Automated gate will be installed at Minooka Park

Published 4:43 pm Friday, September 27, 2013

A new electronic gate system will be installed at Minooka Park after a unanimous vote from the Chilton County Commission on Monday.

Minooka Park Manager Gerald Arrington told commissioners the current metal gate at the park was posing a problem for park visitors due to elderly guests being unable to work the heavy metal gate or the gate being left unlocked at times.

“We lock it at the park and give keys out to campers but sometimes the keys get lost and then the gate is left unlocked,” Arrington said. “Our park is unique and if the gate is left open, people riding ATV’s will still ride around.”

Arrington said he would like to see an automated gate system be installed at the park with a commercial gate to stay open during when the park is open.

The RV campground is open seven days a week, 365 days a year and the park Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to sunset.

Arrington said a keypad system would be utilized with law enforcement having a certain code and another code being given to campers and guests when they are presented with park rules.

Arrington said the new system would give the park a more professional look for the campground and would in turn cut down on complaints the park receives from people who have to deal with the current metal gate.

“People sometimes have to run to the grocery store late at night and don’t always want to deal with the heavy metal gate or they will leave the gate unlocked and then somebody else will go through,” Arrington said.

Commission Chairman Allen Caton said it was progress for the park with more people visiting the park and more people wanting to visit.

Arrington said it was difficult to locate commercial companies as opposed to industrial companies who would install an automated gate system but he had located a few companies with price quotes.

Arrington said if a storm came through and knocked out power, the gate would still work.

“We have a very reliable power system at the park but if the electricity was knocked out we would still be able to operate the gate,” Arrington said. “We could manually override the gate.”

Arrington said his budget was limited and asked the commission to consider the purchase of the automated gate.

“My budget can handle running the power to the gate but I wanted to see if the commission would consider purchasing the gate,” Arrington said.

Commissioner Shannon Welch said he would recommend the commission go with the lowest price quote Arrington found for a gate system from Martin Service Company to install an electronic gate system at the park for $9,900 out of the Trade School and Industrial Development Fund from the 2013-2014 budget.