By Mark Squibb | Nov. 26
The same rowdy behaviour that sparked Bay Roberts council to hire two security guards to patrol the Wilbur Sparkes Complex in the evenings to curb vandalism and bad behaviour on a two-week trail basis back in August once again sparked discussion at council last month.
Councillor Geoff Seymour broached the issue during the October 13 meeting.
“I’ve had several calls from people. People, in the afternoon, won’t take young kids up there anymore. The behaviour of the teenagers up there in the afternoon is absolutely atrocious; openly smoking marijuana in a public space, swearing, and fighting. That complex was put there for young families, and not this kind of behaviour. So, I don’t know what options are available to us, if we can have our enforcement officer go by in the afternoon or call the RCMP and ask them do to some swing by’s in the afternoon, but it’s certainly not an ideal situation up there now,” said Seymour, who added that he had spoken with Sports and Recreation Director Ian Flynn, who had heard similar complaints.
Councillor Dean Franey said he had heard from a business owner near the complex who had similar issues.
“It’s probably the same crowd, in all honesty,” said Franey.
Councillor Frank Deering said most of the activity seems to congregate around the skatepark.
“When I went down there this evening around 5:30, there was at least 50 (young people) sat next to the washrooms,” said Deering.
“We even moved the skatepark away from in on the back and out near the road so it would be out in a more visible area,” said Franey.
Seymour said he had also heard that vandalism in the washrooms was a major concern.
Council voted to address the concerns to Director Flynn and Director of Protective Services Justin Parsons.
Mayor Phillip Wood said that it may be necessary to have the enforcement officer and RCMP patrol the area.
“I know the RCMP have been doing checks, because I was there Saturday or Sunday and there were at least two cars that drove by,” said Wood.
Back in August, Flynn told The Shoreline that vandals had damaged an electrical box alongside a washroom, and had even driven an ATV through the skatepark.
The facility, named after a former mayor, features two ball fields, a soccer field, a ball hockey court, a splash pad, playground and more.