LAKE PLACID - The town of North Elba might end up giving its unused skateboard park equipment to another local community - Wilmington.
Equipment at the skatepark behind the Community Center in Wilmington was "seriously damaged" by a severe wind storm on Jan. 30. In a letter to the North Elba Town Council, Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston wrote that the equipment was only covered by liability insurance, so the town can't get reimbursed for it.
"There has been several thousand dollars in damage," Preston wrote. "We are asking that if, for any reason, Saranac Lake does not take your equipment, Wilmington will gladly take it."
The damaged skatepark in Wilmington.
The North Elba board declared the town's skatepark equipment, located in a fenced in area behind the Shipman Youth Center, as surplus in October 2012 after attempts to find a new location for it in Lake Placid were unsuccessful. Insurance and supervision prevented kids from being able to use the park on a regular basis.
The town board originally planned to donate the equipment to the Saranac Lake SkatePark Committee, which is still looking for a location for a skateboard park of its own. Councilman Bob Miller said the committee is still in talks with the Saranac Lake village Board of Trustees about a location, so the board decided to wait until its March 12 meeting to decide what to do with its equipment.
"They waited for well over a year for us to make a decision, so we can wait 30 days for them," town Supervisor Roby Politi said. "However, if Wilmington can use it and if Saranac Lake can't get an agreement on it, let's move it. It's in the best interest of the kids."
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Rich Shapiro of the Saranac Lake SkatePark Committee told the News that since North Elba offered the equipment last fall, the Saranac Lake village board has had to hold off on accepting it.
"The plan in September was to install the equipment at the existing skateboard park site behind the old Village Hall, by the Police Station," Shapiro wrote in an email. "Since then, the Village has informed us that they don't think they want it there.
"We have been working with them to define an alternative site and they have narrowed it down to two sites: Ampersand Park (at the corner of Broadway and Ampersand Avenue) and the Midtown Parking Lot next to the (Adirondack Daily Enterprise) building."
North Elba's equipment is made of metal, and one of the reasons the town board had a difficult time finding an alternative location for it is because it's noisy. Shapiro said the same issue is a factor for both the village parking lot and the Ampersand site.
"In these two locations the metal ramps would create excessive noise for the proximity of the neighbors," he said. "If they decide to use the original site by the old village offices, then we will graciously accept the generous offer from North Elba," he said. "If they decide one of the other two spots will be the final location, then the village will regrettably have to forego this generous offer."
Shapiro said the committee is now waiting for the village board to make a decision. He said he hopes the decision will be made by mid-March, allowing the committee to potentially open a skatepark in Saranac Lake by the fall.