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