NORTH OGDEN -- City Councilman Wade Bigler has asked the city and council to discuss the possibility of closing parks on Sundays.
The matter will be discussed at tonight's city council meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the council offices, 2600 N. 550 East.
The discussion stems from a couple of things. Soccer league, La Liga, asked to reserve Orton Park on Sundays for its soccer league, and according to City Councilman Brent Taylor, some residents asked Bigler to bring the issue up with the city and council members after they have seen the league playing at the park.
Taylor said in a phone interview that some email discussion on the issue had occurred before he came back from deployment in Afghanistan, so he didn't know all the ins and outs of the situation.
He said he is eager to hear the discussion tonight, but that he had received some information about the issue.
"A resident contacted Wade (Bigler) about the potential for closing parks on Sunday, but it's just a discussion at this point," Taylor said.
City Manager Ron Chandler said that because of La Liga reserving the park, it seemed like a good time to talk about it.
"This is the first time this request has been made, so it makes it a good time to review our park policies," Chandler said in an email.
Taylor said it would be interesting to hear the presentation and see where the council sits with the discussion.
"My initial reaction is that not everyone in the city feels the same way or is of the same religion. This area needs to be approached very carefully," Taylor said.
Taylor pointed out that alcohol is sold in the cities on Sunday and that stores are open on Sunday in the city. Taylor's understanding is that it is just organized athletic events that would be banned. If a family wanted to have a picnic or enjoy the park, they would be permitted.
At Orton Park on Sunday there were about 100 people (parents and young soccer players) using the park and concessions were also sold. The parking lot at the park was nearly full. Orton Park is often used for soccer play almost every day of the week.
Chandler visited the park one Sunday and explained the park policy to those there. Soon after, the group reserved the park and paid the park fee.
"I did not visit Orton Park this weekend, but I assume it is the same group that reserved the park," Chandler said.
"I want to have an open mind and hear from residents. It gets dicey when this is not necessarily the belief of everyone in the city," Taylor said regarding Sunday worship habits.
Other council members did not return an email request on the matter.