McDONALD, Ohio (WKBN) – The basketball courts at McDonald’s Woodland Park are currently closed for three reasons — one being drug use. City council says they’ll remain closed until further notice.
Friday, Brennah Valencia went to Woodland Park to practice her basketball skills with her father.
“Like my whole family, my brothers and my dad do it,” she said. “So I just want to do it.”
But they were disappointed — turned back by padlocks and a sign that says, ‘Closed until further notice.’
“Initially I brought the kids out here to play basketball,” Brennah’s father Norman Valencia said. “But I got out here and saw the courts were shut down. ”
They played on the tennis courts instead, but it wasn’t the same.
“Disappointing to me, because that’s my outlet — basketball,” Norman said. “As a way for me to just be in my own zone.”
The village says three things led to closing the courts.
Players were using to much profanity. And, they were leaving their trash behind. But that wasn’t all.
“When you’re finding trash and you’re finding drug paraphernalia mixed in with that, that was really the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Councilman Richard Harvey said.
Harvey said it’s a decision he hated to make, especially after council spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Woodland Park, as they completely re-did the tennis courts, the playground and the splash pad.
“This is a family community,” Harvey said. “We want to bring families here and this is the main attraction — something people can see for their kids.”
Harvey said council is talking about opening the courts for limited hours, and with police protection.
Norman Valencia says he thinks council made the right move.
“Whoever was causing the issue needs to be out,” he said. “And the ones that’s not, just keep doing what you do. I know the courts will be open soon.”