Dedication ceremony set for Sunday in Lockington park

LOCKINGTON – Lockington Mayor Tracy Johnson has announced a dedication ceremony for the newly rebuilt shelter in the community park to take place at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Johnson said the rebuilt shelter has partially been funded through a $750 Walmart Community Foundation Grant, and the labor was provided by members of the Lockington Volunteer Fire Department. Outdoor tables were donated by Lockington United Methodist Church.

“Community doesn’t necessarily mean within incorporation borders,” Johnson said. “Community can be people coming together due to a particular interest or goal. Both Lockington United Methodist Church and the Lockington Volunteer Fire Department recognized a need in the community and proactively acted on it.”

The park shelter was in need of repair for quite a while when it was vandalized to the point of becoming a safety concern. Jon Adams, chief of Lockington Volunteer Fire Department, approached a council member and said the fire department was interested in helping the village in rebuilding the shelter. He also was able to find someone to build a custom dome for a slide that was vandalized.

“It was perfect timing,” Johnson said, “because we had the funds to rebuild the shelter, we just didn’t have the manpower.

“It is also perfect timing to celebrate and recognize our firefighters and other first responders as Fire Prevention Week starts on Oct. 6, and National First Responders Day is Oct. 28. Volunteer first responders are already away from their family when responding to calls. They also take time away from their family for training, fundraisers, parades and other events. So, for Lockington Volunteer Fire Department members to sacrifice even more time to rebuild the park shelter is appreciated beyond measure.”

Johnson hopes the dedication will bring the residents and surrounding community together in that they will recognize it takes funds and labor to maintain the park system and when vandalism occurs it affects everyone.

“If we have to use our funds to constantly deal with vandalism, we won’t have any funds to improve the park system and we will have to start removing park equipment,” Johnson said.

Over the course of the past three years, Lockington has been the recipient of two $500 Safety Grants and, most recently, a $1,000 Safety Grant through the Public Entities Pool of Ohio in order to improve the park on top of the $750 Walmart Community Foundation Grant.

“We wouldn’t have the funds to make the improvements in the park if it weren’t for the grants we have received,” Johnson said. “The Park Levy doesn’t provide enough funds to maintain it, so we have had to use General Funds to supplement park maintenance. The grants have given us the ability to invest in and make improvements that we otherwise wouldn’t be capable of.”

All members of the public are invited to attend.