Haldane Students Propose Skateboard Park

Also, board clarifies Royal Carting test run

By Michael Turton

A group of eighth-grade students at the Haldane Middle School addressed a joint meeting of the Cold Spring Village Board and Recreation Commission on Tuesday (Jan. 23) to propose a skateboard park at Mayor’s Park on Fair Street. They also suggested a substantial renovation of the pedestrian tunnel passing under the Metro-North tracks on Main Street.

The proposals were developed as part of the Design, Create and Innovate class at Haldane led by teachers Heidi Gesson and Michelle Hartford.

A model of the tunnel, constructed by the students, was displayed at the meeting. Their suggested upgrades include painting, decorative graphics, improved lighting and trash cans. The students hope to begin painting this spring.

Trustees examine the student model for tunnel improvements and a new skateboard park. (Photo by M. Turton)

Students working on the tunnel project include Madison Chiera, Patrick DiNardo, Eden Feinstein, Sydnee Monroe, Harrison Sassano, Lee Schmidt and Meghan Tomann.

Mayor Dave Merandy said he was “all for it. I don’t see any reason why not. It’s a great idea.” He noted that the Highway Department would have to be involved and would likely take care of any prep work before students begin painting. He encouraged the group to research the best type of paint for the tunnel, which is often damp.

The skateboard park proposal was more ambitious. The students estimated it would cost $100,000 and presented a model of the facility. Their research included consulting with the Tony Hawk Foundation, which promotes public skate parks, along with detailed cost estimates and funding options.

A model of a skate park they proposed for Mayor’s Park. (Photo by M. Turton)

The students who worked on this proposal were Bozley Beachak, Michael Covelli, Aaron Hathaway, Ryan Merritt, Ryan Buhre, Katrine Boslovich, Zoe Harris, Soren Holmbo, Rose LaBarbera, Camille Maglio, Mazzie Maxwell, Nick Pickersgill and Pelle Sandlund.

Merandy was again supportive and added that the project would fall under the purview of the Recreation Commission. He complimented the students for taking the initiative. He also commented that the basketball court at Mayor’s Park might be a suitable location.

The mayor said the village and the Recreation Department “really should have activities for young people.” He said the need for such activities comes up frequently in discussions about how to address the opioid crisis. “Not having a place for anyone to go leads to boredom,” he said. “It would be nice to have a facility that would be used, that we can be proud of, and that people will invest their time in.”

Garbage trial run

At the meeting, Merandy addressed confusion over a test run by Royal Carting scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 30, to determine the cost of outsourcing garbage collection, which is now handled by the Highway Department.

Royal Carting will begin the trial run at 5 a.m. It had been announced that the pickup would include recyclables, but Merandy said that was a misunderstanding.

The mayor also commented on what he termed “a knee-jerk reaction” to possible changes in garbage collection. “Other people have numbers and some people’s math is incredible,” he said “But we are going to do our own independent study.”

The test run, he said, will enable Royal to assess costs and submit a proposal. “Right now we don’t have that number,” Merandy said, adding that he would not rely on other people’s numbers, some of which he feels are outdated. “When we get Royal’s offer, we’ll look at everything: what it costs, the pros and cons.”

Merandy said the impact that garbage collection has on services provided by the Highway Department would be part of the evaluation. “Right now at least two days a week are taken up by garbage and recycling,” he said. “A lot of things can get pushed off. We really don’t have an efficient system.”

The mayor said the board would schedule public hearings but said “it won’t be a Facebook hearing; it will be held here,” at Village Hall. He also said Royal’s test would enable the company to estimate the cost of handling recycling.

Eighth-grade students from Haldane presented their ideas on Jan. 23 to the Cold Spring Village Board and Recreation

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7 Responses to "Haldane Students Propose Skateboard Park"

  1. Christopher Vathke   January 27, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Who will cover the insurance on this half-pipe dream?

    Reply
    • Colin Riley   January 29, 2018 at 7:22 am

      The town, like it does with everything else…

      Reply
    • mm
      Site Editor   February 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      According to the Tony Hawk Foundation, which promotes the construction of skate parks and which the Haldane students consulted, there are 4,000 skate parks in the U.S. and “yet lawsuits against the managing agencies are virtually unheard of.” This is because, it says, most states consider skateboarding a “hazardous recreational activity.”

      That means, in theory, if skateboarders are injured, it’s harder to win a lawsuit if they have been informed by signs and/or a waiver that they were skating at their own risk. The foundation says most parks can be covered under a municipality’s existing insurance, although supplemental policies are available. Supporters argue that a park can actually lower a town’s liability because it can require users to wear protective gear. Skateboarders who ride on town streets or sidewalks typically don’t and also must dodge cars, pedestrians and other moving obstacles.

      Reply
  2. Janice McMasters   January 27, 2018 at 11:13 am

    I think it would be great! Finally something in this town for the kids to do!

    Reply
  3. Patty Villanova   January 27, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    The mayor is worried about “inefficiencies”? What could be more inefficient than having three police departments for a village of 2,000 people?

    Reply
  4. Nick Nastasi   January 28, 2018 at 8:46 am

    It is great that students are getting involved and presenting ideas for changes. However, it should not go where the existing basketball court is. The court was recently updated with brand new hoops, the surface resealed. It is leaps and bounds better and safer from the court I knew as a kid. I’m all for this skate park idea, but don’t take away an existing option. Quite often the discussion is how there isn’t enough options for the youth, but if you add something and take something else away you aren’t adding more options. What about the smaller patch to the side of the court? Possibly extend it, have a smaller-sized skating surface and keep the courts. Don’t alienate and eliminate, quite frankly, a more popular activity of basketball for skating. Simply put, add but don’t subtract!

    Reply
  5. Michael Armstrong   January 30, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    I hope the Village Board will look at numbers not just from Royal Carting, but from other area carting firms, before it decides whether to outsource Cold Spring’s garbage collection. Privatization is a bad idea when there is no real competition to hold prices down, even when the initial pricing is low.

    Also in question is how the Village defines the work Royal would be expected to do (assuming that the Village doesn’t just dump responsibility for garbage collection on the residents themselves, which some reports suggest may be the plan). Who determines whose garbage is to be collected, and who is in charge of adding new stops or cutting stops? Currently, the Village garbage trucks serve most single family residences, but not condominiums or apartments (except for Spring Brook), and some — but by no means all — businesses. Will Royal’s proposal include Christmas tree pick-ups and spring and fall lawn-waste collections? Having a clear description of the work should be the first step in preparing a request for proposals that will make it possible to fairly compare bids.

    Reply

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