Palatine Park's management up in the air after county commission complaints

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MARION COUNTY, W. Va. (WDTV) - Fairmont locals like Chase Casto say Palatine Park is an essential part of their community.

But recently, the funding that makes those events possible was threatened.

The Marion County park board said in a statement:

"We acknowledge that there has been some issues this season and we believe that many of those can be fixed by working closely with the county, city, law enforcement and community organizations,"

In that statement the park board also suggested a few additions to the park that would address the commission's concerns.

"A full-time park attendant and a security office on sight would alleviate most of the ongoing issues at the park."

These issues, brought forward during a recent commission meeting, cite homelessness, lack of maintenance, and dirty bathrooms as major issues not being taken care of.

Casto, who uses the park regularly, says he thinks the park is well maintained.

"There's been people taking care of the trash, taking care of the area, there was a guy watering the grass a while ago," Casto said "It seems to me like people are still taking care of the place,"

And says he feels safe in the park.

"No one's ever bothered me or anything," Casto said "I've walked with my daughter through here and we've come here plenty of times with friends to hang out,"

Marion County Park (MCPARC) also say that since they are funded by the commission, they are at the mercy of their decision if it comes to changing leadership saying:

"The county commission has funded the development and events at palatine and if they chose to go a different direction with the management, MCPARC will focus on the management of our other 10 parks, 20 miles of rails to trails and community programming,"

And it's the community programming that Casto says is vital to the community, especially kids.

"Especially the activities and stuff they bring for the community, it helps a lot," Casto said "because a lot of families around here can't afford a lot of things,"

Casto went on to say that as a regular visitor to the park, he thinks the management is meeting standards.

"I still think this park is pretty good for the community and how it's being run,"