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Wausau cracking down on park problem people


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - Wausau city leaders took a step towards getting rid of bad behaviour in city parks. City and County Parks Director Bill Duncanson is glad to see Wausau modify their ordinance to allow for regulating people in city parks, and suspending troublemakers from the parks when necessary.

Duncanson says a lot of the problems are from a small group of people that drink too much. “Everything from passing out, getting sick in public, loud and obnoxious words being passed, fighting, urinating in public. It’s gotten to a point where something needs to be done to return the parks to the positive people in our community.”

Duncanson says the change is only the beginning, as another measure will likely be added soon. “The change in the ordinance will allow us to remove people from parks that are not behaving appropriately, using existing city ordinances. In addition, there’s going to be consideration of a public intoxication ordinance coming up in the next week.”

The Parks Director says they have noticed a relatively small group of about twenty individuals that seem to be involved in most of the park’s incidents, so they didn’t want to drastically change what you can and cannot bring into parks. “We didn’t want to go overboard and ban alcohol for everybody. Instead, we’re looking to use our existing ordinances, refine them, review them, and make them applicable so we can deal with the individuals that are misbehaving.”

The ordinance change takes effect immediately. Duncanson and others are hopeful this will help keep parks more family friendly.

He says most of the incidents have been reported at Wausau’s 400 block and at Oak and Fern Island. Duncanson says they have looked at similar issues and solutions from other communities as they dealt with this problem.