COG mulls possibility of building skate park

HERMITAGE, Pa. -- The Shenango Valley could be getting a public, regional skate park for skateboarders and inline skaters.
There's the matter of finding money to pay for it, and a question about liability insurance to be answered first. The Mercer County Regional Council of Government's executive board voted Wednesday to apply for state funding to help.
James DeCapua, executive director, said the first issue will be finding out how much liability insurance for a park would cost and if COG can handle it.
West Middlesex Borough has already offered the space -- a small park on Walnut Street behind the Lackawannock-Shenango-West Middlesex Community Swimming Pool. DeCapua said the plan is to replace an unused volleyball court with a pre-fabricated skate park course.
The project is estimated at $60,000. COG will apply for $20,000 through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and COG will put up $20,000 worth of "in kind" services. The state will then give another $20,000 to match the in-kind contribution, DeCapua said.
Once the money is in hand to build it, there is still the matter of paying for upkeep and operations.
DeCapua said that plan hasn't been worked out yet but there is a possibility that a user's fee may have to be charged.
Local municipalities may be willing to contribute some money for the on-going operation because residents of their communities will be using the park, he said.
Most Shenango Valley communities have heard pleas from young residents in recent years for the development of a skate park.

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