LAKE GEORGE - Local teenagers seeking construction of a municipal skateboard park took their campaign Monday night to the Lake George Town Board.
The skateboarders sat through a lengthy town board meeting, witnessing 90 minutes or so of the board's occasionally contentious debate with members of the public, but the youths apparently won some new allies on the town board.
The council members, by the conclusion of the meeting, agreed to evaluate the teens' favored potential location for the proposed skateboard park.
Group spokesman Tim Goutos said the group could raise money needed for construction of the park, but was seeking the town to dedicate land for the facility.
"We need a flat spot that can be fenced in," he said. We came here to show there is a need for a park."
Several other skateboarders, including Frankie Cavone and Cameron Aust spoke about how a skate park could not only provide recreational opportunities for local youth, but boost tourism by providing visitor another recreational attraction.
Lake George Town Board members pledged to look at a location suggested by Lake George Mayor Robert Blais, a 50-feet by 80-feet plot beside the Village Hall owned by the town government.
Town Board members pledged to evaluate the proposal of the skateboarders, members of the local ACT For Youth teen organization and representing also the Communities that Care group.
In a recent meeting including the two groups, it was estimated that $8,300 or so has been raised for the park's construction, including a contribution of $5,000 in 2009 from the village government. Another $6,000 has been pledged to the effort, and fundraisers are being planned the youth said.
Town officials have said one reason to construct a skate park has been to keep skateboarders off the streets, primarily for the teens' own safety.
Town board members including Scott Wood asked the teens if the park were built beside the village hall, whether they'd discontinue skating down Old Post Road, the steep access road to the municipal complex.
Other sites proposed Monday were the Lake George Recreation Center, Gaslight Village festival space and in Queensbury beside the municipal Gurney Lane pool and park.
Lake George resident Patricia Dow spoke on behalf of the skateboarder's request.
"This is a healthy activity for kids, and our community would do well to support them," she said. "I ask that politics be set aside and that the town and village cooperate to find a suitable place."
She said the park would not only benefit local youth but boost tourism.
"It's important to honor the effort these youth are demonstrating - being part of our community and being good citizens," she said.