By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer

During the Sept. 16 meeting of the Rutledge City Council, Sherry Kelly and Craig Dukes, Rutledge citizens, expressed concerns relating to their claims that “full-grown men,” who had been playing basketball at Rutledge’s nearby Fairplay Park, had been urinating and defecating on their property.

“I was very afraid of the basketball courts,” said Kelly, describing how she felt when she realized that a basketball court was part of the development plan at the park.

Kelly stated that she expressed these concerns to Rutledge Mayor Spencer Knight on a previous occasion, and Knight said that he remembered that conversation, but that this was the first he was hearing about people misusing her property in such a manner.

“That is the problem: the basketball courts,” said Dukes, Kelly’s brother.

“There are a lot of thugs on the thug park,” said Dukes, referring to the basketball court.

“If you put a thugball court up, they will come,” continued Dukes.

Dukes confronted Knight on the issue of a fence dividing the park from their property, stating that Knight had assured them that a fence would be installed.

Knight, however, adamantly denied that he had promised any such thing, and Dukes acquiesced.

Knight then asked Kelly and Dukes if they had called the police or attempted to document the misuse of their property, and they said that they had not.

“You need to call the police,” said Knight. “That’s the first thing you want to do.”

“We will address the fence issue,” stated Knight, who also said that he would also consider installing portable toilets at the park.

“We need to do something,” continued Knight, saying that he would call Sheriff Robert Markley to inform him of the situation.

During the meeting, the council also discussed future plans to add cutoff valves and loops to the existing water system in Rutledge.

Mayor Knight stated that none of the installations are urgent but are “future plans that we need to start budgeting for.”

Mayor Knight also said that the construction for the tennis courts in the park started earlier in the week, but that the softball field is “ready to go” and that the basketball and skate parks are complete.

Linda Bratcher, Rutledge citizen, expressed concerns with how well the walking trail at the park is being kept up.

“The city is going to clean it out,” assured Knight.