Plan in place for return of skateboard park to Ocean City

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OCEAN CITY — There is a plan in place for the skateboard park to return to Ocean City in 2014, Mayor Jay Gillian said in his latest letter to residents Dec. 6.

“The administration will recommend to City Council that the park be located just north of the Sports and Civic Center near the shuffleboard courts,” he wrote. “A conceptual design has been developed in consultation with Spohn Ranch Skateparks, one of the leading such companies in the country.”

Gillian said there will be a chance for public input on the design over the next two weeks.

“We will review this conceptual design with interested stakeholders for their input over the next two weeks. We then finalize the design and go to bid just after the first of the year,” he wrote.

The skateboard park opened in April 2002 but was dismantled in October 2011 after equipment was stolen. Police, at the time, said that Facebook postings also alerted them to other illegal activities taking place in the park.

Skateboarders, upset that the park had been taken down without notice, started a Facebook page, Rebuild Ocean City NJ Skatepark, which helped police catch the suspects.

James Mallon, former director of community services, said at the time the park was closed “for safety reasons.”

Over the last two years, Gillian has talked about relocating the park and redesigning it as part of improvements to the Fifth Street parking lot and recreation area.

In addition to the skatepark, Gillian said that the long-awaited Merion Park road and drainage project is nearing final design.

“Earlier today our engineering consultants on this job, Baker Engineers, reviewed the project with city staff and a group of neighbors. The project is on schedule to go out to bid by the end of January, with construction beginning by the end of March,” he wrote.

“I appreciate the patience of the resident and property owners of Merion Park as this challenging project was closely studied.”

There will be a public information session on the project in early 2014.

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