SUNSET -- Before the Sunset City Council decides what to do with the skate park, it will look into possible solutions to deter crime there.
The council at its meeting last week discussed the possibility of closing the skate park because of the crime, vandalism, foul language and underage smoking taking place there.
The skate park -- with ramps on a concrete pad -- is in John G. White North Park at 250 W. 2300 North.
The park became a topic of conversation after Councilman Kevin Snow requested that the council discuss in an open meeting some possible solutions to the problems at the park.
The council agreed to take a month to look at measures to curb the minor crime occurring in the park before bringing the issue back to the council as an action item in October.
Police Chief Ken Eborn said six incidents at the park have been reported this year, ranging from theft to minors smoking cigarettes. In 2012, police responded to the skate park 12 times.
Eborn said the park is not "crime-free," but if he had teenage children who did skateboard, he would not be fearful of sending them to that park.
But some residents living near the public park have complained about what they are both seeing and hearing coming from that area.
Ideas for dealing with the issues range from adding wireless security cameras to the park to starting a recreation program for beginning skateboarders and using the park to offer the instructional classes, Snow said.
Another suggestion is the possibility of temporarily closing the park when incidents do occur there, Snow said.
Councilman Jake Peterson agreed to spend a few hours at the skate park to get a better idea of what is taking place there.
The council also discussed placing a fence around the skate park, Snow said.
But Mayor Chad Bangerter opposes that idea.
"According to my research, that would be the wrong thing to do," he said.
Fencing and gating the park to control it, he said, would only create more problems with those trying to access it.
"I don't think it is out of hand," said Bangerter, who, as a member of the council years ago, encouraged the opening of such a park.
Another solution presented was to relocate the skate park to vacant property directly behind Sunset City Hall at 200 W. 1300 North, putting the park closer to the police station.
Snow said that would allow the current skate park property to be used to build a picnic bowery.
He said what concerns him is that many of the youths who attended last week's council meeting to protest the possibility of the skate park's closure were Roy residents.
Some youths from Sunset also attended the meeting, said Sunset City Recorder Sue Hale.
Of further concern, Snow said, is that the teens indicated, if the park were to close, they would just find other places in the city to skateboard, which they admitted would be more destructive to property.
Roy city does have its own "bowl" skate park, but it is in Roy West Park, which is on the city's west side, near 4500 S. 2900 West.
Contact reporter Bryon Saxton at 801-625-4244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BryonSaxton.