BELMAR — Members of the public have urged the borough to reopen the skatepark at Dempsey Park, which has been closed since May, but borough officials have said they are unable to do so as the insurance provider has deemed the facility unsafe.
Jane Salmon, who leads a group called the Friends of Belmar Skate Park, attended last week’s borough council meeting with a handful of members wearing green T-shirts with the group’s name displayed on the front and back.
“We are asking for the Belmar skatepark to at least be added to the next town council meeting agenda. We need to get some answers as to what are the borough’s plans for it because the silence is deafening,” said Ms. Salmon, of Wall Township, whose child is a regular of the park. “The community needs a skatepark. The kids need a skatepark.”
She also accused the borough of wanting to close down the skatepark in order to create more parking at Dempsey Park, on 16th Avenue.
“That is only a rumor, I can tell you that,” Mayor Mark Walsifer responded, adding that he wants the skatepark to be open as well, but “we have to listen to our professionals and our insurance company.”
Addressing the situation, Borough Administrator Edward KirschenbaumSr. said the borough had been contacted by its insurance provider, which took photos of the park in January.
“They deemed it unsafe. They advised us to get a qualified surveyor to give us a situational report in regards to skateparks and we did so,” he said. He added that it was found that the skatepark had “outlived its usefulness. It’s not safe any longer” and the cost to create a new skatepark would be between $300,000 and $350,000.
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