BALLSTON SPA: Vandals trash park fence

Kids who have been illegally trespassing at the skateboard park in Ballston Spa will soon be rolling their way to the police station.

Village trustees announced at their Monday, May 14, meeting a zero tolerance stance, effective immediately, against vandals pulling apart fencing at the skateboard arena in Kelley Park to enter the area and use the site.

"Twice we've been out there repairing the fence," said Mayor John Romano. "It was torn down by someone to gain access."

The ramps and jumps were built about five years ago when the board set a local law banning skateboards on streets, sidewalks and parking lots. Kids wishing to use the site need to register with the village clerk, but there is not a fee to register.

Besides damage to the property, there are other dangers to using the ramps before the park's official opening on Memorial Day weekend.

"It's not open for use because the ramps need repair work," said trustee Bob Cavanaugh. "Also, our insurance mandates that we have supervision at the park anytime there are kids using it."

Romano backed up the immediate ban on trespassing with a promise that kids caught will be prosecuted and excluded from using the skateboard area permanently.

"Anyone on the property, fence or the ramps will be picked up by the police," said Romano.

Starting Memorial Day weekend, while Ballston Spa schools are still in session, the park hours will be 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, and noon to 8 p.m. on weekends. Once school is out for the summer, the hours will expand to noon to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

The village has three skateboard park supervisors, one of whom will be on-site during all operating hours.

"The word is out," said Romano. "We won't be accepting any excuses."

The village of Ballston Spa board of trustees meets on the first and fourth Monday of each month at the village clerk's office, Front Street. During the summer, three outdoor meetings will be held at various village locations to encourage residents to attend.""

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