Source: Sherman Publications

New skate park rules take aim at safety, noise

by Susan Bromley

June 29, 2011

Ortonville- Changes to Village Skate Park usage will begin this week.

The village council unanimously approved changes at their June 27 meeting that they hope will reduce or eliminate complaints from neighbors as well as improve safety for park users.

Those changes include constant supervision of the park while open and a fee and signed code of conduct and waiver form to use the park. Additionally, shirts and shoes will be mandatory, and the council is consulting with their attorney on possibly requiring helmet usage.

“A lack of oversight previously and lack of concern for our residents is being corrected,” said Village Council President Wayne Wills. “We will be holding all users of all parks accountable. We will not put up with language or abuse of any kind. We’re all on board for this particular strategy and while we think it’s important to provide recreation, it’s a privilege, not a right. If kids and parents don’t view it as such, they will be asked to leave.”

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

A parks committee was formed last month, led by Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Pete Burkett, commander of the Brandon substation, to examine solutions.

Effective July 1, the park will no longer be open if Skate Park Monitor Helen Edgerton is not present.

During the regular season of June 15-Aug. 31, the park will be open (with supervision) from noon-7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from noon-6 p.m. Saturday. During the off-season, from April 15-June 14 and from Sept. 1-Oct. 31, the park will be open (with supervision) from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon-6 p.m. Saturday. The park is always closed Sunday and Monday and during inclement weather.

Within the next few weeks, once a system has been developed, anyone who wants to skate or bike at the park will be expected to sign a code of conduct and liability waiver, have their picture taken, and pay a user fee of $10 for residents for the remainder of the year that the park is open, or a $15 fee for non-residents. Day passes will be available for $2 for residents or $5 for non-residents.

“I think this will be a good change,” said Councilmember Liz Waters. “There is nothing that much different, we will just be enforcing the rules. The hours have changed and there will always be a monitor. We are stressing no profanity and be courteous to all the surrounding homes.”

Details: 248-627-4976.