BRATTLEBORO -- The Skatepark Site Selection Committee is not yet looking at potential sites for the town's new proposed skatepark, but the committee members are making inroads in cyberspace.
The committee has an e-mail address, and one of the goals is to collect input from town and area residents who might have some ideas about parcels of land that could possibly be considered for the location of the new skatepark.
Skatepark site ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We want people to know out there that there is a place they can send us ideas," said Skatepark Site Selection Committee Chairwoman Betsy Gentile. "We want to make sure we are considering every option, and people might know about sites that are not on our radar."
The committee also has all of its meeting minutes on the town's website, www.brattleboro.org, and the committee has said it will probably schedule a public information session when the top two or three locations are being considered.
The Brattleboro Selectboard appointed the seven-member Skatepark Site Selection Committee to consider every possible location in town for a new skatepark and then come back to the board with a list of recommendations.
The committee has been meeting since December and is expected to present its list to the Selectboard before May 1.
At the committee's meeting Thursday the members finalized the selection system they will use before they head out to look at potential locations.
The board voted to use size, location, safety, cost and topography as the broad headlines under which each committee member will assess the locations. After the committee identifies the possible sites, and then conducts site visits, each member will weigh each one using the five considerations. Then the committee will come together and debate each one, with each committee member making his or her case for their top choices. The committee will then vote, passing over to the Selectboard those sites that have risen to the top of the list.
"We feel like this is a good way to get each person to rank the sites on criteria that they think are important," Gentile said. "After we do that work we'll get together and decide where we want to go as a group."
The committee has not yet begun to debate specific sites, Gentile stressed.
The group has color-coded maps that show private, school district and town-owned lands, with parcels that are at least 6,500 square feet in size, and which might be available as a skatepark location.
At the next meeting the committee members will identify those locations, and then they will visit the sites.
Gentile says the board ideally wants to have a chance to visit the sites without ice and snow, and with the May 1 date looming it might be a challenge to get all the work done.
Before going before the Selectboard the committee is going to have to get the approval of the Recreations and Parks Board, and so the top potential sites will have to be identified before the middle of April, which is three months away.
The next Skatepark Site Selection Committee meeting is scheduled for Jan. 30, at 5:15 p.m. in the Gibson-Aiken Center conference room.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at email@example.com; or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. You can follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.