Bikes And Bad Language May Jeopardize Skate Park's Future


A handful of bad apples could be spoiling the whole bunch at the Payson Skate Park.

According to Payson Parks and Recreation Director Bill Schwind, complaints of foul language and misuse of the Rumsey Park facility are at an all-time high, leading town staff to question its continued existence.

The Town of Payson paid for the construction of the $55,000 facility at the old basketball courts at Rumsey Park. Since its inception last summer, Schwind said the facility which is located next to the children's playground and near several ramadas has been a hit with the skateboarders and in-line skaters.

It's also become a prime destination spot for area bicyclists, who use the facility despite the numerous warnings that bikes are strictly prohibited inside the skate park.

"I love riding my bike. I love riding my bike in the skate park," Robert Ray one of the self-proclaimed bad apples said. "I also have two daughters who are just starting to get good on Roller Blades. I want to see how we can keep this park open.

"It's a great facility."

Closing the park, however, is just one option town staff is looking at, due not only to bicycle abuse, but also the increasing presence of foul-mouthed skaters and loud vulgar music next to the children's playground.

Schwind said that on numerous occasions parents have had to drag their children out of the playground because of language eminating from the skate park, and at least one church group was also driven away by harsh music.

"We really don't know what our options are at this point," he said. "We keep getting complaints, and it's really coming to a head. We've got to do something either close it, or move it, or something. We'd love to hear any suggestions the public might have on how to make this better."

Those interested in protecting the future of the skate park are encouraged to call Schwind, 474-5242, ext. 7.

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