City of Killeen plans to upgrade lights for park’s basketball and tennis courts

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 8:18 AM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - After receiving a lot of calls and emails concerning lights at Long Branch Park, the City of Killeen announced plans to upgrade the 35-year-old, dysfunctional lights for daily use of the tennis and basketball courts.

Executive Director of Recreation Services, Kelly Snook, said residents mostly use the courts before or after school or work, and, when the winter season brought more hours of darkness, it was inconvenient for residents to use the public courts.

“Our parks are open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., so, right now, with the lights being down, probably a little less usage, but again, 30% of them are working, so there’s still some use going on in the park,” Snook said.

The City of Killeen said in a Facebook post that they received a lot of calls and emails about the lights not working.

“The lights at Long Branch Park are approximately 35 years old, so, due to that age, vandalism and weather issues, they are not functioning well at this time,” Snook said.

Instead of continuing to repair the lights, the city announced they are upgrading them to LED light fixtures.

“We look forward to bringing park users better, more reliable, and energy efficient lights,” the city stated in a Facebook post.

Snook said she did not have a specific date for when the basketball and tennis courts would be back up and running again, but she said the process has started.

“Right now, we have all of the parts on order and the materials are ready to go,” she said. “We’re waiting on the contractor to get us on his schedule, and then we’ll get started just as quickly as we can get scheduled in with him.”

Snook said they hope to provide a safer and more convenient atmosphere for residents to utilize the public park.

“Safety is an issue everywhere,” she said. “We should always be careful in our surroundings. The lighting will help provide a view through the park for the police department and staff as well and enough lighting to be adequate after dusk.”

She said the city is aware of issues or inconveniences in public parks, but she encourages residents to report any problems to the city.

“Our staff always knows what’s going on in the park, so we’re aware of problems generally, but we’re happy to receive any information from citizens if they notice something is not working properly,” Snook said.