Our View: Keep your skate park, Sunset

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 9:09 AM

Editorial Board, Standard-Examiner

Sunset city leaders would be well advised to leave the city’s concrete ramp skate park alone. It’s a big positive for the city, as a place where youths can gather and spend time in a fun, recreational activity.

The city’s outgoing mayor, Chad Bangerter, worries that the next city administration may be less inclined to view the park favorably. We urge incoming Sunset Mayor Beverly Macfarlane, as well as council newcomers Chris R. Hadley and Trystal Peay, to express support for the skate park.

There have been some alleged misdemeanor activities, according to Sunset Police Chief Ken Eborn. Over the course of nine-plus months last year, there were six incidents that merited a response from police.

Frankly, though, that’s not a bad record for the park, at 250 W. 2300 North. It serves as a magnet for youth in the community. Six misdemeanor calls over nine-plus months indicates there is certainly no reason to close the skate park.

In fact, if the city decided to ditch or severely restrict the park, it would provide area youth one fewer safe, fun place to get together, be with friends, and exercise. We think there’s a good chance that the loss of the park would likely lead to more misdemeanor mischief in the community.

However, Sunset residents’ concern about the skate park should also be respected and responded to. There are certainly security measures that can be implemented to make the park safer and more secure. One idea, from Councilman Ryan Furniss, to place electronic surveillance around the skate park as a means to deter crime, should be seriously considered.

Sunset has a skate park for youths — one that cost $100,000-plus, according to Bangerter — that it can take pride in. It needs to remain a significant part of the city.

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