BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Staff Writer
BOUNTIFUL — Safety concerns have shut the doors on the city’s skate park, and it won’t be re-opening any time soon.
According to a risk management audit, natural wear-and-tear on the concrete and jumps has caused the skate park in Hatch Park to be unsafe for public use. Though all of the unsafe elements could be repaired, North Salt Lake City Engineer Paul Ottoson said that it’s not high on the city’s priority list.
The park will remain closed until the city decides to either make the necessary repairs or do something else with the space.
“There’s a lot going on right now, especially with budgets,” he said. “I’m not sure when we’ll get to it.”
According to Ottoson, the skate park is approximately a decade old. Unlike other skate parks, which often feature concrete bowls embedded in the earth, the North Salt Lake Skate Park is a flat plane of concrete. The elements skaters use to do tricks, including a quarter-pipe ramp, a bench, and several smaller ramps, are made of steel.
“Steel has a tendency to wear out,” he said.
Utah Local Governments Trust, the organization that insures North Salt Lake, conducts a risk assessment audit on the park every year. In the most recent audit, they found several sheared bolts on the steel structures that could injure skaters. They also found uneven surface areas that could cause accidents.
“It just hasn’t been maintained over the years,” said Ottoson. “We’re getting with the city council and seeing what they want to do about it.”
Though the city was informed of the closure at the last city council meeting, further discussion on the topic hasn’t been scheduled. According to city council member Stan Porter, the next step would be for someone to put together a cost estimate detailing how much it would cost to repair the equipment.
“We have several options,” he said. “We could replace the equipment, or we could take it out and turn it into something like a basketball court. We haven’t discussed the possibilities.”
The city’s website warns skaters not to jump the fence surrounding the skate park. The park is monitored by video surveillance.