GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Due to safety concerns, the City of Grants Pass is temporarily closing Riverside Park.
During a Wednesday night city council meeting, City Manager Aaron Cubic said, “Considering the recent homicide and increased incidents of risk to public health and safety in Riverside Park, the City of Grant Pass will close Riverside Park to all members of the public for approximately one month. Boatnik will continue as scheduled.”
The park closure will reportedly go into effect on Wednesday, May 24. After Boatnik is over, Riverside Park will close again through Thursday, June 22.
Cubic said the closure will give the city an opportunity to spruce up the park. It will also give the council time to adopt new “conduct, time, place, and manner regulations” that will go into effect through an emergency clause when the park reopens.
According to Cubic, the code changes will allow the public safety department to enforce conduct issues associated with the park.
“This is not a decision that is made lightly,” Cubic said. “But it is something we believe is important to maintain the health, safety, and welfare of all park users.”
The city explained while the recent homicide was an extreme example of the threat to public safety, it’s not the only issue police have been dealing with. “They have responded to incidents of harassment, theft, criminal damage and vandalism, drug deals, disorderly conduct, overdoses, assaults, rape, propane tank explosions, unlawful use of weapons, shootings, and now, homicide,” the city said.
Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman said public safety officials are already distributing notices to people in the park making them aware of the planned closure.
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