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Home arrow MP News arrow Skateboarders to get area park
Skateboarders to get area park PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, July 18, 2009
Skateboarders will soon have a home
Town, county to partner on Mastic Beach skate park
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PEGGY SPELLMAN HOEY PHOTO A young skateboarder practices his sport of choice behind McCarrick's Dairy in Rocky Point. Brookhaven skateboarders may soon have a park to call home, however, as the town and county have announced plans to build a skateboard park in Mastic Beach.
Officials are moving forward with plans for the first public skate park in Brookhaven Town.

The closest public skate parks available to Brookhaven residents are in Riverhead and Hampton Bays. Brookhaven skating advocates have been calling upon officials to back a plan for a local skate park for years. Though there have been talks of skate parks in other hamlets -- such as Middle Island and Coram -- Mastic Beach is the first venture to move this far ahead in the process.

Suffolk County and Brookhaven Town are working out an agreement that will allow each to chip in $250,000 toward the construction of a roughly 70-acre skate park just north of the YMCA Pool and east of the John S. Hobart Elementary School in Mastic Beach.

The latest development was born out of two separate movements by local officials to create a skate park in the township. Suffolk previously set aside $250,000 for a skate park at Smith Point Park in Shirley, however, the location was later deemed unsuitable. A similar endeavor was launched in the 6th Council District, by Councilman Keith Romaine, who has been working with Parks Commissioner Eddie Morris Jr. on constructing a skate park at the undeveloped site.

Legislator Kate Browning (WF-Shirley) teamed up with Mr. Romaine by offering to dedicate county funds to the site. However, officials were unsure if the county could allocate the funding without first entering into an agreement with the town for a project that will be out of its hands, Ms. Browning said. County Attorney Christine Malafi's office has since researched the issue and has advised the legislator all that is needed is an agreement that will afford the county some benefit, such as allowing officials to hold programs there, according to Ms. Browning.

Construction of the skate park is not expected to take very long and it could be open by the fall, Mr. Romaine said. The park could also include a component for bikers, a request from a student advisory committee that officials are looking into, he said. Officials are considering a similar fee schedule as the skate park in Southampton. That park is available to residents who obtain a $25 permit granting unlimited access throughout the year at Red Creek Park in Hampton Bays.

Mr. Romaine said he is looking forward to seeing residents finally have a place to skate.

"It's long overdue," he said. "It's been promised by the county for over 20 years and the town has said we're going to do it."

News of the skate park moving forward has been music to the ears of skating advocates, who have been calling for a park to call their own for many years now.

Bryan Lilly, a Shoreham resident, believes it's good officials have made progress on the creation of a park because there is such a dire need for a place for youngsters to go.

"Skaters have a bad rap," Mr. Lilly said. "They get yelled at. They really don't have many adult advocates. They're the kids who don't vote and people just don't give a crap."

Because there isn't any public space dedicated to skating, most just take their skateboards to the streets, parking lots and abandoned properties around town. That said, there's a need for a skate park in every hamlet, according to Mr. Lilly.

"To get one built, if we can get it built, is a start," he said.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, April 11, 2012 )
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