Skate Park Vandalism Forces Closure

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The Stroudsburg skate park has been a popular spot for skaters for years.

But now it's off limits after borough officials said vandals drew several inappropriate pictures.

"Because of the graffiti that was done on the skate surface it's not appropriate for us to have the park open right now for the public to go in and use," said Borough Manager Barbara Quarantello.

"It's childish, really, it's ruining it for the rest of the kids out there," said Tim Warner of Stroudsburg.

The owner of a Stroudsburg skate shop in downtown Stroudsburg is also upset and went to borough council to offer a solution.

"We volunteered, everyone would go in to the park and clean up the mess ourselves and they would open the park for us to use," said Bobby Propst, the owner of Arrival Board Shop.

But borough officials said it isn't that easy.

"The correct way to fix it would be to use an acrylic product that would resurface it. Just for the product alone, we're looking at $3,000," said Quarantello.

The skate park has been locked up and closed since January, right after the graffiti was discovered. Borough officials said they're not sure when exactly they will reopen the park because the damage is so bad. Officials also said they just don't have the money in their budget to fix it.

Now skaters are forced to skate elsewhere, which is getting them into trouble.

"We went skating down Main Street to make our way to Dansbury Park and a cop stopped us and told us to get off our boards so we kinda feel stuck, we have no where to skate," said Warner.

Stroud Area Regional Police said an ordinance is in place, which limits where skaters can go.

That includes all of Main Street in Stroudsburg.

The reason is because of the heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

If caught, the penalties include a fine.

All skaters want is for the vandalism to stop and the park to reopen.

"All we want to do is help," said Propst.

One idea being considered is moving the skate park equipment in Stroudsburg to the skate park in East Stroudsburg. This would create one park for skaters to enjoy.

There is no definite word if that will happen.