Litter and lewd graffiti at a West Dundee skate park -- some with satanic leanings -- have prompted Dundee Township Park District officials to consider installing cameras to monitor all activity there.
It's either that or closing the skate park until further notice, authorities said, emphasizing that this would be a last resort.
Contact information ( * required )
"If we got to that point, we would have to determine what would be the reason why we would close it ... and after opening it, what behavior would be unacceptable," Deputy Park Director Don Kappel said. "It's a shame. It's a nice facility and it's a shame these behaviors are going on."
Officials are expected to make a decision within the next two weeks.
The popular skate park, located within Huffman Park, has been open since 2009. Officials have reported three cases of graffiti to police this year that took place March 15, March 21 and March 31. Kappel said most of the images were displayed on the skating ramps and included pictures, foul language, a star with a circle around it and the number "666."
All told, the graffiti cost between $500 and $800 in both damage and staff time spent trying to remove it. Staff didn't fully eliminate all the images because there was concern that the chemicals could damage the equipment.
Graffiti has plagued the police-patrolled park in the past, "but not to the degree that we experienced it this spring," Park Director Tom Mammoser said.
As for the littering issue, authorities have thought about putting up signs up in the park that let users know the practice is unacceptable.
While some local skaters agree with the district's suggestions, others say authorities are going overboard. Casey Wind, 18, of Algonquin, said the non-offensive graffiti adds character to the skate park.
"Skating has always been an outcast kind of sport ... an artistic kind of sport," he said.
Moreover, closing the park would be a bad move on the village's part, because skaters would take their boards back to the streets, said Alex Schoeneck, 17, of Algonquin.
But Ivan Arline, 17, of West Dundee, sided with the park district.
"If they want to catch the person, I don't think (cameras) would be extreme," Ivan said.