Signs prohibiting registered sex offenders to be posted in county's parks, fairgrounds

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
All Rowan County parks, including the fairgrounds on Julian Road, will be posted this week with signs prohibiting registered sex offenders.
Don Bringle, the county’s parks director, told the Rowan Parks and Recreation Commission Tuesday evening that the signs will go up starting Thursday. While most parks will have a single sign at the entrance, two signs will be placed at Ellis Park and the fairgrounds to ensure all visitors are warned.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners adopted the ordinance in April banning registered sex offenders from entering county parks, recreation areas, public libraries and the fairgrounds.
Hayes Smith, a member of the commission, suggested the warning be added to the parks department’s Web site to warn people who might be considering visiting the parks.
Paul Brown, a member of the commission, questioned how the ordinance will be enforced at the fairgrounds, noting the potential that some of the subcontractors may have employees who are registered sex offenders. Brown said the contractors involved with the fair need to know in advance of the new law.
According to a parks staff member, an off-duty deputy spotted a registered sex offender near the splash pad several weeks ago. The man was asked to leave and did so.
In other matters, the commission:
– Unanimously elected Dennis Rogers as the new chairman of the the commission. Rogers, an agent with Farm Bureau Insurance, has served on the panel for two years.
Rogers succeeds Sue Khan, who declined to serve another term.
Pat Masters, who headed the nominating committee, praised Khan for her leadership.
The commission elected Randy McCombs as vice chairman.
– Heard that work is continuing on moving the McCombs log cabin from Faith to Dan Nicholas Park.
After a meeting at the cabin last month, a committee determined that the overall height of the cabin will have to be reduced to less than 17 feet to make the move economically feasible.
– Heard that work is continuing on setting up a Web cam at Dunn’s Mountain. County information technology staff is working on a budget for the proposal.
– Announced that the annual Stories by the Millstream at Sloan Park will be held Sept. 19.
With the soaking from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay, there may be water in the stream, which had all but dried up.