MILLS RIVER — The Town Council completed its review of rules for the new Mills River Town Park on Thursday, outlawing geocaching and strengthening regulations in some areas.
Among the rules for park use:
• Motor vehicles are barred from trails and walking paths including minibikes, go-carts, golf carts and ATVs.
• Parents must ensure that their children follow park rules.
• Skates, rollerblades and skateboards are barred from roads and parking lots but they be ridden on the multiuse trail.
• No animals may run at large, except in the two dog parks, and dogs must be under control of their owners on a 4-foot leash.
• Exclusive events are allowed at the park with permission from the council and reservation of a picnic shelter.
• Alcoholic beverages are barred except by permission of the council.
• Charcoal fires and gas grills may be permitted by the town manager in designated areas.
• Amplified music will be monitored by the town manager or her designate. The Henderson County noise ordinance is enforced in the park.
The board decided against a special insurance policy for each event, called TULIP, for Tenant Users Liability Insurance Protection coverage. Town Manager Jaime Laughter reported that neither Fletcher nor Henderson County requires the extra liability coverage for organizations or families that rent picnic shelters.
The geocaching rule was raised for the first time at Thursday's meeting. Geocaching is a kind of high-tech scavenger hunt in which participants use GPS devices to find tubes in out-of-the-way or hard to find locations. The participants locate the tube and sign a paper inside. They try to find more sites than other competitors.
Board members said they feared such hunters could disrupt the park or might visit at all hours of the night hunting for a geocache tube hidden in the park. Indeed, Laughter said there already was one in the park, near town hall. Town hall office workers had been seeing people drive up and look around as if they were hunting something.
"It took us a while to figure out what they were doing," she said.
The board also agreed to allow a children's reading group based at the Mills River library branch to hold an event in a picnic shelter at no charge. The freebie won't apply to other libraries, the board decided. The Town Park will be dedicated during an event next month.
The board agreed to adopt the park rules after two more official readings during Town Council meetings June 14 and June 28.
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