Fresno Park Programs Cut

FRESNO, Calif. With interactive games and holiday greetings on the wall, kids who come to Lafayette Park in Central Fresno say this facility has been like a home away from home.

Park Supporter Megan Fowler said, "Kids come here after school there's really great people here. they help us with our homework."

But on Friday doors to the facilities at Lafayette Park will be closed and padlocked.

Henry T. Perea said, "I'm extremely disappointed and frustrated we were not able to override a veto that will shut 22 hundred kids out of parks."

Councilmember Henry T. Perea says 62% of the population in his district which includes Lafayette Park are under the age of 18. He worries the mayor's decision to cut funding for 11 parks will leave many in his community without positive outlets.

Courtney Davis with the Lafayette Park Community Group worked with Councilmember Perea to secure 220 thousand dollars from the city to add spot lights to Lafayette's baseball park. The lights will promote soccer and baseball tournaments and deter crime.

Davis said, "Kids want to get out here have some fun. Drug dealers and users will not have a safe haven."

After Friday, the park grounds will still be open to the public, but because funding for facilities are being cut Davis wonders if the lights will go dark as well. Perea says they are safe.

"I'm under the impression it's still in the budget it has not been cut out," said Perea.

Work to add spotlights to the baseball area is scheduled to begin in April.

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