Skate park closed while plans begin for repair

By on September 28, 2011

By: KIMBERLY MARSELAS Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

After agreeing to open its skate park to bikers last month, Denver Borough officials have now decided to close the facility until equipment repairs can be made.

The skate and bike park was flooded by rains from Tropical Storm Lee, with standing water further weakening a center ramp that was already showing signs of wear. The fenced facility has been closed to riders and skaters since then, though the fence itself has been fixed.

At a meeting Monday night, borough council put off repairing the ramp at an estimated cost of $4,400. Some members argued that the children who use the park should be at least partly responsible for its upkeep.

"I don’t think the taxpayers should have to pay for something like this," said Stephen Binkley. "It’d be nice to have, but we’re not made of money here."

Binkley and fellow member Walter Fink said the skaters and bikers who use the equipment should help pay for upgrades by fundraising.

Binkley made a motion, which was approved by council, to delay any borough funding for repairs until after members can consult with the borough’s recreation board.

Council President Kevin Brandt was in favor of making the repairs at the borough’s expense, saying Denver officials wouldn’t ask younger children or their parents to "take ownership" of slides or merry-go-rounds that needed to be fixed. He said the skate park was packed with well-behaved skaters when he visited it in August.

"Personally, I wouldn’t want to take that away," Brandt said. "It’s a great benefit to the community."

Another option would be for the borough to make the current repairs, including adding new structural supports, but create an escrow account to hold receipts form future fundraising activities. Those funds could be used for future repairs.

No decision is expected until after the recreation board meets on Oct. 16. The skating facility will remain closed until at least the end of the month.

In other action Monday, council agreed to spilt the cost of five new "road closed" signs with the Denver Fire Police. The signs will be used in conjunction with portable stop signs at times of emergency. The borough’s cost will be $270 plus shipping.

Council also watched a video demonstrating sealing work that was recently completed on an underwater pipe at the borough reservoir. A dive team patched a leak with epoxy, capturing and narrating the process on video. The $2,100 project should help mitigate a leak until the borough drains and cleans the entire reservoir next year.

Borough Manager Mike Hession also announced that council would hold two public hearings at its Oct. 31 meeting. The first will be on amendments to the borough’s uniform construction code, which would require permits for some large sheds or those with utilities. The second will be on a proposed alternative energy ordinance.

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