SUNSET -- Crime, sex and drugs at the city's skate park have Sunset City Councilman Kevin Snow wanting to discuss the future of the park with other city leaders.
Snow requested in an email the skate park be addressed at the council's Tuesday meeting, City Recorder Sue Hale said. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 200 W. 1300 North.
The concrete ramp skate park is within John G. White North Park at about 250 W. 2300 North.
"Councilman Snow has asked for a discussion of the future of the skate park to be on the agenda," Sunset Mayor Chad Bangerter said.
"(Snow) wants it gone. He thinks those kids will just go away. He thinks crime, drugs, sex, all take place there," Bangerter said in an email to the Standard-Examiner.
Attempts to reach Snow were unsuccessful Friday.
Sunset police report the skate park is not "crime free," but there is no epidemic of crime taking place at the park where minors and young adults gather to skateboard.
"It would be ridiculous to say that our skate park is crime free," Police Chief Ken Eborn said. But there isn't any more crime happening at the Sunset skate park than what is happening in any other skate park in the area, he said.
"I have never called other cities, but I don't think there is any more happening here than there," Eborn said.
As far as sex-related crimes go, none have been reported at the skate park, said Eborn. That isn't to say over his 27-year career in law enforcement that he hasn't encountered people having sex in other public parks.
Since the beginning of 2013, Sunset police have had reported to them a total of six incidents at the skate park, all involving misdemeanor offenses.
On March 2, police responded to the park involving a minor juvenile problem, something likely involving a minor using loud, foul language; April 2, police were called to the park for graffiti; May 11, police responded to a small child wandering in the park; May 25, police were called to two juveniles smoking cigarettes in the park, both those minors receiving tobacco citations; June 7, police responded to a misdemeanor theft at the park; and on Aug. 31, police again were called to an unspecified minor juvenile problem.
"I don't know if I would consider that an epidemic," Eborn said of the park's documented case history. "But some living around (the park) might."
There were issues in that same city park prior to the skate park being built there, Eborn said.
And based on police reports, it does not appear calls to the skate park are increasing.
There were 16 reported incidents in the same park in 2012, ranging from an assault to an alcohol offense, Eborn said.
One and a half calls per month is not too bad, he said of the 2012 totals. But the chief admits, "There are probably some issues we don't get called on."
If city leaders choose to close the park, Eborn said, he anticipates police will get a few more calls from residents complaining about youth skateboarding on their property.
The fact is those living around the park would likely tell people they hate the skate park, while others in the city like it, Eborn said.
"For a lot of years it was a quiet park. This (skate park) definitely brought a few more people, some bad language and a few who smoke cigarettes," he said.
Either way, it will be up to city leaders to decide whether the park stays or goes, Eborn said. But the chief added, "If my kids were of skateboard age, I would not be afraid to tell them to go skateboard at that park," he said.
If the skate park were to be relocated it could cost taxpayers about $50,000 in engineering and construction cost, Bangerter said. If the skate park is closed, there is the concern youth now using the park will go back to skateboarding on church, school or other private properties, Bangerter said.
With over seven years of use, the skate park has proven to be a resource, with no major issues outside "a little litter and occasional smoking," Bangerter said. "Are there issues? Of course. But we have worse issues in our schools. We don't close them."
Contact reporter Bryon Saxton at 801-625-4244 or email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter at @BryonSaxton.