Skate park closed before it opens

City manager wants taggers to clean up own graffiti

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK | News-Telegram Managing Editor

Nov 1, 2007 - This Halloween night trick was not a treat for skateboarders in Sulphur Springs.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

Paula Hammond with Venture Crew 69 helps prepare the Haunted Woods of Arbala to give those who are brave enough to enter a haunting thrill this weekend.

City Manager Marc Maxwell said today that someone "redecorated" the skate park with graffiti over Halloween night, and he's shutting the spot down until someone cleans it up — and he doesn't mean city workers.

"It's not officially open, but there have been skaters there every night for about the last two weeks," Maxwell said today.

Expect a police officer on duty at the skate park, Maxwell said, and no one will be let in unless they are willing to help clean up the park.

"We expect them to show up with paint thinner and scrub brushes and clean it up," he said.

To that end, 

Almost two years ago today, Sulphur Springs City Council members voted to spend $100,000 toward the construction of a skate park on the site of the old tennis courts in Buford Park.

Parents of the skateboarders who appealed to the council for the park said that youths were forced to go to cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to find skate parks, and a similar park in Sulphur Springs would take skateboarders off streets, sidewalks and parking lots.

Work began in August 2006, and the park was recently finished enough that skaters began using it.

Maxwell said he hopes to see that those people who use the skate park will also help police it — and that includes making sure it gets cleaned up.

"They kid of decorated the place with pumpkins," Maxwell said. But there were also eggs thrown, and graffiti as spray-painted on the facility.

"It's nothing vulgar — but the taxpayers spent $100,000 so kids could have a place to skate," he said.

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