10:19 AM AKST, January 9, 2013
Skateboarding in Uptown Martinsville could soon be illegal.
City council wants to ban the sport on public and private property because of damage.
Skateboarders like Andrew Fulcher don't like the idea.
"I don't particularly like parks. My history is in street skating, I like street skating so much better," Fulcher said.
Martinsville City Councilman Mark Stroud disagrees.
"Shameful," Stroud said. "They're grinding on the edge of this monument to the AmVets Post 35."
Videos posted on YouTube explain his concern - skateboarders and bikers doing tricks with local landmarks in the background.
"One of the biggest problems is the disregard for other people's property," Stroud said.
It looks cool, but leaves costly damage.
The owner of the newly refurbished former Henry County courthouse in Uptown Martinsville spent more than $1,000 on repairs to scrapes on hand rails and steps.
Because of the damage, city council is proposing a skateboarding ban.
It doesn't allow skateboarding on sidewalks or on public or privately owned business properties in the business district.
A current ordinance doesn't allow anyone 14 or older to skateboard on sidewalks.
Stroud says it's not enforced.
"We have a civil penalty of $50 in place. That wouldn't take the officer very much time, it's like a parking ticket," Stroud said.
Skateboarders don't believe their tricks should be council's priority.
"Honestly I don't think it's that big of a deal because there's a lot bigger problems than just skateboarding that could be handled," Fulcher said.
Councilmen Stroud stressed not all skateboarders are causing problems or damaging property.
He is inviting all skateboarders to speak during public comment at city council's meeting in two weeks.
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