JUNCTION CITY, Ore. — A popular skate park in Junction City has re-opened after someone swiped a picnic table late in August.
Neighbors say since this skate park was built in Junction City, they’re seeing disturbances they didn’t see before. With the latest theft of a picnic table, those same neighbors say they’re not surprised.
“I’ve lived in this house for over 50 years,” said Junction City resident Michael Plumlee.
Michael Plumlee has seen this park before the Junction City Skate Park was built. After it was put in, Plumlee says his neighborhood hasn’t been the same.
“Well, the kids hang out in the intersection here, and they never use to do that. Late at night, you’ve got to go out and tell them to leave,” Plumlee said.
His neighbor has a view of the park out of his front window, and he says they’ve both had to police the park.
“My and my neighbor have been going over there and chasing people out at dusk, telling them the park’s closed and they can’t be in there. We’ve done clean up over there until two in the morning and chasing people out,” said Junction City resident Monty Cook.
Both say this behavior has been going on for a while, and with the picnic table stolen, it just adds to the vandalism that’s already existed.
“We’ve never had anything like that happen here. We’ve always had the picnic tables in the gazebo and even out around the gazebo, and none of them come up missing,” Cook said.
“No, I’m not surprised. They’ve tore up everything else over there,” Plumlee said.
After the table went missing on Aug. 26th, city administrators posted signs asking for it to be returned or the park would be shut down. It was never returned, and the park was closed for five days.
City Administrator Melissa Bowers says vandalism has toned down in the park since the incident. Whether the table will be replaced or not is still undecided because of a tight park budget.
“Kids are kids. Don’t get me wrong. It’s good for the kids, but treat it good. Don’t tear it up,” Plumlee said.
The city says anyone with information about the stolen picnic table should call city hall or Junction City Police.