Residents tell Dover council: Keep Silver Lake Park open

DOVER — Keep Silver Lake Park open was the resounding call from residents Monday night.

Enhanced safety measures such as lighting and security cameras are needed, said others.

City council, police and other officials listened to the opinions during the opening 25 minutes of public comments at city hall.

Last week, Councilman Roy Sudler Jr., chairman of the Dover Parks Recreational Enhancement Committee, introduced the idea of closing the park indefinitely until safety concerns are addressed. He cited five bodies, including one Sunday, found in the area since 2010 as cause for concern.

Police Chief Marvin Mailey said three security cameras were being installed at the park on Monday — one at the entrance and two within the park. Installation had been delayed until wiring system could be updated.

Mayor Robin R. Christiansen opened the regular meeting by reading a statement of condolence to the family of a Wesley student recently found in Silver Lake, condemned jumping to conclusions and offered 100 percent support to the Dover Police Department.

Mr. Sudler has scheduled an open meeting Thursday at city hall from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to discuss the matter further. He’s asking for a vote of residents to determine whether a motion to close the park indefinitely will be introduced to council while issues are further addressed.

Among other things discussed at Thursday’s meeting will be attention to mental health assistance issues and potential illumination and protection options for greater safety in the park, Mr. Sudler said.

One couple introduced a 63-household petition not to close the park and read a prepared statement extolling its virtues. Another reported some concerning late night incidents, while others said they always felt safe when the park was open during regular hours.

A resident with extensive parks administration experience opined that the best way to operate parks is to keep them well maintained and offer regular programs.

He questioned whether Silver Lake Park was meeting that standard, and said he never felt unsafe there.

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