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Council Meeting Could Be Last Chance For Skate Park

Town will discuss the future of Phase II of Town Green. Parks and Recreation proposes land on Massirio Lane a perfect spot for skaters.

Courtesy of Len Zielinski, Chairman, Parks & Recreation Commission

The Parks & Recreation Commission proposing that Phase II of the Town Green project incorporate a skate park, on Massirio Drive, as its final elements.

Since 1999, the Commission investigated and proposed a number of sites and none were found suitable because of safety or neighbor factors.  At that time, the Town Green was not on the horizon and not considered.

However, this proposal was rejected by the Economic Development Commission, as not their vision of a town green, something passive and quiet.

This Massirio Drive site is ideal because it is centrally located, highly visible and safe.  In addition, it will have separation from the nearly complete Phase I.  Based on neighboring towns skate parks usage it will generate far more attendance than the “passive” design currently proposed by the Economic Development Commission.  We expect it will be used year round.  What’s better than to get kids to directly benefit from these State provided funds.

I have heard comments that there has not been an outcry for a skate park.  Skate boarders are not represented by any formal league or organization whose organizer would be leading the charge for a facility.  The skateboarders are still out there, pursuing their sport in what may not be the safest locations.  What better way to help get kids off the game boys.

This appears to be the last chance for a skate park in Berlin.  Interested parents and skateboarders have an opportunity to express their support for this skate park during audience of citizens at the Town Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 10, at 7 p.m. in the Council Chamber.

It will be up to the Town Council to make the final decision on whether we’re going to have a skate board park.

Peter Galgano July 10, 2012 at 02:46 PM
As a Marine Corps Veteran (1966 - 1970), I ask all Veterans, Veterans, organizations, and anyone who knows of a veteran who lost their life serving their country, and anyone who knows of any veteran Past, Present, or Future who has or is serving in the armed Forces of the United States to please come to this meeting to speak up and be heard to keep the Berlin Veterans Memorial Park a Passive Park. A Park where we can remember and reflect, enjoy concerts and getting together with other families and having a picnic. It would be dishonorable to the men and women and their families who gave so much for their country. Let's have some respect for all of our veterans.
Robert Mayer July 10, 2012 at 04:08 PM
My dad was a veteran and my wife a Gulf war vet. I also run a charity golf tournament that will help fund the VFW scholarship program so this is not a matter of respect for me. This park was supposed to be a Town Center Park. The Veterans Park addition is a wonderful part of that park and the Veterans and Veterans Commission has done an incredible job of making it a place of great pride for us all. The area where the skate park would be is well away from the Vets Park and would not infringe on it. I know my dad, who passed away in 2000 would be happy that his grand kids have a place to play in town. So this is not about pride or respect for all, it is a matter of this being a town center and using this money to benefit all of our residents young and old alike.
Robert Mayer July 10, 2012 at 04:10 PM
These are just my views as a life-long resident and not as the editor of Berlin Patch.
Cynthia Kobus July 10, 2012 at 06:50 PM
If it is to benefit "all residents" what about those that don't skateboard or stunt bike? It seems this plan only benefits a small population of residents. Everyone can utilize open space, yet only skateboarders can use a skate park.
Peter Galgano July 10, 2012 at 06:51 PM
No, the location of the proposed skate park would be directly opposite the Veterans Memorial, as you would be looking at the VFW. The Massirio Drive entrance, near the VFW is going to have a pavilion and barbecue areas and the proposed skate park would be the closest border to the memorial. The entire park is designated as the Veterans Memorial Park and it most certainly is disrespectful to anyone who has served or is serving and their families. Yes, it would be nice to have my grand kids play in town, but not there. Perhaps in Sage Park or another area. This Veterans Memorial Park is suppose to be a Passive Park to Honor and Remember our Veterans. Last Saturday I attended the "Gathering of Warriors" where I spoke with the CT families of the 8 Marines who were killed in action in Iraq. They can't believe that the town of Berlin would even consider putting a skate park in that area.
Peter Galgano July 10, 2012 at 07:50 PM
The $500,000 Grant is for the Berlin Veterans Memorial Park, not a Skate Park. Please read below. Berlin: $500,000 for Berlin Veterans Memorial Park project The Town of Berlin will receive a $500,000 grant to construct phase II of the Berlin Veterans Memorial Park Project. The park will be expanded to a rehabilitated brownfield – a former town landfill, material storage yard and sand and salt storage area. Improvements will include a small parking area, walkways, plantings, a picnic area and an area for outdoor community activities. “I’m very pleased that state funds have been approved for the completion of this project. The Memorial Park is a moving tribute to our veterans, and it’s clear that the people of Berlin honor their fighting men and women,” State Senator Terry Gerratana (D-New Britain) said. “The fact that the park is located between the American Legion and the VFW is also very significant, and I think it sets a nice theme for our area veterans.” “The $500,000 STEAP grant for Berlin is great news for our town,” State Representative Joseph Aresimowicz (D-Berlin, Southington) said. “Construction of phase II of the Berlin Veterans Memorial project is an important investment for our community that is shared by all our residents.”
Karen Whitcomb July 11, 2012 at 12:03 PM
A town green, a community park..whatever you call it there is a place in town for nearly everything EXCEPT a skatepark. My child, his friends and lets not forget kids that roller blade or BMX ride could all use the skatepark so that they are not in our streets or parking lots. I have had to worry.for years if my child would make it home alive because he had no where to skateboard but in the streets of Berlin. For years now we have been trying to get a skatepark in town and each time the topic comes up nothing ever comes of it. I know I dont drive around town without seeing kids on skateboards who have no where to go to practice their art..take yhe time to watch a kid skateboard
Bobbie Coughlin July 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM
I have two concerns about the skateboard park. The primary one is the issue of the town's liability. Will the kids using it have to have thier parents sign waivers? Would there be a requirement for the kids to wear helmets and appropriate padding? How woukd it be enforced? The second is that this is a facilty that would be used by only a very specific small portion of the town's population: adolescent males--and even then, a relatively small percentage of them. I'd prefer to see the space given for the use of a broader spectrum of the town's population.
Ann July 11, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Sage Park is sanctioned for PAYING sports (except for fishing) and I don't think parents of skateboarders or bicyclists would appreciate having their children cross 4 lanes of turnpike to get to Sage Park. Honoring our vets is a necessity. Ignoring our children and opportunities that enrich their physical activity is ALSO a necessity. If you want the youth of tomorrow to honor our vets, then we need to stop doing things that gain their resentment.
Todd Turdfinger November 28, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Do you really need more "open space", Cynthia? There seems to be an abundance of it, everywhere. Open a window.

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