Struthers residents haggle over skate park closing
Residents asked Struthers Council to reconsider closing the city’s skate park, saying many in the community helped build it six years ago so kids would be safe.
The council voted unanimously to permanently close the park at a May 16 finance committee meeting.
People who live near the skate park, which is at the corner of Elm and Stewart streets, have been complaining for several years about noise, litter, profanity and other misconduct there.
Council’s meeting room was crowded tonight with residents whose kids use the skate park and who remember the effort behind building it in 2006.
Residents and businesses donated $70,000 toward it, and the Struthers Fraternal Order of Police spent $3,000 on two city lots for it, selling them to the city for $1.
More than 100 residents helped build it under the direction of KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization that helps communities build playgrounds.
It was built, said Dan Becker, owner of Becker Funeral Home, so that kids wouldn’t use their skateboards in the streets.
“Drive around town now and they’re on the streets because there’s nowhere else to go,” he told council.
“You have to come up with an answer to supervise the park,” he continued.
Sexton Street resident John Cutlip said he believes the park should be a private business. He is proposing an indoor park, and he has a Web site set up to take donations for it.
But Steve Morgan, a Stewart Street resident, said that if people want the park opened, they should volunteer to have it in their neighborhood.
Councilman Mike Patrick told council at a caucus meeting before Wednesday’s regular meeting that he is in favor of reopening the park and having a public hearing on what to do about it.
For the complete story, read Thursday's Vindicator or Vindy.com.