The city of Hillsboro released a statement this week forbidding skateboards and bicycles on or around the recently-installed fountain in front of Highland County Courthouse Square. “This area will be enforced, and violators will be prosecuted,” the city said in a Facebook post.
“There’s been actually a lot of damage already to the fountain, from either skateboards or bikes. There are black marks and chunks actually taken out of the concrete on the fountain,” Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott said.
However, the city already had an ordinance in place that forbids skateboards and rollerblades in uptown Hillsboro.
According to ordinance 132.19, skateboards and rollerblades are not permitted on the sidewalks, streets or alleyways in the historic uptown district of Hillsboro, which the ordinance defines as “the four-block uptown area divided by High Street and by Main Street.”
The ordinance later reads, “Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor, and the skateboard is declared a nuisance and is contraband.”
According to the city of Hillsboro, the penalty for such a misdemeanor could include “a fine of not more than $500, imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.”
“We didn’t want to prohibit bicycles from the historic district — I know people are passing through and wanting to ride their bikes uptown. We just want to prohibit damage to the fountain itself,” Abbott said. “A very generous family donated this fountain, and it’s a beautiful addition to uptown Hillsboro. To see it damaged and vandalized is upsetting, and we need to do what we can to protect it.”
Abbott added that city officials are discussing installing a pump track for bikes, rollerblades and skateboards at the Railroad St. Park where the basketball courts are currently located.
“We want to listen to the citizens and give everyone an outlet to enjoy whatever they want to do,” Abbott said. “We just don’t want that outlet to damage our uptown fountain.”
For more information, visit www.hillsboroohio.net.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.