Teens air skate park need

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    West Milford-Some 75 people packed the Town Council Chambers July 29 to speak out in favor of an issue that isn't even before the council n the restoration of Mount Laurel Park and inclusion of a skate park. Most were there to discuss the controversial issue of building a skateboard park in the Mount Laurel section of West Milford. Seventeen of those 75 were teenage boys who came to plead with township officials to give them a skate park. Skateboarder Joseph Lugo, said ballplayers have a place to go. "We have nowhere," he said. The one point echoed by all of the kids was, "We get yelled at everywhere." In 2003 the township applied for a Capital Rehabilitation and Restoration Grant from the Passaic County Open Space Preservation Fund for a $150,000 grant for the Restoration of Mount Laurel Park. The proposed rehabilitation project will relocate the ball fields, add bleachers, and restore the basketball-tennis court. Expanding the parking area to accommodate 96 cars, and the construction of the first skateboard park in the township are part of the new plan. Mount Laurel Park is located on Warwick Turnpike. It is the only public park in Upper Greenwood ake. The park currently consists of one softball field, a field used for football and soccer, a decaying combination basketball-tennis court, a playground, and a 39-space parking lot. The restoration project is estimated at $300,000 by the town's department of Parks & Recreation. The town would cover the $150,000 gap in funding. Supporters include Renee Palermo, the director of parks and recreation, who presented a report of a study she conducted of other towns with skateboard parks. Christopher Lynch estimated that a skate park from 100 feet away would generate noise at 65 decimals, enough to wake sleeping children. Lynch also had concerns over maintenance. Stating that there is already a problem with garbage left behind from ball games. Ken Long of Hamilton Drive said he's concerned about property values, citing the section is considered to be the most prestigious area in Upper Greenwood Lake. Lynch suggests the township build an extreme sports facility in Jungle Habitat. Former council members, Andrew Gargano and Philip Weisbecker said they favor the park.