by county employees.

It didn't take long to get that project going. Prep work for the fence has already begun on Thursday.

There's been a lot going on at Van Eps Park recently.   Some say it's not the kind of activity they want to see, but Sioux Falls police say the action happening Thursday is exactly what others have been planning.

Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel said "in speaking with the county, they had talked about putting up a fence, and the main reason they want to put up the fence is due to the fact they own the parking lot adjacent to Van Eps Park on the north side. I know they've had some issues with intoxicated people wandering from the park into their parking lot."

Some say the public drinking here at Van Eps Park is a problem that's getting out of control. But some wonder if a fence is the answer?

"It is going to at least contain them to the park area. And as I said, create a bit of a barrier and a deterrent to stay out of that parking lot. I know they've had a few occasions where there have been people passed out, in and amongst the parked cars, and so that creates a safety concern," Barthel said.

Both city and county leaders hope the fence will draw the line for safety for the county employees who work across the street.

Minnehaha County commissioner Jeff Barth said "it doesn't necessarily keep people from coming into our parking lot or speaking to our employees, but it will make it a little bit more difficult for them to actually go sit on your hood or something."

"It's not a cure all, it's not going to make the problems go away. It isn't going to be a privacy fence, where they can't see or that sort of thing. It's just going to be a good deterrent and help contain some of those issues that they've been dealing with, right next to their parking lot," Barthel said.

Barthel said the county already had plans for this fence but after speaking with the mayor, the city parks department and county commissioners, it was decided the city should pay for it.

Thursday's prep work is just the start of this project.

Next, the police chief said Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation will take bids on the fence, with installation expected to be completed within a week.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.