Source: Sherman Publications

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Village Skate Park opens

by Susan Bromley

March 30, 2011

Ortonville- The Village Skate Park should be open for the season this week, weather permitting.

The village council approved by a 4-3 vote at their March 28 meeting to open the skate park located at Cedar and Ball streets pending a safety inspection of equipment by Recreation Director Fred Waybrant. The park will be operated with the same hours as last year, under the same rules, and will be supervised by a part-time park monitor who will earn $10 per hour. Trustees Debbie Baker, Aileen Champion, Tom Peters, and Liz Waters voted yes. Trustees Dan Eschmann and Coleen Skornicka and Council President Wayne Wills voted no.

"I'm more concerned about the taxpayers than the kids using the park," said Wills. "The taxpayers are much more important, they are paramount as much as I like recreation opportunities."

"Some of the parents of these kids at the skate park are taxpayers," responded Champion.

The Village Skate Park has a long history of complaints from neighbors since it opened more than five years ago, chief among them vandalism, profanity, drug use, noise and littering. The park is located in close proximity to several homes. Relocation of the park has been discussed previously, with no suitable alternative found.

Village Manager Larry Brown had not hired a monitor as of presstime, but said he had a few applicants. Brown said the park had minimal complaints last year and children had a good time skating.

The park will be open from noon-8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, with supervision from 4-8 p.m. The park is open from noon-8 p.m. Saturday, will all-day supervision, and closed on Sunday and Monday.