The Ukiah Daily Journal
VANDALS DAMAGE SKATE PARK FACILITIES
City addressing unwanted activities in local parks
The bathrooms at the Ukiah Skate Park were closed for at least a week this month after a porcelain sink was “shattered” in the latest incidence of vandalism to facilities at the popular city park.
The Ukiah Police Department responded to Low Gap Park around 7:20 a.m. Feb. 9 when the vandalism to one of the sinks was reported, and Community Services Supervisor Jake Burgess said that both the men's and women's restrooms were then closed to allow for repairs, as well as for “self-policing” to occur.
To show that the vandalism was “not just someone writing on the walls with a Sharpie,” Burgess said photos of the damage were also posted on the bathroom doors.
When asked how the city was attempting to combat the vandalism, and if it had considered posted cameras outside the bathrooms to record suspects, Burgess said at this time, the city is not considering installing surveillance, but is asking other park users to report any vandalism, or other inappropriate activities, they witness.
“That helped curtail activities in another park,” said Burgess, explaining that when a user of Riverside Park at the end of East Gobbi Street called the UPD earlier this winter to report that people were using Airsoft rifles inside the park, officers responded to explain that such activity was not allowed inside a city park.
“And we were able to make and put up signs alerting other users,” he said, explaining that while such activities are “really most suited to private property,” he did say that it might be possible for certain similar activities to be held in the future “if we are notified ahead of time, and can section off areas, such as at the softball fields. But it is really not appropriate to be (shooting Airsoft rifles) at a park where people are walking their dogs and birdwatching.”
Burgess reported that he was also inspecting the inside of the skate park Thursday to evaluate the cracking in some of the concrete.
“It's 13 years old, so that is to be expected, but we want to make sure that it's around for another 13 years,” he said, explaining that much of the cracking is due to the elements, such as the sun and cold.