Normal passes ordinance to keep city parks safe

By Joe Bennett

July 1, 2013 Updated Jul 2, 2013 at 10:59 AM CDT

NORMAL, Ill. --The town of Normal is cracking down on inappropriate behavior at public parks.

At a meeting Monday night, the council unanimously passed an ordinance that allows trespassing charges to anyone who is banned from a city park.

The town has had problems with young park-goers fighting, using drugs and not cooperating with park personnel.

Now anyone who is banned from a park must stay off of those park grounds for up to one year.

"As the policy used to be, it was very informal; don't come back and if somebody did come back we'd try to get them to leave, but really there was not a lot of teeth to it,” says Normal City Manager Mark Peterson. “This is putting teeth to a practice that we've had a round for a number of years and it's enforceable by the police department."

Persons banned from the park have three days to appeal. Repeated trespassers could be fined and possibly arrested.

Also at Monday night's meeting, Illinois State University officials asked the town to support a "scoreboard package" as part of the new Hancock Stadium.

The athletic department requested a contribution of $500,000 toward the $1.2 million project to enhance the Main Street corridor.

Council says they will reach a decision on the matter within a month.