NEWPORT, Ark. (KAIT) - In Monday night’s Newport City Council meeting, the president of a nonprofit organization brought up concerns about Branch Community Park not having a restroom facility.
Latasha Robinson serves as the president for Bringing Resources And Navigating Community Help, or BRANCH, and has been working to revitalize the park.
Addressed in the council meeting that the park is in need of new basketball goals, proper baseball field maintenance, and portable restroom facility.
“Our [baseball] team meets four times a week and the kids have to pee outside because there’s no bathroom,” Robinson said.
The lack of a facility at the park not only inconveniences a youth baseball team during practice at the park but other children who come to play on the playground or play basketball.
Robinson said children cannot wait to go home, which is why they have to urinate outside “like animals.”
She mentioned that she has brought the issue to Newport Mayor David Stewart prior to the meeting, asking to get a portable toilet.
Robinson says that she took measures into her own hands and ordered a portable toilet for the park, which she says was rejected by the mayor.
Mayor Stewart denies the claim, but he said Monday’s meeting the past portable toilets have been destroyed more than once.
“The company that we use is reluctant to put any more down there,” Mayor Stewart said.
He believes building a restroom would be a better alternative, adding that this would not be “the time of the year to do that” because the city does not have the money.
Robinson argued that the children would still need a temporary place to use the restroom until the facility is built.
“That is a temporary solution before a permanent one can be met, so we’re asking for a compromise,” Robinson said.
The discussion was tabled after the mayor appointed a committee of three councilmembers to investigate what needs to be done to revitalize the park.