Skateboard park is not in town's plans

June 03, 2003|by JULIE E. GREENE

SHARPSBURG - It appears there won't be a skateboard park in the Sharpsburg-Boonsboro area anytime soon, but Boonsboro's mayor said Monday night it could happen in the future.

Sharpsburg resident Steve Harris has been before the Sharpsburg Town Council twice in recent months with a group of youths in an effort to drum up support for a skateboard park. He has said skateboarders think they are being discriminated against because there are no facilities for them.

Last month, Sharpsburg Mayor Hal Spielman said he would talk to the Boonsboro mayor about the idea because Sharpsburg officials thought the project was too big for them alone and they didn't have the land for it.


At Monday night's Sharpsburg Town Council meeting, Spielman said Boonsboro's mayor wasn't receptive to the idea and that insurance would cost $300 per ramp, depending on how much supervision was provided.

Reached at home after the meeting, Boonsboro Mayor Charles "Skip" Kauffman Jr. said the town cannot afford a skateboard park now because of state funding cuts to the town, but that it could be a future possibility.

"We are looking into all possibilities in Boonsboro. We're not closing the door on anything like that," Kauffman said.

Boonsboro officials had gotten some prices for a skateboard park, but they were too high for the town to afford at this time, Kauffman said.

The town does have the space because it bought the former King Farm, which is about 45 acres, Kauffman said. It will take a couple of years to develop that park, he said.

Spielman said a temporary skateboard park should be available at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds by mid-June to July.

Hagerstown City Council members last week approved a resolution authorizing an agreement with the Skateboard Association of Southern Pennsylvania to use part of the Fairgrounds Park as a skateboard park.

Harris asked Sharpsburg officials at Monday night's meeting for a clarification of the town's laws so youths would know where they could skateboard.

Town Attorney Charles Wagaman said they cannot skateboard within 200 feet of Town Square or within 100 feet in front of the post office.

They cannot go up and down peoples' porches or stairs, Wagaman said.

Harris said while some youths do that, the ones he is working with do not.

Skating restrictions are posted at the town park, Councilwoman Patti Hammond said.

Hammond and some people in the audience also discouraged skateboarders from skating on the cemetery wall because it is dangerous.

Resident Rick Nocar said the youths could skateboard in an alley near his home that doesn't have much traffic.

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