Visitors to the Jennie Kirkpatrick Ashford Memorial Park can use the park’s restrooms after workers fixed a problem pipe on March 17.
Jim Eyre, vice president of the Ashford Park Civic Association, told the Board of Commissioners about the problem during a meeting on March 13.
“We have a problem,” Eyre said, “not because there’s a hidden problem that nobody can find, but because there is a problem that nobody can figure out how to fix.”
Eyre said the water at the park, located in north DeKalb County, was shut off by the county’s parks and recreation department for several weeks after it could not determine the cause of a backup and leak in the pipe.
“The park is getting very crowded now with the weather warming up,” Eyre said. On weekends, more than 100 children and their families can be in the park at a time, he said.
The issue was referred to the county’s watershed department, and an internal disagreement began about which county department was responsible for diagnosing and fixing the problem, Eyre told commissioners.
The county “shut the water [off] and walked away,” Eyre told commissioners. “There’s been no activity, no progress, no work.”
Eyre said he was not concerned whose jurisdiction the issue fell under before the problem was fixed. “It is a DeKalb County problem and DeKalb County needs to fix it.”
Eyre’s talk to the Board of Commissioners paid off.
After Eyre’s comments to commissioners, the county “provided a couple of porta-potties to solve the problem of kids peeing the bushes,” Eyre said.
Ted Rhinehart, county’s deputy chief operating officer for infrastructure, said a contractor fixed the problem on March 17 and on March 19 workers performed surface restoration, sidewalk repair and reseeding.
Rhinehart said workers determined that a section of the 6-inch pipe had collapsed, causing the system’s backup.
The emergency repair cost the county approximately $20,000, Rhinehart said. “It was bigger than just cleaning [the pipes] as a solution.
“Parks should be able to turn the restrooms back on,” Rhinehart said on March 19.