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City makes sundown park closure official with Tuesday vote

Oct 3, 2012 - From staff reports

The Riverton City Council passed its final vote Tuesday to close local parks after sundown every evening.

The new ordinance defines sundown as "those hours of darkness after the sun is fully set and the only lighting in the park is from the moon or artificial light."

Until Tuesday, all city parks were open between 6 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Riverton Police Department chief Mike Broadhead said closing parks at sundown instead should help alleviate crime in Riverton.

"The idea is just to have one more tool to prevent vandalism and crime occurring in our parks after hours of darkness," he said.

Sanctioned athletic activities on lighted fields are not included in the proposed ordinance, which states that it would be "unlawful for any person or persons, other than city personnel conducting city business, to occupy or be present in any park during any hours in which the park is not open."

Councilman Lars Baker asked whether the ordinance would cover sidewalks that line most city parks, pointing specifically to the sidewalk that cuts through the middle of City Park on Federal Boulevard.

Broadhead said sidewalks along roadways would not be included in the ordinance, but the sidewalk through City Park does count as park property.

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