Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater council to discuss hours at Crest Lake Park

CLEARWATER — Crest Lake Park is one of the biggest and most heavily used parks in Clearwater. Years ago, the city added lights to the park so it could stay open later.

Now the park's neighbors are asking city leaders to close it down earlier at night because they're seeing problems with vagrants in the late hours. But Clearwater's police chief isn't convinced that crime is a big problem at Crest Lake.

The City Council will decide the issue at its meeting tonight.

The park, in the middle of Clearwater along Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard, is open from sunrise to 11 p.m. Some residents of the Skycrest neighborhood, which borders the park, would like to see it close at 9 p.m. instead. A dog park at Crest Lake already closes at 9.

Mayor Frank Hibbard brought up the subject at the council's work session Monday. "I'm in support of changing it to 9 p.m.," he said.

Councilman Bill Jonson asked why some Clearwater parks close at sunset while others stay open later. Parks director Kevin Dunbar said it depends on how well-lit the parks are.

"Typically, parks that are open until 11, they have illumination," Dunbar said. In the case of Crest Lake, "There was a time when there was a request to put lighting around the park so that people could go walk and enjoy the park in the evening."

JoAnna Siskin, a longtime Skycrest resident who's part of a citizens patrol at Crest Lake Park, was among those who contacted City Council members to request the earlier closing time.

"It would be a tool for the police to ask people to leave the park who shouldn't be there," she said. "It's dark by 9. The families go home. There's vandalism, vagrants, drugs, prostitution. If someone would still like to walk there, they can walk the outer perimeter, which is safe and lit."

Police Chief Tony Holloway told the council Monday that officers have been patrolling the park, but he didn't think they'd seen a rise in crime.

"Some people like to use the park around 10 or 11 o'clock to walk or run," Holloway said. "We do have some transients that are in the park. … The transients do speak to people late at night, but they're not committing any crimes while they're in the park."

He added: "There is more activity in the park after 9 o'clock. There are more kids in the park. But we are addressing those issues."

The chief said he would present updated crime statistics to the council tonight.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at or (727) 445-4160.


Tonight's council meeting

The Clearwater City Council will meet at 6 tonight at City Hall, and not on a Thursday night as usual. Other issues on its agenda:

• Accept a $60,000 settlement from Office Depot, which was accused of overcharging the city for supplies.

• Set the tax rate for next year; it's the same as this year.

• Agree on a contract with the city's police officers, in which the officers will accept one unpaid furlough day per year, saving Clearwater nearly $49,000 a year.

• Pay a Texas company $75,000 to formulate a citywide strategy for economic development.

• Fund the Jolley Trolley for another year, at a cost of $150,000.

Clearwater council to discuss hours at Crest Lake Park 09/21/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 7:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Young male hospitalized after shooting in St. Petersburg


    ST. PETERSBURG — A juvenile male was injured Monday morning in a shooting at 2336 17th Ave S, police said.

  2. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  3. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts


    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]
  4. Putin visits France, hopes to mend strained ties with West


    VERSAILLES, France — On a visit likely to shape Russia-France ties for years, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin at the sumptuous Palace of Versailles on Monday for what the newly-elected French leader said would be "demanding" talks on Syria, the Ukrainian crisis and other …

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, is welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Palace of Versailles, near Paris, France, Monday. Monday's meeting comes in the wake of the Group of Seven's summit over the weekend where relations with Russia were part of the agenda, making Macron the first Western leader to speak to Putin after the talks. [AP photo]
  5. Five cool things to do when it's hot outside


    Summer is not officially here, but it may as well be. School is out, vacations are coming, and it's time to enjoy the outdoors. Don't buy the argument that summer in Florida is too hot to get outside. There is plenty to do, and we'll prove it. Here are five cool things to do outdoors during another hot summer.

    Rainbow Springs State Park is a registered natural landmark. Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon is one several state parks with natural swimming holes in Florida. (Octavio Jones | Times)