Valley Stream finds new home for skate park
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Since the park opened, the village has heard complaints from boarders who say there are too many rules. “I could definitely see more people going as long as the rules stay to a minimum [and are] not enforced as harshly,” Savillo said of the new location. “They are really still unnecessary.”
When the park opened, everyone who used it was required to wear safety equipment, including helmets and knee, elbow and wrist pads. After gathering feedback from skaters, the village changed the equipment rules: kids ages 7 to 10 are required to wear all safety equipment, while those ages 11-17 must wear helmets, knee pads and elbow pads, and adults 18 and older are required to wear only helmets and elbow pads.
“They want a skate park to be built and we leave them alone and we never check on it, ever,” Fare said of the boarders. “But we can’t do that. We’re a municipality.”
Savillo, unlike Costanzo, said he would try the new location, but would like to leave the rules at the hockey rink. “We’re just human beings trying to have fun, stay safe and play, not punk skateboarders,” he said.
Tom McVeigh, owner of the Mass Transit skate shop on Rockaway Avenue, said he didn’t think a change in location would do much good because his clientele doesn’t like the equipment — mainly because it is portable, and not permanent. “They were optimistic about a skate park coming,” McVeigh said, “but the result really wasn’t they were looking for.”
One of the upsides of owning portable equipment, Fare said, is being able to move it easily when the situation arises. “We’ve lost nothing so far because we have portable equipment,” he said.
The village provides patrons with equipment for a small fee, and members can bring guests to the park for $3 per day, or $5 for non-residents. Annual memberships cost $18 for village residents and $55 for residents of the Central High School District.
Fare has asked the Sports, Parks, Arts and Recreation Committee for its input on the planned move. SPARC consists of seven community leaders and citizens, and is chaired by Deputy Village Clerk Richard DeAngelis. It will meet in the coming weeks to discuss the move, DeAngelis said, and then report to Fare and the village board.