Skaters vandalizing Bloch Park

Published 11:36 pm Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SELMA — A few destructive skateboarders may make life miserable for the rest of the people who use the facility at Bloch Park.

Selma Recreation Department Director Elton Reece said some skaters have destroyed park property and exhibited poor behavior at the skate park.

Reece talked about the behavior of some skaters with the Selma City Council Recreation Committee on Tuesday.

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The recreation director said when he tells some of the skateboarders they can’t do something or that they have violated the rules, they make obscene gestures and use foul language.

Older teenagers come to skate and hang out at the facility in the afternoon, driving the younger children away.

Additionally, Reece’s crew has to clean up after the rowdy skaters have left, leaving a trail of beer cans and bottles on the tennis courts nearby.

Reece said he believes some of the skaters have taken bolt cutters and broken into the tennis court to turn on lights

A rowdy crowd shows up about 6 p.m. and sometimes stays until 1 a.m., Reece said.

“They’re not skating,” he said. “They skate for awhile, then they quit.”

Two council members, the Rev. Dr. Cecil Williamson of Ward 1 and Susan Keith of Ward 2, said they would vote to close down the park if behavior didn’t improve.

Selma Mayor George Evans said several people had talked to him about the issue at the skate park.

“Let coach Reece and I take a look at it before you make a decision,” Evans asked of the two council members.

The skate park was constructed in 2007, a year after the city council approved a measure to spend $60,000 in each of three phases to create the facility.