Brattleboro Selectboard to visit skatepark sites
BRATTLEBORO -- The Selectboard will visit the four sites proposed by the Skatepark Site Selection Committee as the best options for a new 6,500-square-foot skatepark in Brattleboro.
The Selectboard has scheduled a special meeting for Monday, Aug. 4, at 5:30 p.m.
The board will meet at the Elm Street lot at 5:30 p.m., and then travel up to Crowell Park, followed by a visit to Living Memorial Park where the board will look at two additional sites.
The Selectboard established the Skatepark Site Selection Committee in November to investigate every possible location in town for a new skatepark, which will be built with private funds.
The committee held meetings for six months and considered 44 sites before recommending the final four sites at a Selectboard meeting on July 1.
At that meeting the committee made its presentation to the board but then the board held off on making a final decision, electing to visit each site before holding a final vote.
The Selectboard's regularly scheduled meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 5.
Brattleboro Skatepark Committee Chairman Jeff Clark said he was not surprised that the Selectboard decided to hold one more site visit before taking a final vote on the location.
"I'm 80 percent hopeful at this point," Clark said. "Although the Site Selection Committee did its work there is still some hesitation from some of the Selectboard members about the budget and the maintenance costs. I am excited we have reached this point, but still a little hesitant."
Clark said the skatepark committee has been waiting to start raising the money for the park until a final site is chosen.
The Site Selection Committee chose Elm Street Lot as its top site, but there is some disagreement among the skaters as to whether that is the best site.
"I didn't think they would receive the recommendations and choose number one," Clark said.
Clark said skateparks in other parts of the country tend to be more successful at mixed use areas, such as the Crowell Lot where skaters can ride and families can take part in other activities.
He said if Elm Street Lot is chosen it might become more of a park for teenage riders, instead of an all inclusive park for very young and older riders.
Still, Clark said it has taken a very long time to get to this point.
"We've been in this vague area where we need a design but we don't have a site," he said. "This all needs to come to a culmination before we say this is a done deal. There is still something lingering so we'll have to see how it plays out."
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at email@example.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. Follow him on Twitter.
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