Skateboard Park/Space Discussed at Borough Council Meeting

An enthusiastic debate sprung up during the first part of the Borough Council meeting on Monday regarding setting off some of the downtown parking lots on the weekends for skateboarders.Mayor Tom Vahalla was very much opposed to that suggestion.  Councilman Christopher Morrisson and Councilman Justin Manley both opted in favor of the idea, stating that the increased insurance costs would be minimal. Borough Attorney David Frizell reiterated the litigious nature of creating and supporting such a space for the borough. Given that hundreds of kids use our streets and parking lots and driveways for impromptu skating and biking events, it might behoove the Boroug to give the idea a thorough examination. Councilman Pete Cammarano agreed that there are already lots of kids, including his own, who are making use of available space to practice skateboarding now and that the idea should be returned to at some other time when the actual legal implications of such a park are determined. In the meantime, the Mayor offered that Edison now has a separate skateboard facillity that Metuchen kids can enjoy, as long as they can get a ride there.


Brian, don't not worry I am not against a place to find kids to skate board. Only making people realize they can not always go to the public trough to get what want and when ever they want it. Please realize that those who desire such a place from my perspective can have it as long as they under write the cost or find money within out tight municipal budget. Good luck also and therefore with the people whose money you are taking from somewhere else for it. If you find a right place the land is not an issue with me. What matters is who is paying for it. To wit, things like insurance. Biran, insurance, is not a few hundred dollars. Instead, it is many thousands of dollars. Know this that within our municipal budget we will have to give up something to offset the new cost. That’s the way it is these days.

Brian, to understand a recession is one thing yet to see people sleeping in the streets and being fed on food lines parents, and children alike is quite another. Someone gets a skate park in Metuchen and yet others in Metuchen can not meet their tax bill with the increase for the skate park or at least the insurance. Believe me when that happens, your pride is gone, your future is gone and your Mayor and Council acknowledged getting letters like that from a number of Metuchen residents. Barely hanging on. I do not know how anyone can look at a neighbor and put them through that knowing that they might not be able to afford the tax increase. Pretty immoral if you ask me. Brian once your pride is gone there is not much left after that. It is true. So, get kids together, get parents together and get a league formed that can successfully underwrite the cost. You would get no argument from me that..

Kids need a place to play and boys particularly need a place to burn off energy and take risks. If we don’t give them those opportunities do so in safe and protected ways they will find their thrills elsewhere and in more dangerous ways which will cost society a lot more then this park. While I understand there is a recession I also need kids need fresh are and physical activity.

There are a lot of ways to look at this and I can understand someone or something being hesitant to do it even if it was last looked at 10 years ago. Bottom line it was money then and it is money now. Let's assume some good souls form a skate board club. We provide the land and they have at it. Okay as for insurance, they pay for not me. Those days are over. The whole argument at the council meeting was framed around identifying the money. And, that’s the way it has got to be from now on. Parents can cover the cost of additional insurance riders on the Boro’s policy. As to where this digressed by Mr. Manley after the initial discussion took place is a whole other ball game. Councilman Cammarano had to get him back on course.

You know, Linden, NJ spent over 40 grand a couple of years ago for such a park and I mean a only a couple of years ago to close it down within weeks and they either relocated it or attempting to relocate it as I write. They drove the neighbors particularly the elderly nutty with it. The same thing happened in NY in the Hudson River Park around the same time only to the tune of $500,000.00 in taxpayer dollars. They (the State of NY who else) put it in of all places right next to a very active heliport so that when a kid did a barrel roll jump upside down he got blasted by the 300 mile per hour downwash of an approaching helicopter. Result squat and I mean squat right compressed right into the fence squat. Very messy looking I assure you. I doubt the boy was ever the same.

Well, go sue the state of NY and the innocent parties at the heliports why don’t you. They closed that park down to and moved it.Not the heliport. Now, councilmen where do you suggest we put something like that around here after we spend time and perhaps money studying it?

I suggest we go back to Councilman Cammarano's/Morrison's concept of the cart before the horse so to speak and see if we can get an area that works and then someone’s got to pay for the costs which I am sure more then a few indivduals assume are minimal dollars or could careless less for that matter. Well, they aint and I and a lot of my neighbors do care. The insurance boogyman is waiting for a score from you and I. We are over due He ain’t getting one with my money anymore. I aim to keep it that way.

In any case if the town ever got an extra 50 grand in this day and age I will be the first one in Boro Hall along with everyone else who are my neighbors. Figure a whole bunch over over 40 to 80 over stressed by finances and over taxed for people wanting who still has some common sense left to know better and will certainly challenge the idea to building a skate board park with those funds if that ever happened.

PS did you know there is a Great Recession out here but don’t tell anyone that adjusted 25% to 30% of Americans are un employed but certainly not in Metuchen. It could only be 10.1 % here no?

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