SALEM Skaters set to open park

Two groups will be giving away helmets to skaters during the christening of the city skate park.
SALEM -- Skateboarders and in-line skaters on hand Saturday to christen the new skate park in Waterworth Memorial Park here will receive free helmets.
Councilman Walt Bezeredi said the 500 high-quality helmets are provided by a grant secured by the Northeast Ohio EMS Council and the Safe Kids Coalition.
The Parks Commission grand opening will be at 9 a.m.
Bezeredi said city officials have discussed the need for a city skate park for more than two years. Construction is still in progress, he said.
Financing park: The city parks department is funding construction of the nearly $43,000 concrete skate park on a nearly 60-by-90-foot cement pad off Sunset Boulevard.
Councilwoman Nancy Cope said she is glad the skateboarders and in-line skaters will receive the helmets. She told council that visits to two skate parks in other cities while on vacation made her nervous because "the kids weren't wearing helmets and they were falling all over the place."
The skate park will feature apparatus skateboarders typically use to perform stunts. The skate park will be open to skateboarders and in-line skaters only, and signs will be posted prohibiting bicycles.
In another matter, council unanimously approved an ordinance allowing appraisal of 3.62 acres of city-owned land on Pennsylvania Avenue next to the city water plant.
Property sale: The ordinance also states that following the appraisal, the property can be offered for public sale. Council would sell to the highest bidder.
Councilwoman Alma Apicella said Councilwoman Mary Lou Popa, who was absent from Tuesday's meeting, has asked to purchase the property on behalf of the Salem Area Humane Society. Popa is the society president.
Society volunteers are seeking a place to build a new shelter. The shelter along U.S. Route 62 in Perry Township, west of Salem, has stopped accepting stray dogs and cats because of complaints about the barking dogs, and a shortage of funds.
Although Popa said she hopes the city will offer the property for sale, she would be banned by council rules from voting on such a measure.

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