The North Elba town skatepark.
Members of the North Elba Town Board Tuesday, June 12 decided to keep working with the Lake Placid Central School District to find a way to keep the town’s skateboard park equipment in the Olympic Village.
If they cannot find a solution locally, the equipment may be given to another community, possibly Saranac Lake.
Right now school officials are concerned about liability if they take down the fence surrounding the equipment, currently located on school property next to the Shipman Youth Center on Cummins Road, and leave it unsupervised, according to Town Board members. The only way to cover liability now is to pay someone to supervise the park, which town officials have tried in the past and decided it’s not worth the investment for the small number of people who had used it.
Dan Leff urged Town Board members June 12 to keep the skatepark in Lake Placid. In addition to the $100,000 secured by former Town Supervisor Shirley Seney, Leff donated $35,000 of his own money for park’s equipment. His son, Brian, designed it. Both were at the June 12 meeting, along with park builder Pat Ledger.
“I simply wanted to show up and say thank you and say it’s the right call,” Dan Leff told board members about their decision to wait another month to find a way to keep the skatepark in Lake Placid.
“We understand you’re the primary stakeholder, and it is very much appreciated by the community,” Town Supervisor Roby Politi said. “We had (Councilman) Bob (Miller) working on this for over a year trying to solve the problem. We thought we had it solved at one point with ORDA; unfortunately, that didn’t materialize.”
Town officials said they had tried to move the equipment to another venue in town, but there was no suitable location and ORDA didn’t want it.
Members of the Saranac Lake Skatepark Committee were in attendance, offering support and saying that skateboarders there would like the equipment. While Town Board members were expected to discuss the equipment June 12 and possibly make a decision who they would give it to — Saranac Lake or Wilmington have been mentioned as possible candidates — the supervisor said they didn’t have to make a decision that night.
“Quite frankly, it’s been sitting over there for a year without a lot of use,” Politi said. “Thirty days probably isn’t going to make a difference.”
Councilman Miller said he had asked LPCS Superintendent Randy Richards if the school would be willing to take down the fence around the skatepark, but liability was a concern. One idea is to have the Shipman Youth Center lease the land, taking the school off the liability.
“We’re still waiting for an answer,” Miller said.
While Town Board members reiterated that they want to find a way to keep the skatepark in Lake Placid, they don’t want to see it sit idle just to keep it in town.
“If we can’t problem solve this, I still want to see kids use it,” Miller said. “And there are some very nice folks here from Saranac Lake.”
The issue is expected to be on the agenda during the next Town Board meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 10 at the North Elba Town House in Saranac Lake.