The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Neighborhoods Conneaut

June 22, 2014

Conneaut’s controversial skate park heads across state line

CONNEAUT — Pieces of Conneaut’s controversial skate park will find a new home in the Keystone State, according to City Manager Tim Eggleston.

A Pennsylvania man will pay $1,000 to haul away the park’s ramps and rails. He was the only bidder on the equipment when it was offered at auction a few weeks ago, officials said.

City Hall is trying to find out when the new owner will make payment and also arrive to pick up his purchases, Eggleston said. “(The successful bidder) lives a five hour drive from here,” he said.

The gear will probably need to be disassembled prior to transport, Eggleston said.

Once the equipment is gone, the city will remove the fence that surrounds the park and prepare to convert the space into basketball courts, Eggleston said. A heavy, security turnstile that guarded the entrance to the park has been removed and has been donated to the Conneaut Area City Schools district, officials have said.

The park has had a controversial history since it was built at the east end of Jefferson Street in 2003 on property acquired by the city to build the Broad Street underpass. Misuse had been a problem over the years and led to the park being closed at intervals.

Within the past few years, city leaders have become concerned with reports of criminal activity in and around the park. A vacant house immediately west of the park didn’t help, serving as a haven for people up to no good.

Last fall, the administration — at the urging of City Council — closed the park when problems persisted. Earlier this year, council decided to make the shut-down permanent, saying the park has been a persistent headache.

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