The town of Kennebunk is one step closer to a new skateboard park after the Skate Park Committee got the nod from the Board of Selectmen to further explore two possible sites.
Committee spokesperson Jim Trentalange told selectmen Tuesday that the group looked at town-owned properties with easy access for kids to ride their bikes, and infrastructure like sidewalks and parking already in place so that the park could be built with the funds already set aside.
He said the committee also looked at skate park companies and is recommending California Skateparks to build the Kennebunk facility.
“What we looked for was the simplest way that we could use all of our funds, and not use any more town funds, and raise some more money to get a nice skateboard park in town,” Trentalange said.
The two sites being considered are Parsons Field on Park Street, and the “sledding hill park” off of Sea Road.
The board gave the go ahead for the committee to get soil samples from the two sites, and have officials from California Skateparks come to town to look at them.
Skate enthusiasts have been trying to build a new skate park in town since 2010. The current skate park on Factory Pasture Lane was built in 2003. It’s located on a windy road with no sidewalks, nestled between trees and dirt piles with a few ramps and rails.
Town residents voted in 2013 to allot $100,000 for the skate park. In 2015 the Board of Selectmen approved moving the skate park to Parsons Field, but concerns over the location and scope of the project put a halt to it in a referendum vote by residents that same year.
The project was put on the back burner again, but the formation of the ad-hoc Skate Park Committee in the fall of 2016 breathed new life into the project, and town officials and residents are hopeful that the project will move forward.
Trentalange said Parsons Field was identified as the committee’s number one spot, but they also recognized that the board would have difficulty giving the go ahead based on the 2015 citizen’s initiative vote.
So the committee looked at alternative sites, which have some infrastructure issues, but could be worked around, he said.
Sledding hill park, as Trentalange dubbed it, also known as the dump, is accessible and close enough to town so that it could work, he said.
“Right now it is a park. It is used as a park. All winter long people are out there and I asked the neighbors what they thought about that area in the summer and they said it would be great to walk around over there and do stuff,” Trentalange said.
He said the sledding hill would not be affected by the skate park. The mock-up the committee showed board members sited the skate park just off the parking area for sledding to the left in an area not being used.
Trentalange said the timeline would have California Skateparks designers visit Kennebunk in March to look at both sites and give a recommendation, and then have the board finalize the decision so construction can begin.
“We want to be rolling with this by August. We want a skateboard park. It’s been a long time coming,” Trentalange said.
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