Group tours possible skate park
Morgan County Commissioners, County Administrator Bill Clark and Berkeley Springs Bike Skate Park (BS2) members visited a potential skate park site on Friday.
The site is located across from the Morgan County Parks and Recreation ball fields on U.S. Route 522 South. Berkeley Land Surveys had marked the corners of the plot earlier last week in preparation for the site visit.
The commission had offered to carve out an approximately 150 foot by 250 foot rectangular parcel from a 10-acre lot that the county owns there for the bike and skate park. BS2 members said they need about one acre for their skate park.
It was originally thought
that the land parcel had electric power, a well and a septic
tank, but Commission President Glen Stotler said that there were no utilities or hook-ups at the site.
A nice piece of property
The land was a nice piece of property, he said. One advantage of the site was the nearby shale pit on adjacent county land that could be used for fill, said Stotler.
The group has been working with national skate park designer Nate Wessel, who was also an organic designer, said BS2 spokesperson Jennie McBee. They hoped the skate park could be constructed around a grove of trees in the middle of the plot and that fill could be transported in a way that would not impact the environment.
Commissioner Tommy Swaim advised that the trees would have to be taken out to grade and fill the land for skate park construction. They were locust trees, tree-of-heaven and other invasive trees, he said. Swaim is also a contractor.
Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson said that she had
no problem with the potential skate park site except concerns about how kids would get
there. There had been talk
about needing a skate park since her kids were young. Her boys are now in their thirties, she said.
Swaim said he felt a site closer to town would be safer.
"I couldn't live with having a kid killed while trying to get here on my conscience," said Swaim.
BS2 member Matt Hovermale noted that not everyone lives in town. Riders would be educated to be safe and be encouraged to carpool to the skate park, said McBee.
Glad to have this option
McBee said that bike and skate park members were happy to have this option. She acknowledged that transportation was a problem.
"As a group, we're very innovative. We'll come up with a plan," she said.
BS2 members were also going to request consideration for another unnamed site on public land that was already graded. The group would meet later this week to make their decision about the skate park site.
No final decision yet
There was no final decision by the commissioners about the skate park site on Friday. The commission may want to look at other alternatives closer to town, said Stotler.
The skate park would be unsupervised and "skate at your own risk," said Stotler, who sits on the Morgan County Parks and Recreation board. There are no plans for Parks and Recreation to provide supervision, he said. Transportation would be up to those using the skate park, he said.
The commission was also investigating another potential site for the skate park on land adjacent to the ball fields.
Hutchinson said that she had originally suggested that the skate park be located beside the ball fields where other facilities and utilities were in place.