By DON STINE
Neptune will have its first skateboard park under a $360,000 project approved at this week’s Township Committee meeting.
An ordinance approves a $360,000 expenditure to create the park, with $165,000 of that amount coming from a Monmouth County Open Space grant. The remaining amount will be bonded. A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for March 12.
The skateboard park will be located in the Sunshine Village Park Fields, off Asbury Park Boulevard and Pine Drive, adjacent to existing basketball courts and soccer fields. The 60- by 100-foot project, for a total of 6,000-square-feet, will include concrete skating bowls, railings, steps, benches, landscaping and buffers. The park will be designed for novice to intermediate skateboarders.
“It is an ideal place for this project with minimum maintenance but offering a lifetime of enjoyment,” Township Engineer LeAnne Hoffman said during a previous presentation on the project.
Creating a skateboard park has been on the agenda of governing officials and the public for several years, especially after residents complained that unruly skateboarders were ruining parks, benches, and walls at parks, including the new Midtown Commons Park. Some residents have advocated creating such a centralized skateboard park to prevent damage by skateboarders at other parks.
“This park is specifically for skateboarding so, hopefully, it will do away with that,” said Midtown Urban Renaissance Corporation (MURC) President Dianna Harris.
“A lot of kids are skateboarding and I think this is a good location for it. Many kids are playing sports there and, once they see the park, I think they will use it,” she said.
She said that the township consulted skateboard experts when designing the park and that “they are doing the right thing by way of it.”
Some residents have said in the past that they support creating the park but that it will need some form of supervision and programming. Others also suggested surveillance cameras be installed.