The City of Saratoga Springs is exploring ways to keep its two-decade-old skate park economically viable and a resource for youth while the city faces fiscal struggles and cleans graffiti off of the East Side Rec facility.
The proposal under consideration is to remove city supervision completely. The City Council was expected to discuss the changes on Tuesday, May 5, but the item was tabled.
According to Recreation Department Director Linda Terricola, the park can be opened for use as soon as the changes are approved.
Under the proposed changes, the park would become a skate at your own risk facility and employees monitoring the park would be removed, saving the recreation department $15,000 to $18,000 annually, in addition to reductions in insurance costs.
The park would also see expanded hours, operating from dawn to dusk, and user fees would be eliminated, according to Terricola.
"It's a win-win situation," she said. "It's our way of giving back to the community, and the skaters will have an opportunity to skate without paying a fee."
Last year, an unlimited-use pass was $75 for city residents, $150 for non-residents. Day passes were priced at $5 and $10.
The park will not only be open for more hours, but also more days. Terricola said she hopes to open it in early April and close it in November once the changes are made.
"With the proposal and major change, we're hoping the park will be open as early as the ice is melted and general routine renovations are made to the ramps," she said.
A fence will be installed around the cement "bowl" at a cost of $1,400. Similar to installing a fence around a swimming pool, it will keep small children from wandering into danger.
Use of the skate park came under scrutiny after it was discovered covered in graffiti in April. A1 Power Washing Services donated about $3,200 worth of labor to remove the vandalism, which Terricola said was the worst the skate park has seen since its 1989 opening.