FRUIT HEIGHTS -- Castle Heights Park is only six years old, but it's already suffering from disrepair and graffiti issues as the city grapples to get control of the situation.
The popular park on Nicholls Road is closed to the public for the next two to three weeks as crews do major reconstruction on the park structures to make sure it is safe for continued use.
When the park was built, the city was told it would last for at least 20 years if it is well-maintained, said Mayor Todd Stevenson.
The park was built with low-maintenance material, officials said. However, because of recent crimes committed by low-profile criminals, the park seems to be falling into disrepair quickly.
Recently, a teen suffered injuries at the park after falling on his head while attempting a back flip off one of the park structures.
The teen's attempt also resulted in a broken piece of the castle structure, said City Manager Brandon Green.
Ted Parry, Fruit Heights parks and recreation manager, said the park is being overused.
"I don't think the mayor or city council understood the impact the park would have and the amount of people that come to the park," he said. "It's just not big enough to accommodate all of the use it's getting."
In addition to the damage being done to its structures, the park also has been plagued with graffiti. It has become apparent to the city council that something more needs to be done, such as security cameras and additional lighting.
Councilwoman Kris Christensen said current lighting in the park seems inadequate.
"Teens are trying to destroy the park, so maybe we need to sink more money into it, since it's a very popular park, with people coming all the way from Brigham City," she said.
The Davis County Sheriff's Office has seen a resurgence of problems at the park in the past few years, said Gang Unit Deputy Jamie Embley, who supports the solutions Fruit Heights is considering.
Security cameras could help criminals know the city is watching and would be cost-effective over the years.
"We've lost a lot of money at the park, more than what a security camera would cost," said Councilman Mike Anderson.
In addition, extra lighting may help people driving by see what is going on, and they can call if they see anything unusual.
"The public is our best thing for that, because we can't be there at all times," Embley said.
With the recent graffiti issues, council members are concerned for their residents.
"I had to teach my boy some new words not to say," said Anderson, who visited the park shortly after a graffiti incident.
The city works hard to get graffiti cleaned up as quickly as possible by contracting with the juvenile court graffiti-removal center.
"The faster you get it painted over, the better chances for few occurrences," Embley said.
Council members also talked about whether the park's curfew, now set at 10 p.m., should be altered. Currently, the curfew is strictly enforced, with officers passing by the park regularly, said Davis County Sheriff's Detective Greg Spring.
The city recently set up a parks planning commission to study the city's parks.
Plans for Castle Heights Park include cleaning up the gully behind the park and adding walking trails.