Town Gets $200K Grant for Skate Park, Hoops Court has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.
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Copyright 2017 ProQuest Information and Learning

New Haven Register (Connecticut)


EAST HAVEN - After securing $200,000 in state aid, the town is slated to skate into the New Year with the construction of a new 10,500-square-foot facility at one of the district's middle schools.

Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. announced Tuesday the town was awarded funding through the state's Local Capital Improvement Program to finance the building of a new skate park and basketball court at Joseph Melillo Middle School's tennis complex.

The complex, which is set to open in June, is part of the town's Priority Capital Project, which was established to identify and fulfill small- to medium-sized capital projects directly through the mayor's office, according to a news release.

The skate park, which will be 6,500 square feet, will include a custom-poured concrete bowl, ramp, rails and will be complemented by a 4,000-square-foot regulation-size basketball court.

The facility will be constructed in the existing footprint of the middle school's fourth tennis court. The remaining three tennis courts will be retained and updated to match the design aesthetic of the new skate park and basketball court complex. The complex's existing lighting will also be preserved and enhanced for security and safety purposes, according to the release.

The $200,000 state grant means the town will not need to spend additional money. With the grant already authorized, the town is slated to proceed with construction this spring, the release states.

Local leaders first sought to construct a skate park in town five years ago after receiving complaints from parents regarding children skating or biking on town sidewalks and in store parking lots, Maturo said.

"For some time now, residents have requested that we build a skate park to give our children a safe place to congregate and skate. We are thrilled to announce this project, especially because it is being made possible through a state grant and at no direct cost to taxpayers," Maturo said in the release.

Once the park is constructed, Maturo said "Skate at your own risk" signs will be posted in the facility. While East Haven could be liable for any accidents that occur, Maturo said the town's liability is no different than when residents use local tennis courts, skating rinks, ballparks, swimming pools or beaches.

A fence will line the perimeter of the skate park. Maturo said his administration is exploring the possibility of adhering an electronic timer to the fence that will allow someone to lock and open the gate remotely through a computer.

The project is set to coincide with a proposal to install a sidewalk on North High Street that will connect Route 80 to the center of town.

"With this skate park conveniently and centrally located at the middle school complex, children and residents will be able to bike or skate safely from any part of town to the complex," Maturo said in the release.

The North High Street sidewalk project, which also will be funded using state money, will be completed in phases. The sidewalk will stretch along the course of North High Street, which is approximately three miles long, Maturo said.

"It's a great asset for our community. Anytime you can get the residents out of their homes and out of their cars and out on the sidewalk to walk or jog is great," Maturo said.

News of the skate park project comes nearly two months after local leaders announced the town closed the 2015-16 fiscal year with an operating surplus of $828,000 -- East Haven's fifth consecutive surplus since Maturo returned to office in 2011.

Maturo said improvement projects have been put on hold over the last five year to address the town's fiscal woes and implement measures to reduce its debt.

"Residents have been patient as we've shown restraint and made tough choices. Now, we want to reward everyone by starting to complete some of the projects we've put off. This project, which has been widely requested, is just the first of many exciting quality-of-life improvements that residents can expect to see around town," Maturo said in the release.


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January 4, 2017


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