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Ocean City Approves $750,000 for Skateboard Park

first_imgREAD MOREOcean City Skateboard Park: Latest Design and SiteCrowd Turns Out for Skateboard Park MeetingOcean City Gets $500,000 Grant for Skateboard ParkNIMPS, not NIMBYs, in Ocean City Skate Park DebateGroup Zeroes in on Skate Park Site for Ocean City__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter“Like” us on Facebook The proposed site for the new Cape May County Skate Park in Ocean City is adjacent to the Ocean City Fire Department between Fifth and Sixth streets, West and Asbury avenues.City Council on Thursday approved spending $750,000 and borrowing $712,500 to build a skateboard park on city-owned land on the 500 block of Asbury Avenue.Council passed the first reading of the bond ordinance in a 6-1 vote (with Fourth Ward Councilman Pete Guinosso dissenting). A public hearing and second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for Dec. 4.Ocean City will be reimbursed $500,000 from a Green Acres Cape May County Recreation Grant that was announced in September, and council had already approved a capital plan that calls for borrowing $250,000 for the project.The ordinance is perhaps the last major obstacle in an effort to replace a city-owned skateboard park at Sixth Street and the Boardwalk that was dismantled in 2011 for safety concerns.Advocates for the project envision a state-of-the-art concrete facility that will “stand the test of time” and provide both an important recreational outlet for youth and families, and a visitor attraction. The park will be constructed on city-owned land atop an existing parking lot adjacent to the Ocean City Fire Department. The site is bounded on other sides by the Ocean City Primary School, the Ocean City Tabernacle and the Gabriel Building Group.If the second reading of the bond ordinance passes on Dec. 4, the next steps would be procedural — Council would approve specifications for bids from contractors and later approve a contract. The park possibly could be in place as early as spring 2015, according to Councilman Mike DeVlieger.Supporters of the park, young and old, packed City Council Chambers in a show of support for the project with many speaking during public comment.Tom Heist noted that Ocean City has a long history of supporting recreation — from tennis to shuffleboard to a model Community Center.“As times change, so should we,” he said.“I ran for council as a young parent concerned about making this a better place for our kids,” DeVlieger said in support of the project that he has championed.He said the park will be a “family affair” that celebrates Ocean City’s surfing culture. And he said that the $72,500 in additional annual parking revenue generated atop the site where the old skateboard park stood will help pay for Ocean City’s share of the new park.“My goal is to get people to come to town and to stay in town,” Councilman Mike Allegretto said of the new facility.Guinosso argued that the project is too expensive and too distant from his Fourth Ward at the southern end of the island“If anything should happen, it should be in the middle of the island,” he said.last_img

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