Barnegat Re-Establishing Skate Park by Town Hall

Aug 09, 2017
File Photo by: Jack Reynolds

After a six-year absence, the skate park is coming back to Barnegat Township at the site of the old one in the municipal complex. An ordinance creating the facility was introduced by the township committee at its Aug. 1 meeting.

Jean Broadbent, recreation director, said unlike the previous park, the new one will be made of concrete instead of wood.

“Wood is only going to last so long,” said Broadbent. “It was deteriorating and became unsafe for kids to use. What we have now will be much more durable.”

According to the ordinance, the park will be open from 9 a.m. until dusk. It will be unsupervised so skateboarders will use it at their own risk.

“During inclement weather, the skate park shall be closed,” the ordinance says. “There is no use when the equipment is wet or icy.”

The park requires all users to wear helmets, and the use of other safety equipment, such as knee and elbow pads, is recommended. Food and drink are prohibited except for bottled water.

“Use of drugs, alcohol, smoking, profanity and/or vandalism is prohibited and shall result in automatic and permanent expulsion,” the ordinance says.

The original park opened in 1999, and several times was temporarily closed for repairs and vandalism. At the time of the park’s closure, then-Township Administrator David Breeden said the facility had “outlived its usefulness.”

Breeden said then the township would be prioritizing improvements to the Lower Shore recreation area before it rebuilt the skate park. Then after Superstorm Sandy, the town had the additional task of having the municipal dock rebuilt.

“We had a few other priorities,” said Mayor Albert Bille. “But this year, we made major improvements to Project Playground and got that reopened,  and we’re also fixing up the smaller pocket parks. We figured as long as we were doing these projects, it made sense to give the teens a place to go with the skate park.”

A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for the next meeting, on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 6:30 p.m.

— Eric Englund

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