Skaters On Thin Ice

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A few years ago, townspeople banded together to build the Rim country's first skate park.

The $88,000 state-of-the-art facility, which was built in the center of Rumsey Park, was supposed to solve a sticky problem that centered around skateboarders creating a nuisance in the parking lots near Bashas' and Taco Bell.

The Parks and Recreation Department went to great lengths to build a skate park that would fill the needs of those who practice the sport. But three years after the park became a reality, town officials and residents are at odds with some of those who frequent the park.

Complaints are numerous about the vulgar music played on boom boxes and car stereos near the park. Even more complaints are voiced about the obscenities that can be overheard from some of the park's users.

More than a few parents have told town officials they don't want their children exposed to what goes on in the skate park.

And rentals of the large ramada located just south of the skate park have dropped dramatically since it opened.

Vandalism in the nearby restrooms and throughout the park is on the upswing. Picnic tables have been dragged into the park and damaged. More than 15 tables have been replaced already, at a cost of $300 each.

Park rules prohibit bicycles in the park, but two-wheelers of all sizes have become more common than skateboards and inline skates.

Police patrol the park on a regular basis, but with other duties, obviously can't be expected to be 24-hour park attendants.

The complaints have town officials scrambling to find a solution the topic of a meeting called for on April 16. At that time, options will be discussed that could even include doing away with the park altogether. Because a few disregard the fair and proper rules that govern the skate facility, it could soon be dismantled.

If that happens and that appears likely the responsibility lies directly on the shoulders of those who are now misusing the park.

If you want to share your ideas about the skate park, plan on attending that meeting. It will begin at 5:15 p.m., at the Parks and Recreation office at Green Valley Park.

Your input could make all the difference.

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