Basketball goals, cameras to go up in Columbian Park

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Graffiti, fights and bad language brought down the pair of basketball goals in Columbian Park last summer. Now, almost a year later city officials are ready to put them back up.

“We’ve lived here 29 years and we had never had a problem until last summer,” resident Naomia Selleck said.

It’s been almost one year since two basketball goals in Columbian Park were taken down after neighbors voiced their concern about foul language, fights and graffiti in the area. Some neighbors said they’re glad they came down, while others said they didn’t notice a problem.

“I’ve never really had any concerns about violence in the park, because I’ve lived here my whole life actually on the same street. So, I thought it was kind of ridiculous in my opinion,” resident Alexa VanDeventer said.

“There was probably a week span where the cops were there every single night, so yeah it was not good,” Selleck said.

In about a month, the goals will be back. However, Mayor Tony Roswarski said before the goals go up, cameras will. He said the fiber is already installed. Cameras will face the basketball court, the shelters and the Jenks’ Rest parking lot.

“Probably have those in within, I think, less than 30 days. They will all be in, and then at that point we’d probably start with putting one goal up then see how that goes, and then put the second goal up then if things look like it’s going well. I think within the next 30 days we’ll probably have them up,” Roswarski said.

After a year of no basketball at the park, Roswarski said he hopes it sent a message.

“We’re hoping that everybody, that the young folks, have learned their lesson, and they know that this is serious,” Roswarski said. “That we’re not going to allow that type of behavior to take place.”

However, some people near the park are on the fence about whether or not they’d like to see the goals go back up.

“I would rather they didn’t put them back up,” Selleck said. “Especially, if it’s going to cause the problem we had last summer. We just don’t see the problems over there anymore, so it’s been a big difference.”

“A lot of kids like to play basketball and the other ones are probably far away, so I would say do it,” VanDeventer said. “There are a lot of kids in the area.”

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