Park problems in Keiser - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Keiser, AR -- Lauren Payne

Park problems in Keiser

Keiser, AR (KAIT) -- "I've said this time and time again and this time I meant it. I want to put locks there to bring some stability and safety to the park," said Danny Fortner.

Keiser Mayor, Danny Fortner, says little did he know changing those locks on Monday would fuel such controversy in the small Mississippi County town. Even fueling rumors that the park is closing, something he denies.  A note posted on city hall's door explains the situation.

"Nothing has changed.  All you have to do is come up and get the key, we'll issue it out to you and carry on as usual," said Fortner.

The mayor says he changed the locks to keep vandals out of the bathrooms and concessions stands and to make sure the lights weren't on when the park was not in use.

"The league pays the light bill, so if we wanted to leave the lights on all night, every night--it's not costing the city anything," said Keiser resident, Jerry Sellars.

Jerry Sellars says he was upset and surprised the locks were changed. While the city mows the lawn for example, Sellars says much of the other upkeep and maintenance is done by the league and parents of the players.

"They feel like they're trying to lock them out of their own thing," said Sellars.

Officials say money raised from concessions and park entrance go to the league and not the city.  Sellars said he spoke with Mayor Fortner and says he hopes this issue is on the road to a final resolution. Sellars says the people hurt most by this controversy are the ones on the fields.

"It's not hurting nobody but the kids," said Sellars.

A sentiment Keiser Mayor, Danny Fortner, agrees with.

"It's not one person or organization's park--it's the city's park and we all need to work together," said Fortner. 

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