Borough Council held a public hearing Monday for the 2018-22 Capital Improvement Plan, but residents only had one project they wanted to talk about: the action sports park.
The CIP includes a variety of projects — from those that are required to maintain infrastructure to those that improve the quality of life in the community.
The plan recommends projects totaling $56 million over five years, with $5.9 million of that in 2018.
The action sports park — listed in the CIP as having expenses of $5,000 in 2018 and $350,000 in 2018 — has been a contentious idea for a little more than a year now because Orchard Park was identified as the recommended site in June 2016.
Council removed it as the preferred site in August and directed borough staff to identify other possible sites, borough Manager Tom Fountaine said at a council meeting in June.
“We do not want our beautiful, diverse and multiuse green space in Orchard Park paved and made into a single-use facility,” said Christopher Jones, who lives in the Greentree neighborhood near the park.
He asked council to remove the action sports park entirely from the CIP.
Jim Milutinovic, also a Greentree resident, said he’s in favor of the borough or Centre Region Parks and Recreation pursuing the possibility of a skate park, as long as it’s properly placed — not in a residential area.
Milutinovic asked council to remove Orchard Park from the list of potential sites.
“We are constantly looking at this as a negative. And that’s something that’s being taken away,” Jamie Bestwick, X Games gold medalist, said. “Orchard Park, like many others, is a wonderful community sports park. And we’re looking to add something, to expand on what’s currently offered. And invite even more local residents to participate in sports, inclusive of action sports.”
He proposed the idea of an action sports park several years ago.
“We’ll do this the right way for future generations in our community, leaving us all with a sense of pride,” Bestwick said.
The final approval of the CIP is scheduled for July 17.