NEPTUNE TWP. – A public skateboard park in Neptune, at Neptune Boulevard and Stratford Avenue, will be built if a 2013 grant application being submitted to the Monmouth County Municipal Open Space program is approved.
The Township Committee is submitting the application, which seeks at least $250,000 from the country program.
There has been talk in the township for some time about building such a park and the Township Committee said it fully supports submitting the application.
“I think this is a great application,” Committeeman Kevin McMillan said.
Mayor Eric Houghtaling agreed.
“We need to work to get this park built,” he said.
If approved, the grant money will be used toward the estimated $450,000 cost of the skateboard park. The grant requires a 25 percent match from the township.
Committeeman Randy Bishop said if costs should exceed what the township can put together, then another grant application could be made next year or private funding sources may be available.
The skateboard park is planned for the southeast corner of the intersection, on a 125- by 180-foot vacant lot that is owned by the township.
Township Director of Planning and Engineering Leanne Hoffman said the site was chosen for its proximity to the high school, municipal complex, library, and the police department.
“(The lot) meets a lot of our criteria for the skate park,” she said.
The park, proposed to be asphalt, will have security lighting, fences and gates, benches and landscaping.
Midtown Urban Renaissance Corporation (MURC) President Dianna Harris said she “is excited” and thinks it’s a “great thing” but added that some rules and regulations need to be put in place.
Skateboarders have caused a lot of damage at the new Mid-Town Commons Park, which was a MURC project.
“It can be rowdy and there is a noise factor…but I am all in support of this,” she said.
Resident Michael D. Fornino questioned the liability insurance costs associated with the park and who is going to monitor it, especially for safety issues, like wearing helmets to keep injuries down.
“This is a fun sport but it can be dangerous,” he said.
Township officials said that the park will be covered under the township’s insurance policy but agreed that some mechanism to enforce the rules and regulations need to be put into place.