The North Elba town skatepark.
The town of North Elba will be giving away its equipment at the local skateboard park, but the question remains: Will it stay in Lake Placid or be shipped to Saranac Lake?
North Elba won’t be funding an attendant at the skateboard park adjacent to the Shipman Youth Center as it has recently, and the equipment remains behind a locked fence and is not being used.
“It didn’t quite work out the way we had hoped,” Councilman Bob Miller said at the North Elba Town Board meeting on April 10.
In the summer of 2010, the town funded an attendant to manage the skateboard park. It was sunny that year, Miller said, and the park was open for 63 days.
“Thirty-eight days no kids showed up at all,” Bob said. “And out of the days that kids did show up, it was for 10 or 15 minutes.”
The Youth Center doesn’t want the skateboard park equipment. The Lake Placid Central School District doesn’t want it. The Olympic Regional Development Authority doesn’t want it. And the town doesn’t have any land to put it on.
“I think some are open to giving it to the kids in Saranac Lake or Wilmington ... because they want the equipment,” Miller said. “We’re not using it ... We want kids to use this equipment.”
Town Supervisor Roby Politi said he will ask Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall if the village wants to have the equipment and move it to village property.
“I think we have an obligation to exhaust all avenues before you make a decision to move it outside the community because it was something that was given here, but I think that we all agree with you (that) it makes no sense to have equipment, that kids could be using, that’s sitting and not being utilized,” Politi said.
Asked April 16 whether the village of Lake Placid wants the skateboard park equipment, Mayor Randall said he hasn’t spoken with Politi yet about the potential gift, so it’s too early to comment. Yet the village faces similar space issues and doesn’t have any parks department since the town manages the village parks under a special agreement.
“I’m not sure we’re in any better situation than the town is,” Randall said.
Councilman Derek Doty said it’s also worth noting that there will be a financial obligation for any new owner of the equipment.
“We can’t just pick up those pieces and replace them,” Doty said. “A major pad has to be poured.”
Politi said he has been in touch with the skateboard park organizers in Saranac Lake, and they are eager to acquire the equipment.
“The folks in Saranac Lake said they have the funding for the slab and would be able to provide that,” Politi said.