The Animas River put-in just north of 32nd Street is receiving special attention from police this summer in an attempt to crack down on drinking, littering and public indecency."We attribute the problems we are seeing to (tubers) and the rope swing that local kids hang to swing into the river," said Sgt. Dan Shry of the Durango Police Department. "However, we have taken steps to alleviate at least some of the problems we are seeing by taking down the rope swing."
The area attracts a large group to the area, and there have been reports of littering, underage drinking, open containers and, in some cases, public nudity, he said. Police have tightened their patrols of the area in an attempt to cut down on some of those problems, he said.
Kristy-Mae Tewes, a Durango resident and frequent tuber, said she has noticed.
"There are always cops in this area now," Tewes said. "They are up and down writing tickets all day long."
However, nearby residents said that although police have been diligent, the problems still occur and they are fed up with it.
"It felt like the police presence helped until about two weeks ago," said Sam Burns, who lives on the 3200 block of East Third Avenue.
He said that with the warmer weather and increase in tubers, the police haven't been able to solve all the problems.
His wife, Kathy Burns, said residents find not only beer bottles scattered around the street and in their yards, but also drugs near the put-in. She said she suspects tubers have broken into her house and used her bathroom.
"They didn't flush, the lid was up and my husband (or I) hadn't been around," she said.
Those who live near the put-in met with the Durango Parks and Recreation Department last summer and said they now plan to take their concerns to City Council.
Director of Parks and Recreation Cathy Metz said since last year's meeting, the department has improved the area, installed more portable toilets and tried to draw tubers to the put-in at 29th Street.
She said there, tubers can use an air hose and the area is easily accessible because the Transit bus goes there.
"We really would like to encourage the dispersed use of the put-ins so it does not impact one area as heavily," Metz said.
email@example.com Jason Gonzales is a summer intern at the Herald.