Submitted by Howard B. Owens on January 23, 2014 - 8:21pm
To you, it probably just looks like a picture of a vacant lot with a piles of snow at the far end, but to Joseph Barclay Jr. it is -- or was -- a skate park.
Barclay asked on Facebook if The Batavian would look into why the city's skate park off Evans Street, behind the Falleti Ice Arena, disappeared.
Today, City Manager Jason Molino said the skate park had become a problem and it's future is uncertain.
"The park keeps getting vandalized and we were just putting good money after bad," Molino said.
In the fall, when city workers went to remove a couple of damaged ramps, they found drug paraphernalia and hypodermic instruments inside the equipment.
At that point, officials decided to remove the skate park all together. Molino said the city will decide what to do with it in the spring.
Barclay thinks he and his skating friends need a place to roll.
"I know all the BMXers, skateboarders and rollerbladers plan on using the streets again if the park isn't returned to us," Barclay said. "We should have a place where we can do our sports where we won't be in danger. Instead they take it away from us. It makes us use the streets again putting people and kids in danger of getting hit by cars."
Molino said he's aware there are a few users of the park, but Chief of Police Shawn Heubusch is concerned about the location on Evans, Molino said. Tucked behind the ice arena, it's not easily visible to people, which perhaps gives some visitors to the park the idea that it's a good place for illegal activity.
Vandalism in all of the city parks has become an increasing problem, Molino said. Water fountains, bathroom fixtures, tennis courts and nets, ball fields and basketball hoops have been regularly targeted by vandals, Molino said.
"It's a constant problem that we're trying to deal with in our parks," Molino said.