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More than $1 million to renovate Boynton Beach park

Posted at 7:03 PM, Oct 22, 2018

Neighbors call it a high-crime area where Boynton Beach is investing more than a million dollars to renovate a community park, but it’s drawing mixed reactions.

Exposed wires and slabs of concrete show Sara Sims Park is undergoing a major overhaul.

“We want to be able to have it safe for the children, not only the for the children but each and everyone that comes through this area,” said Rev. William Bouie, the pastor at Community Deliverance Church directly across the street.

Bouie says crime is a problem in the neighborhood, but he’s glad to see the city investing to make it safer.

“It’s very much needed because there was times even after service that was always interrupted by folks in the park doing their own things that were not really right in the area,” Bouie said.

So parents told WPTV they will not allow their kids to play at the park because of the ongoing crime, and they’re not sure if the project will help.

The city is spending $1.3 million installing emergency call boxes, security cameras, better lighting, and license plate readers to help revitalize the area and attract more families.

Glenn Lyons is hoping that can help.

“You can’t have too much security when it comes to the kids and when it comes to the adults,” Lyons said.

The city is hiring local contractors to build what the community asked for. Residents were asked to provide their input during several community meetings.

The city will also be adding new pavilions, WiFi for parents, landscaping around the grounds and better parking.

The playground equipment is empty now because the park is closed. The project is set to be completed by May 2019. Rev. Bouie is praying the project will help the poor community prosper.

“We are certainly very thankful the city is improving it and doing some great work around here,” Bouie said.