Struthers residents question the future of closed skate park
By Sean Barron
What will be the fate of a controversial skate park that opened six years ago and was closed in May?
That was the central question of a 90-minute informational meeting that Struthers City Council sponsored Tuesday.
Many residents who live close to the skate park, near Stewart and Elm streets, have complained for several years about littering, vandalism, profanity, noise and other problems.
Several council members said they want to have such a park but were at a loss to figure out where to relocate it. No action was taken during Tuesday’s session.
Mauthe, Yellow Creek and Nebo parks were considered, but few people around those areas want the skate park, noted 1st Ward Councilman Tony C. Fire, adding that he’s OK with such a park as long as it does not violate anyone’s rights.
Fire estimated the cost at around $10,000 to move the park, noting that the ramps and other equipment can easily be transported.
Earlier this summer, Mauthe Park had problems with youngsters riding skateboards on picnic tables and using profanity, for example, and many people near Yellow Creek Park said they felt a skate park would adversely affect Yellow Creek’s character, Councilman Michael S. Patrick said.
Patrick also suggested conducting audibility tests to see how much noise is typically emitted at the site.
Councilwoman Carol A. Crytzer said she’s made numerous calls to try to find a suitable location for the skate park.
A few residents, including a Sixth Street woman, wondered why the park was opened in 2006 without supervision. Parents must be responsible for their children, she said.
Another woman inquired about why council voted to close the skate park instead of taking preventive measures such as deadening the sound and supervising it.
A Stewart Street man told council he’s dealt for years with loud, repetitive noises from the park, which was less than 50 feet from his residence.
The park is closed until officials can figure out what to do with it, said Crytzer, adding that she contacted New Middletown, Warren and other cities that have similar but successful skate parks.