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Parents and kids frustrated over temporary closure of skateparks

Michael Lopardi

Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Parents and kids frustrated over temporary closure of skateparks

CREATED Dec. 31, 2013

Henderson, NV (KTNV) -- Parents and kids are frustrated over the temporary closing of two skateparks in Henderson.

The city said vandals damaged equipment at Morrell Park on Harris Street and Tuscany Park off Galleria Drive. Riders want to know what's taking so long to get the parks fixed.

"We can't ride," said Zach Stillings, 15, who uses a scooter. "Every other park is too far away."

Stillings is part of a group of neighborhood kids who ride at Morrell. Now, they're forced to roll elsewhere.

"We would just ride the streets but we're not allowed to do that," Stillings said.

The city closed the Morrell skatepark about six weeks ago for safety reasons: a damaged ramp. The riders said it was an accident; the city blames vandals. Either way, park users said they're tired of waiting for repairs and parents said the kids are now riding in washes and downtown streets. 

"I want him to have a safe place to ride," said parent Kristin Putinta, whose son uses the park.

At Tuscany Park, the skatepark entrances are chained. The city said vandals stole boards in early November. The rest of the park is open.

Parents said the skateparks offer the kids a safe place to play and keep them from playing on city streets.

"When they don't have things to do is when they start causing problems," Putinta said.

So what's taking so long?

Replacement parts can take between four and six weeks to arrive, city spokeswoman Kim Becker said in an email to Action News. In the meantime, the two parks stay closed for the safety of riders. Becker said replacement parts arrived on Monday.

"Please open the park for the kids to have somewhere to play," Putinta said. "That's all we're asking."

Becker called the damage unfortunate because it impacts people who follow the rules. Repairs to both parks are expected to total around $1,000 and should be finished by the end of next week, she said. In the meantime, the four other skateparks in Henderson are open. 

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