Skate park could be open this week


Of­fi­cials with the Town of Bay Roberts an­tic­i­pate the clo­sure of the new skate­board and BMX park could be end­ing as early as this week.

Recre­ation di­rec­tor Ian Flynn be­lieves the park could be re­opened ei­ther Mon­day or Tues­day of this week.

In the mean­time, a sign that reads “Tem­po­rar­ily Closed” has been erected at the en­trance to the two-week old park. A thick me­tal chain and a pad­lock have also been placed around the en­trance, bar­ring peo­ple from us­ing the fa­cil­ity.

The park, lo­cated at the Wil­bur Sparkes Recre­ation Com­plex, was closed last week af­ter the town found var­i­ous pieces of drug para­pher­na­lia on the site.

Mayor Philip Wood said the town had re­ceived re­ports of sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity tak­ing place at the park from con­cerned cit­i­zens.

“Bot­tom l ine is with those re­ports, be­cause it has been so hugely pop­u­lar and, for us we want to pro­tect the safety of all, we said that we would shut (the park) down,” he told The Com­pass dur­ing an in­ter­view at the site. “We have cam­eras or­dered, we’ve con­tacted the (Trin­ity Con­cep­tion) RCMP, along with our mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of f icer and asked them to do some more reg­u­lar checks.”

The town has or­dered three cam­eras to be placed on the site and the prompt ac­tion is sim­i­lar to what the town did when a large cache of used nee­dles turned up at the Bay Arena.

“Where we have so many young peo­ple who may not know what drug para­pher­na­lia are, we can’t take any chances by hav­ing them pick up a nee­dle by ac­ci­dent and stab­bing them­selves,” said Wood.

Flynn said it is im­por­tant that chil­dren feel safe and par­ents feel safe drop­ping their chil­dren off at the fa­cil­ity.

“That’s why it’s here. It’s not tucked away in the mid­dle of nowhere, it’s on our main re­cre- ation site for that rea­son,” he said.

The park was only open for two weeks be­fore the shut­down oc­curred and was widely pop­u­lar with the young peo­ple of the com­mu­nity.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate that five per cent of the pop­u­la­tion is go­ing to ruin it for the other 95 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion,” said Flynn, frus­tra­tion ris­ing in his voice. “Our goal is to pro­tect that 95 per cent.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate that af­ter two weeks we have to shut it down, but if we have to con­sis­tently do this, we will con­sis­tently do this. My job is to de­ter that five per cent from com­ing back.”

It is not only skate park users who are af­fected by the shut­down. Any part ies wish­ing to use the ball hockey court or bas­ket­ball courts will not be able to.

How­ever, the ten­nis courts nextdoor re­main open.

Both Flynn and Wood are frus­trated with the forced shut­down.

“We put a lot of en­ergy (into the park). We put a lot of time, and not count­ing dollars, but this is only the start (of the park),” said Wood, point­ing to the rest of the fa­cil­ity which is avail­able for ex­pan­sion. “We can ex­pand this.” The park cost the town some $70,000. The town has al­ready been con­grat­u­lated for the swift ac­tion it has taken with the park by par­ents.

Photo by Nicholas Mercer/the Com­pass

Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood is shown at the new skate­board and BMX park at the Wil­bur Sparkes Recre­ation Com­plex in Bay Roberts. The town was forced to close the park af­ter drug para­pher­na­lia was found at the fa­cil­ity on June 12. It is ex­pected to re-open early this week.

Photo by Nicholas Mercer/the Com­pass

This sign is posted at the skate­board and BMX park in Bay Roberts.

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