Thursday, February 08, 2007

Skate park in Nazareth closer to fruition

Councilman Jack Herbst's six-year quest to build a skate park in the borough is rolling closer to reality. Herbst said the price tag for the park hovers between $60,000 and $90,000.

Most of the municipalities offered one-time donations to get the park started. Herbst plans to speak to Northampton County Council on Feb. 15 to gauge the county's interest. He also hopes state Rep. Richard Grucela comes through with a $10,000 grant.

We have enough to get going," Herbst said. "I am thrilled to death (the other communities) see it as a worthwhile project."

The park will be at the front of the borough park to allow for optimal visibility and easy access. The plan features an asphalt surface and steel structures.

"I think it is a great idea. I hope it works," Nazareth Mayor Earl Keller said. "Anything that can help our teenagers, I am for it."

Bushkill Township supervisor Clifford Bonney said the township supports the park.

"We all were in favor of it," Bonney said.

Herbst said the borough's insurance might increase $2,000 to $3,000 because of concerns about liability if an injury occurs.

"(The skaters) understand the risks," Herbst said. "Signs will be posted at the park. Helmets are recommended. Once they have a place to skate, they don't want to lose it."

The design of the park came from area skaters. Herbst said he met with 40 or 50 skaters to pick their brains for ideas that will make the park an attractive destination.

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