Ongoing problems with graffiti and vandalism have forced Amherstburg officials to remove the city’s temporary skate park.
The temporary park was located behind the Community Hub on Richmond Street in an asphalt parking lot.
The town sent a notice last Thursday that the ramps were being removed due to “destructive behavior both inside and outside” the building. “Attempts to mitigate this misbehavior have been unsuccessful.”
Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said the equipment had to be removed “for the safety of everyone, especially the people who use the building. They were very concerned about what was happening. We had to quickly address it for the people who live there and the people who use the building to make them feel safe enough. “
The skate park was in a secluded, fenced-in area that couldn’t be seen from any nearby roads. The city’s original skate park was highly visible in Centennial Park, but that location was lost due to the construction of the new dual-track high school.
“The intention with the temporary park was to give them something for the summer,” DiCarlo said. “Actually, there were quite a few problems with him. There was graffiti on the equipment and other shenanigans both inside and outside the building. “
DiCarlo said that even the increase in police patrols did not solve the problems.
“We had been working on it with the police, but it can’t be a 24/7 job for just one person,” DiCarlo said.
He said staff are using downtime to upgrade and refurbish equipment.
Management is in the middle of a participation survey to see where residents want the new permanent skate park to be located and what amenities they want in it.
The survey asks participants to choose between the Book Center, another location in Centennial Park, or Jack Purdie Park as a future guesthouse. “It has not reached the council yet, but if they choose to expand what we are going to offer, then you need to make sure you get the correct location.”
The survey asks about interest in a multipurpose park for skateboards, BMXs, scooters, mountain bikes and inline skates and about the inclusion of a bowl, pump track, rails and bleachers.
DiCarlo noted that existing equipment is not necessarily suspended until a new permanent location has been established.
“We want to set it up again as quickly as possible if we can find somewhere or fix the security problem where it was,” he said. The public survey is available at talktheburg.ca, the city’s online participation platform, until December 6.