Council member Lauren Vance called attention Tuesday night to problems occurring at the city’s new playground as a result of its proximity to the skate park.
“The skateboarders are wearing on the playground. They’re skating off the slides. It’s not even a year old yet, and you can already see damage,” Vance said.
Other issues include glass on the playground, broken picnic tables and offensive language from boarders.
Both the playground and skate park were replaced after the April 27, 2011 tornadoes.
More than $25,000 in playground equipment was purchased by the city using insurance money as well as support from various organizations.
Although no crimes have been reported at the skate park, police chief Nick Smith said parents have been contacting his department about vulgar language and misuse of the equipment.
Mayor pro tem Ed Earp recommended taking a hard line with skateboarders.
“The only way that you’re going to make those kids understand that they have to respect the other property that’s down there is to shut it down for a while,” Earp said. “If they’re caught down there during that timeframe, they get some kind of citation. After a certain period of time, we can reopen it for them and see how it goes. If they abuse it again, take it away completely.”
Mayor Drew Gilbert asked Smith and his officers to add the playground area to their Business Watch program and begin an “extremely close patrol.”
He added that if current problems continued, the next recourse would be to shut down the skate park.