Vandalism prompts city to close Blaine Skate Park
After mounting problems with vandalism and maintenance issues, the city of Blaine has closed the Blaine Skate Park, city manager Gary Tomsic said.
The move comes after an individual threw an object, breaking the window of a parked sport utility vehicle (SUV) near the park on Tuesday afternoon.
“This is the latest in a series of acts of vandalism that has occurred to the skate park and around the skate park over the past year,” he said. “(Some of) the skaters are not respecting the facility and the tremendous about of volunteer effort that went into building it. There is trash everywhere, the users are damaging the park and now there has been vandalism occurring against the property of others.”
In a regular meeting of Blaine City Council Monday, Andrew Ryser, a Blaine resident and president of the Blaine Extreme Sports Club (BESC), the non-profit group that organized labor and resources to build the park, told council members he has also witnessed acts of vandalism such as a half-full garbage can recently thrown into his work area. He added that the park has become a place where parents drop their children off and is in need of more supervision.
“The place is turning into a free day care,” he said. “Little League parents are out watching their children play baseball but here the kids just get dropped off.”
Tomsic added that although the city wants to support the skate park, it does not have the resources to provide the necessary routine supervision and maintenance. He said the city has scheduled a special meeting of the to discuss the problem at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 19 in the council chambers.