BUTTE — A resident who lives next to Emma Park in Uptown Butte says he and his neighbors are tired of the rowdiness that he claims is caused by transients hanging out at the park.
“They come into this gazebo and they stay in here all day long, they get drunk, they fight, they argue, I mean we’re just kind of tired of it,” said South Dakota Street resident Eldon Beall.
Beall wrote a letter to the Council of Commissioners last month asking the city to stop public drunkenness at the park and prohibit the community group Action Inc. from providing meals to the homeless at the park.
He claims his neighbors routinely see vandalism, littering and public urination at the park. Beall said they were almost assaulted by a man they confronted about littering.
“We actually had to sit there and defend ourselves where he was going to attack me and I had pepper spray ready to spray him,” said Beall.
Despite calling for ending the free lunch program, Beall insists he’s not against the homeless or poor.
“I’ve been homeless, I’ve lived on the streets of Minneapolis and it’s a lot harder than here,” said Beall.
He says he and his neighbors would like to see the city add amenities to this park to make it more community friendly.
“I’d like to see it be a park, I’d like to see them come up some kind of money, meaning, either through mining, the city or whoever, to make an actual park where kids can come and actually enjoy it,” said Beall.
The commissioners are expected to review his request at its meeting this Wednesday evening.