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Struthers residents haggle over skate park closing

Published: Wed, June 13, 2012 @ 11:07 p.m.


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.


1Aware(253 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Mike Patrick did not report at the open meeting regarding this issue. At all.

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2oldstown(266 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

The same people clamoring for the park to stay open want others to maintain and supervise it, just as they likely let others pay for it. Shut it down and let the thugs congregate elsewhere.

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3bmanresident(607 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

That area of Struthers is the worst. Now the lil' hoodlums will move to the other side of fifth street

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4UrbanBuckeye(23 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

NIMBY's exert control over City Council. Closing the park will destroy the community activism that saw the vision become reality. No one will want to raise money for a civic project if the city can just shut it down. Not to mention penalizing the kids that abide with the rules due to the actions of a few. Policing the park will reveal that 99% of the problems are caused by the non-skaters that congregate at the Park.

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