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Vandalism, drinking parties and possible drug deals plague Park Arthur in Muskego

Nov. 20, 2012

Muskego - A new park means new problems and Park Arthur, which has barely emerged from a wild place, is no exception.

In fact, the park at W17833 College Ave. seems to have gone from being wild in one way to being wild in another.

Complaints of broken bottles from drinking parties in the back parking lot have come in to Alderman Neil Borgman all summer.

"At least every other week, I get complaints of parties back there," Borgman said.

Dog walkers don't even want to take their dogs there because of all the broken glass, he said.

He has appealed to the parks department, but the response was that the parties will die down when the park gets used more.

Borgman's somewhat skeptical. It's a little hard to imagine that park use during the day and evening would affect the drinking, he said.

"The parties start as soon as the park closes," Borgman said.

Ultimately, cameras could be mounted on a future park shelter, said Craig Anderson, parks and recreation director.

But on a more serious note, dog walkers suspect drug deals are taking place in that far parking lot in the early morning. Drivers have been seen passing things out the window to people standing at their cars, Borgman said.

Police are investigating.

Any illegal activities might have stopped for the winter because the only remaining access to the park is from Martin Drive, Borgman said. The College Avenue entrance has been closed for the winter.

Borgman suspects that the park will be less conducive to illegal activity because police will be able to corner whoever is doing it, he said.

Borgman is now pushing for the park to be closed in a meaningful manner to discourage after- and before-hours activities the rest of the year. He wants some sort of meaningful way to close the park.

Vandalism also is rearing its head at the city's newest park.

Someone drove a truck up and down the newly created sledding hill, tearing 6-inch ruts in the hillside in two places, Anderson said. Parks workers put as much ripped up turf as they could back into the ruts, he said. The hope is that the grass will take root, he said. It's too late to plant new grass.

But the ruts are off to the side of the sledding area, so the new sledding hill will be ready for its first winter, Anderson said. The cold and snow should cover the ruts for the winter.

The park also may be developing a speeding problem.

Police have received at least one report of speeding on the park road connecting College Avenue and Martin Drive, two main thoroughfares, Anderson said. Again, with the connection to College Avenue closed, speeding should not be a problem this winter, he said.

"But there has been talk of gates," he said, and even of cameras that can read license plates mounted on them.

Cost estimates on both electronic gates and simple swing gates like cattle gates will be presented to the Parks and Recreation Board on Jan. 14.

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