Woman asks Jackson Park Board for improvements

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A business owner took her campaign to improve Jackson City Park to a new venue Monday.

"Over the past five or so years, the park has gone down, down, down," Brenda Pfefferkorn told the Jackson Park Board on Monday.

Pfefferkorn has owned the Jackson Tender Care Playhouse for 22 years and operates a summer program for children ages 6 to 10. Pfefferkorn said she takes the about 30 children she has enrolled to Jackson City Park two to three times a week, where she has noticed ailing play equipment and facilities.

The largest problem by far, she said, lies with the park's bathroom facilities. Pfefferkorn took photos of problems she cited and circulated an informal petition to inform the park board of concerns about the lack of doors in city park bathroom stalls.

"I collected 79 signatures in just two days," Pfefferkorn said, "asking that bathroom doors be replaced in city park bathroom stalls. Not one person told me they disagreed."

Pfefferkorn said she wasn't aware of any other area towns that lacked bathroom stall doors in their public parks.

"I have heard from countless Jackson residents that the stalls without doors are an issue. The city council has gotten away with it because nobody has been willing to take the time to make a big deal of it," Pfefferkorn said.

She also requested other updates be made to park bathrooms, including filling in unsightly holes in walls where sinks were removed, and new playground equipment for 6- to 10-year-olds.

Board members agreed they'd like to see the updates be made but said there is barely enough money to cover park maintenance.

Pfefferkorn had previously contacted Jackson Mayor Barbara Lohr, who invited her as a guest to a board of aldermen meeting. She was then routed to the Jackson Park Board to voice her concerns.

A special park board meeting will be held sometime next week so all board members can debate whether to have bathroom stall doors.

Pfefferkorn praised Jackson's quick action in restoring water service, which previously had been turned on only if a shelter was reserved. Chains and padlocks have been taken off water spigots and spigots restored to water fountains.

"I do think we have gorgeous parks," Pfefferkorn said. "I just want them to stay gorgeous and in good shape."

rovermann@semissourian.com

388-3688

Pertinent address:

Jackson, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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