Council to consider park smoking ban

TROY — The Troy Board of Park Commissioners and Recreation Board passed a motion to ban smoking in all public parks during the regular joint meeting Wednesday.

“We have been approached by a concerned citizen, as well as by the mayor, about smoking in the parks,” said Park Board President Alan Kappers. “This is something that municipalities have been concerned about for some time.”

Along with an effort to keep areas where children play free of smoke, the issue of cigarette butts littered throughout parks was cited as a reason to suggest this motion.

The motion will be remitted to the president of Troy City Council for submission to the Recreation and Parks Committee for approval.

The boards heard from recreation director Ken Siler on Wednesday regarding upcoming events at Hobart Arena.

According to Siler, the Travis Tritt concert, which was originally planned for this past spring, is now scheduled for March 18, 2021, at Hobart. Urban Meyer’s scheduled appearance has been moved to April 22, 2021.

A plan was approved to renovate the Duke Park basketball court following a presentation and request by resident Autumn White. This renovation would be completed in honor of Grant Gillespie, an 11-year-old who was recently killed in a car crash.

Grant, whose family resides in the Nottingham subdivision, was known to be outside playing basketball often with his older brother and dad. The Nottingham neighborhood, White said, would like to honor Grant’s memory by revamping the basketball court.

“(His death) has really been quite impactful on everyone,” White said. “Of course, nothing is ever good enough in these sort of circumstances, but I was just trying to come up with something to honor the family, keep his memory alive, and what I just kept coming back to … (was) his love for basketball.”

White visited with neighbors in Nottingham and within a matter of days was able to collect $2,500 in pledges for the improvements, which would include seal-coating the entire court, striping and adding a logo to the court, repairing the leaning east goal post, cleaning and repairing backboards, painting goal posts in Troy orange, and installing a memorial plaque.