New skatepark closed after theft of metal picnic table

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JUNCTION CITY, Ore. - Skateboarder Josh Simpson lives 5 blocks from Junction City Skatepark but drove 9 miles to Emerald Park in Eugene to skate because he knew that park would be open.

"I just don't have time to maybe gamble on getting to skate at Junction City," he said.

Notices posted at the Junction City Skatepark said the facility is closed because a metal picnic table was stolen.

The park opened last October.

There is a chain wrapped around the gate and closure notices posted around the park.

The notices say the park will reopen on September 8.

Efforts to reach a Junction City representative for comment were unsuccessful Thursday.

Simpson said the skatepark has had other problems, including sprinklers that flood the park and make it unsafe to use in the mornings. He said he emailed the city about his concerns.

"Didn't get a response at all, so I resent it," he said. "Just a couple days ago, still haven't heard back. It's been about 10 days now."

Simpson thinks the best way to improve the park is for the community to take pride in the facility.

"It's for the kids, the adults," he said. "You know, grandma can bring the kids down here, sit on the bench and watch them skate. They do it all the time."