Pasco spends big to fix Memorial Park

Pasco spends big to fix Memorial Park
PASCO, Wash. -- In an attempt to clean up the area around Memorial park -- Pasco is spending 100 grand to fight homelessness and graffiti.

The decades old park shelter has become a nuisance in Memorial Park in Pasco.

It's a popular spot for families by day -- while vandals have their way by night.

"They might as well, as I see it, tear down everything. Have everything open, or have places for them to go," says Christine Clark.

She lives near Memorial Park.

She says it's not just kids vandalizing the park shelter that makes her uneasy.

"Mainly during the summer, it's the homeless people. This summer there were a couple and they actually had a lot of stuff with them," she added.

Pasco Police tell me they're called out here several times a month.
It's why Pasco plans to spend 100 thousand dollars to knock down dilapidated walls and remodel the structure altogether.

They hope the end result will look more like the one over at Kurtzman Park.

"This will open it up so it's easily viewed, the police can watch and then our parks staff can keep an eye on things much easier without the walls there," says Pasco Parks and Recreation Director Rick Terway.

But Christine is worried vandals will just find other places to hide, like the park bathrooms.

Reporter: "Talking to some of the neighbors, they're saying if the walls come down on the shelter, people might just use the bathrooms to hide in. Is that something you guys have taken into consideration?"

Rick Terway: "There's only so much we can do. There's always trees to hide behind, there's-- again, there's only so much we can do."

Christine hopes this is the start of Pasco working more to target at-risk youth.

"They need to have more places for the kids to go and stay out of trouble," she says.

And hopefully this park can eventually be one of them.

Pasco says remodeling the structure alone will cost between 40 and 50 thousand dollars.

The rest will be on pathways. Pasco says it's time to retrofit parks on the east side after spending a lot of resources on the west end of town.