Chatham-Kent administration to meet with users of Lark Park following notice of trespass
President of a Flag Football team is being threatened by the municipality - Sunday, May 2, 2021 (Bob Bellaccio / CTV News)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- There might yet be common ground between the municipality of Chatham-Kent and a resident handed a notice of trespass for cutting grass at a public park as both sides are scheduled to discuss a resolution.
Jason Reynolds wanted to maintain an open area of Lark Park to allow kids to play football, but was told through a registered letter dated April 26 he could face fines up to $2,000, and arrest, if he continued mowing the field.
“It’s easier for kids to run on short grass,” said Reynolds.
While Reynolds heeded the warning, he also told his story to CTV Windsor.
Chatham-Kent Councillor Michael Bondy said what happened to Reynolds drew the ire of the community and referred to the notice as “a PR disaster for Chatham-Kent.”
Bondy supported a motion at council on Monday evening instructing administration to meet with Reynolds and other users of Lark Park to identify long-term needs and scheduled maintenance of the turf.
A report to council outlined a number of legal and safety risk-related issues, involving Reynold’s use of power equipment on city property without permission.
Bondy admitted there is already a vendor hired to do the job, but added the municipality works with 103 other sports leagues, and hopes by pressing the reset button both sides can reach a resolution.
When reached by CTV News Reynolds said he was encouraged.
"All I am asking for is a couple of days before the kids are playing can you cut the grass?” he says.
Another report on the progress of those discussions is expected before council by mid-June.