Skate park causing problems
by Jennifer Cohron
Mar 27, 2014 | 3368 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Residents of Cordova are complaining to city officials about inappropriate behavior at the skate park, which is near a playground and two ballfields. Daily Mountain Eagle — Jennifer Cohron
Residents of Cordova are complaining to city officials about inappropriate behavior at the skate park, which is near a playground and two ballfields. Daily Mountain Eagle — Jennifer Cohron
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Members of the Cordova City Council discussed a variety of complaints that have been received about the local skate park during Tuesday night’s meeting.

The skate park is located near downtown next to two ballfields that were rebuilt after the April 27, 2011, tornadoes and a new playground that opened in September 2012.

The most frequently reported problem is foul language being used while games are in progress and small children are in the area.

“I don’t know if it’s a proximity issue of older kids and younger kids. The police go down there and patrol, but they can’t sit there and babysit all day long,” council member Luaren Vance said.

In addition, the skaters are suspected of using pieces of the $25,000 playground equipment as ramps, which is causing visible damage.

“That playground is a little over a year old, but it looks like it has been there for a while,” Vance said.

Police chief Nick Smith said he has been notified several times of skaters being at the park at night. He suggested closing the area after hours.

Mayor pro tem Ed Earp reminded council members that many of the same issues about the skate park were discussed in another meeting several months ago.

“Those kids that are down there are not being respectful of what’s going on around them,” Earp said.

Mayor Drew Gilbert said there is a possibility that the skate park could be moved to the old mill site.

“It would isolate them a little bit more, and they would probably appreciate it because they would have more room to skate. They’re kind of boxed in now, and I think that’s why they’re venturing over to the playground,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert also instructed Smith to begin enforcing a curfew of sundown at the skate park.

In other action, the council

• learned that construction on the grocery store is set to begin Tuesday, April 1.

• appointed Vance to the Cordova Water and Gas Board.

• voted to make a $500 donation to the Walker County Children’s Advocacy Center. Gilbert agreed to provide an additional $100 from the mayor’s fund.

• agreed to run advertisements for two more weeks on a 1998 Ford F-150 that was recently declared to be surplus property.