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Ortonville Skate Park: Closed

by David Fleet

May 21, 2014

Ortonville- By this point in May, area kids have usually been enjoying the Village Skate Park for at least a month.

However, skaters and bikers have yet to enjoy the park, which has not opened this season and may remain closed all year.

"No one has signed up for the skate park," said Village Manager John Lyons. "The park won't open if we don't have sign-ups. I am baffled, I don't know what happened."

The skate park, located at the corner of Ball and Cedar streets in the village, was scheduled to open May 6, later than usual due to poor weather. However, just before the opening, the skate park monitor resigned. Officials have employed a skate park monitor for the past several years to reduce issues at the park that included vandalism, profanity, drug use, noise and littering. The park, which opened in 2004, is located in close proximity to several homes. Relocation of the park has been discussed previously, with no suitable alternative found.

The village has received applications for the open skate park monitor position; however, without any sign-ups from skaters or bikers, Lyons said there is no need to hire a monitor.

"We won't hire a monitor until kids are registered," he said. "Next week, we'll hold interviews (for the monitor position). Maybe the kids are waiting until after school is out, but we're leaning toward not opening. They'll get real bored in the summer if the park isn't opened. We'll crack down if they jump the fence. They shouldn't be in there."

Village officials instituted registration and user fees two years ago for the park. The fee schedule is $20 per skater or biker and $10 for each additional skater/biker in the same family. There is a $40 cap for a family of three or more. A day pass can be purchased for $2. Applications are available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday at the village office, 476 Mill St. or go online at www.ortonvillevillage.com to print and fill out a registration form to bring to the village office. A parent or legal guardian must be present with identification to register users under the age of 18.

If sign-ups are received and the park opens, the hours of summer operation would be 1-7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. The park will always be closed when a monitor is not present. Skateboards and scooters only would be Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Bikes only days would be Wednesday and Friday.

"If you want to skate, you have to register," said Lyons. "If no one signs up, it's a waste of money. Sometimes things wear out and go away, people don't like to do it anymore."

For more information, call the village office at 248-627-4976.