SALEM City skate park draws complaints

Another location for the facility must be found, some council members said.
SALEM -- Although the city's skate park has been open only a year, some council members are calling for it to be shut down and disassembled.
The skate park, in Waterworth Memorial Park, has become a source of continual complaints from nearby residents, Councilwoman Mary Lou Popa, D-1st, said during council's Tuesday meeting.
"It's a needed thing, but it has problems," Popa said.
Those living near the facility complain about profanity, loud music and youths' using the park past its 7 p.m. closing time.
Other youngsters routinely violate the skate park's ban of bicycles on the apparatuses, which includes ramps and other fixtures used by skateboarders and in-line skaters to perform stunts.
"The skate park should be removed for the winter and perhaps another location in the park could be found by spring," Popa said.
One suggestion
She suggested park officials try to find a spot that isn't so close to homes.
Greg Oesch, R-4th, agreed. He said the skate park should closed for the winter "to give the people who live near there a break."
The skate park needs to be "away from anybody's back door," said Alma Apicella, R-at-large.
Walt Bezeredi, chairman of council's parks committee, said the park commission, a separate panel, will certainly discuss council members' suggestions.
"It's just a small percentage of kids that cause the problems," said Bezeredi, who wants the skate park to continue, even if it means moving it.
The nearly $43,000 park opened in September 2001 in Memorial Park, just off Sunset Boulevard.
City parks department funding paid for the facility.
In other business, Fred Vogel, R-at-large, asked residents to make sure they take care of the curb lawn in front of their homes. Some need to be mowed, have weeds that need to be pulled and have litter that needs picked up, he said.

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