Granby approves skate park improvemnets despite warnings
July 14, 2011
Skaters at the Granby Skate Park not only have another chance to keep the park tidy, Granby town board members have agreed to new lights and a new concrete perimeter for the park.
Since town officials’ frustrations aired two weeks ago about the messy condition of the park, it appeared skateboarders became more considerate on how the park is treated, town officials said at the town board meeting on July 12.
Granby Mayor Jynnifer Pierro noted her observations, saying the park has “significantly improved” in terms of litter since town officials posted notices last week that the park was threatened to be shut down due to some skaters’ disrespect for the town facility.
At the nudging of one parent, three users of the skate park, Abe Lietzke, 14, Sam Gold, 13, and Gray Thompson, 13, stood at the podium and told trustees they didn’t want the skate park closed. The Granby skate park is the only park with lights on at night, they said, and is a great park – even for beginners.
Fraser Valley skateboard coach Ben Schemel agreed the town’s skate park is a gem, but commented it is “under-programmed.” He along with others advocated for another try at holding skate sessions, competitions and/or music events at the park.
Youth who formally learn the sport at an early age tend to learn skate park etiquette, Schemel said.
Mayor Pierro asked Schemel where he would spend money on the park if it were his choice.
Wood chips surrounding the concrete pad of the skate park to stop runaway boards are a hazard, Schemel responded, since wind can carry them into the skating zone and trip up a skater. That’s exactly what happened to him when he used the park that day, he said.
The Granby Town Board voted to spend about $12,300 of the remainder of the Ian Raftshol Memorial Fund to improve lighting at the skate park. The brighter night-sky-compliant lighting is planned to be on timers and shut off by 10 p.m.
And with funds left over from cost-savings on town sidewalk improvements, town board members were able to vote in concrete pavers to replace wood chips.
“We would like to say thank you very much. We’ll keep our promise to keep the skate park clean,” said skateboarder Lietzke, addressing the board after the unanimous vote.
Immediately after, he and his friends left the meeting, grabbed skateboards and headed straight to the park.
– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext.19603.