• Rob Hornberger

Dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed at Lions Park following complaints

Nighttime noise, partying and vandalism prompt increase police surveillance

Lions Park will close at dusk instead of 11 p.m. under a new curfew imposed by council Monday. The park has been the scene of noisy nighttime gatherings.

KINGSVILLE — The town is imposing an earlier curfew at a local park after receiving complaints from nearby residents about noise, drinking, littering and vandalism.

Effective today, Lions Park off Mill Street West behind the Lions Hall and the Epworth United Church parking lot, will close at dusk. The park will reopen at 5 a.m.

OPP Const. Steve Duguay confirmed Monday that local police have stepped up surveillance of the park.

“Basically, we’ve got residents to the east of the site on Division South, south of the site on Elm Street and west of the site on Queen Street all complaining about some of the activities in the park,” Deputy Mayor Gord Queen said in an interview.

Large, barrier-style flower pots have been placed between the church and Lions Hall to prevent cars and trucks entering the park and tearing up the lawn.

Still, town council felt Monday more steps were needed.

“We’ve had events going on after midnight and these are the things we are trying to address,” Queen said.

The deputy mayor said the park has a basketball court, but no overhead lights, and is not meant for use after dark. There is also a paved path with multiple loops for walkers.

The previous curfew started at 11 p.m.

A delegation of residents living near the park will appear before council later this summer and Queen said the meeting may result in more steps being taken.

One of those steps, he said, may be increased lighting.

A resident living near the park said he was sympathetic to the neighbourhood complaints, but would not be in favour of increased lighting.

“Why have a curfew if there are lights?” he asked.

The resident, who did not want to be identified, said he does not feel as irate about the night-time use as some of his neighbours.

“The music can get a little loud, but it doesn’t bother us (but) I know a lot of the neighbours around I’ve talked to here are a little upset about it,” he said.

In a report to council Monday, installation of security cameras was also mentioned as an option.

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