Falls Park Recommendations: What Are Different People Saying?

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Falls Park Caution Sign_1529377560777.jpg

Improving safety at Falls Park, that’s the goal of a newly-released report following the drowning of a five-year-old girl at the park in March. The report makes different recommendations. 

Following the drowning, various city officials along with others reviewed what happened and also looked at how to reduce the risk of something like it from happening again.

On Monday KELOLAND News talked with several people to get their take on latest recommendations, which include building a “lower falls viewing area.”

Jay Evenson of Rapid City was at Falls Park Monday night.

“I’m out here on work for a couple days, just, and I’m out for my evening walk to get some exercise,” Evenson said.

While he hadn’t heard of the proposed changes, KELOLAND News did ask what he would think about a viewing area, with a pathway, two viewing platforms, and a safety railing, all recommended in the report.

“I think a platform and an area where people can look is probably a nice thing to have, in that, but if they’re doing it strictly for the purpose of the safety of the people, you’re going to find that people are going to generally climb on rocks, they’re going to climb over rails, and it’s what kids like to do,” Evenson said.

After reaching out to various city councilors, KELOLAND News also caught up with Rick Kiley for his take on the recommendations, especially the viewing area.

“I think that brings the possibility, the lower falls viewing area, brings a possibility of guiding people away from the hazardous area, and true, there’s going to be a cost associated with building this, but I think it’s well-worth the investment,” Kiley said.  

Earlier Monday, other city officials weighed in on the proposals.

“One of the things that it does it allows us to really embrace the situation, versus just putting up a fence. This really allows us to provide some viewing platforms,” city director of parks and recreation Don Kearney said.

“From a police perspective the recommendations are, we feel them as very sound and reasonable,” Sioux Falls Police Chief Matt Burns said.

The Falls Park safety report is on the agenda for Tuesday’s city council informational meeting. 

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