Ollie over the lawWednesday’s groundbreaking on a concrete skate park in Dickinson was timed perfectly — officials asked officers Tuesday to keep skateboarders off of the Stark County Courthouse property.
Wednesday’s groundbreaking on a concrete skate park in Dickinson was timed perfectly — officials asked officers Tuesday to keep skateboarders off of the Stark County Courthouse property.
“We are just asking for more patrol from law enforcement,” said Ken Zander, Stark County commissioner.
Though the courthouse is public property, those caught skateboarding, rollerblading or doing anything that may cause destruction to the property can face criminal charges, said Tom Henning, Stark County state’s attorney.
However, skateboarders and others who use Courthouse property in a way deemed improper without damaging it will likely just be shooed away.
“The point is we’re trying to be a good neighbor to the young people that are skateboarding and we don’t want to make a major issue with having to write citations and arrest people for this activity,” Zander said.
Signs are posted on the property, Zander said, adding the biggest problem is after 5 p.m. and on weekends.
During a Stark County Commission meeting Tuesday, Henning pointed out the issue could stem from the lack of a skate park in Dickinson.
“The skateboarders are really kind of looking for something to use and the steps and the other things are attractive to them,” Henning said.
Dickinson Parks and Recreation demolished its skate park in south Dickinson in 2008 due to vandalism, said James Kramer, Parks and Recreation director.
Boarder Gavin Weiand, 20, said he was “a little mad” when the park was demolished.
“I think they need something better than what they had,” he said.
Weiand said he’s seen young people skating at the Courthouse and can relate to those who get in trouble for it. He also got kicked off the property of the Courthouse in Hettinger for skateboarding when he was younger.
“They just don’t want to get anybody to get hurt, I guess,” Weiand said.
Zander and Henning said the possibility of injury is one reason the activity isn’t allowed.
“It’s not a playground, it’s not entitled for that purpose,” Henning said. “It’s unsafe to be used in that fashion that we see it used, as far as being a playground facility. We don’t want the damage and we certainly don’t want somebody injured on our property because they used it improperly.”
Kramer said the skate park will be finished by the end of October.
“The biggest difference between the two features is the new one will be 100 percent poured in place concrete, whereas the old features were steel, above ground features,” Kramer said.
A concrete half pipe would send the project over budget, so the metal half pipe from the old park may be rebuilt, Kramer said.
Weiand will likely dust off his skateboard and use the park when it’s finished saying, “it’s good exercise.”