BRATTLEBORO -- After setting the groundwork on how they are going to rate potential areas for a new skatepark, the Skatepark Site Selection Committee is beginning to consider specific locations in town for the new wheel-friendly park.
The Skatepark Site Selection Committee met Thursday night at the Gibson-Aiken Center.
The Planning Department has provided a list of both private and town-owned parcels that could possibly be considered for the park and the committee is going to start going through that list at its next meeting on Feb. 20.
There are 22 sites listed on the town-provided list, and another 15 or so sites that were suggested to the committee.
"We’ve been getting a lot of emails, and hearing from a lot of people, which is great," said Committee Chairwoman Betsy Gentile. "We want this whole process to be as transparent as possible."
The Selectboard appointed the Skatepark Site Selection Committee to find the best location in town for a public skatepark.
The Selectboard hopes to get a recommendation from the committee before May 1.
At the meeting Thursday the committee looked at maps and at the town-provided list that includes parcels that would accommodate a skatepark by having at least 6,500 square-feet of available space.
The town list includes Living Memorial Park, Crowell Lot, the Preston Lot, as well as the Austine School, Cotton Mill Hill and the Windham Foundation Ski Jump.
Gentile said the list at this point contains all of the known locations that would potentially be able to support the park, but many of them will be rejected because of topography, cost, access or other reasons.
She said it will probably be another month or so before a final list is generated and before the committee members start to walk around town assessing the sites.
"We’re starting to I.D. potential sites that might work," Gentile said. "Some of the sites on the list are viable and some are not. We want to get a smaller list before we start walking around town."
At the meeting Thursday the committee worked on the criteria the committee members will use once they begin touring the town and investigating the specific locations.
Each committee member will rate the sites based on location, size, safety, cost and topography.
Each member will rate the sites independently based on what he or she feels is most important.
The criteria are posted on the committee’s page, which can be accessed through the town’s web site at www.brattleboro.org.
After each site is visited the members will then discuss the sites and the seven-member committee will vote.
Gentile said all of the site visits will be posted and the visits will be open to the public.
The top three or four selections will then be passed on to the Recreation and Parks Board for approval, and then forwarded to the Selectboard who will make the final determination.
"We’re putting a lot of energy into this and we feel like we’re really moving forward," Gentile said. "We know we’ve got to move on this. We’re working really hard and we’re going to do what we can to meet the May 1 deadline. We feel good about where we are right now."
The committee is accepting comments and ideas about other potential locations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 279, or email@example.com. Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.