At a council meeting on Thursday evening, the topic of what to do with Davenport Park in Ellet was discussed. The basketball courts at the park have been closed over the last month due to reported gunshots, obscene language, and marijuana.

Ward 6 councilman Bob Hoch provided the update on the Ray Horner Morning Show, and the update is the courts remain closed. Some residents want the courts permanently closed, while others feel the temporary closure is necessary. Some have made this an issue of race, to which Hoch has gone on record to deny.

Hoch says the park itself will remain open, but the basketball courts will be padlocked through the summer season, perhaps longer, until a formulated plan is in place. This marks the third time in the last 25 years these courts have been closed.

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After nearly 30 years, the Innerbelt is no more, and there have been questions about what will be done with all of that land. Those questions are being addressed by community leaders as far as long-term planning.

One of those community leaders is mayor Dan Horrigan, who joined the Ray Horner Morning Show in studio. Horrigan believes they have a "blank canvas" to change the physical landscape of downtown Akron. Having all of that land “fall into [their] laps” is “a once in a generation thing,” so the city is taking their time to develop plans.

As far as what will be done, the mayor says their timetable for those said plans should be by the end of the calendar year.

In addition to the Innerbelt, Horrigan also discussed how the University of Akron has turned around in the last year with university president Matthew Wilson, as well as the future of Davenport Park in Ellet.

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After some gunfire, the rims on the basketball courts are coming down at Davenport Park, and the future of the Ellet park is actively being addressed.

Ward 6 councilman Bob Hoch joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss ongoing problems at the park and how the city will handle them. Hoch has heard numerous complaints from parents about the amount of littering, foul language, and drug use being used by park-goers. Hoch has heard from residents about a complete closure of the park.

These problems are not unique to just Davenport. Other parks in the Akron area have been the subject of scrutiny, and city council plans on addressing these next week.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Thursday, 18 May 2017 07:07

Horrigan Closes Davenport BB Courts

A pick-up basketball game at Ellet's Davenport Park courts turned ugly, as fisticuffs and shoving led to gunfire. That was enough as far as Mayor Dan Horrigan was concerned; he ordered the nets taken down, the court gates chained and increased police patrols. Neighbors say the courts have been a problem for the Ellet area.

Horrigan released a statement saying ""I have heard the concerns of the Ellet community and am aware of the unsettling events at Davenport Park last night. I have temporarily shut down the basketball courts to alleviate community concerns while we gather additional feedback from residents. The future of the basketball courts at Davenport Park will be a community-driven decision. City parks are community assets that are designed to be enjoyed, accessible, and, above all, safe." 

Akron police say they've only had one report of a fight since March and a handful of other neighborhood complaints. Ellet Councilman Bob Hoch says he's wanted changes for at least two years, including not only the basketball courts but also other facilities used for football, baseball and softball. A Facebook video showing the original fight and then the sound of gunshots has since been taken down. 

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