2010-02-26 / Top Stories

Bayswater State Park Killed By Mayor's Budget Cuts

New PlaNYC Skate Park Scheduled For Beach 12 Street
By Miriam Rosenberg

A skate park in Michaelis Bayswater Park in Edgemere, for which money was allocated in 2007, is now on the back burner due to budget cuts, The Wave has learned.

In November 2007, Councilman James Sanders Jr. announced he had secured $1 million in funding for development of the skate park. Now, according to the Department of Parks and Recreation the money is no longer available.

Unlike other projects for which Sanders has obtained funds, these monies did not come from the City Council.

“The mayor funded it at the Council Member’s request,” wrote Patricia Bertuccio, a representative from the Department of Parks and Recreation, in an email.

Jason Post, speaking for the mayor’s office, said, “The budget for the park was cut as part of the process to close the City’s budget deficit.”

In an e-mail to The Wave, community member Marlen K. Waaijer said residents had successfully petitioned for the skate park in April 2007. Waaijer talked about the disappointment of the children who live in the area who have been using the hockey rink for skating.

“Youngsters in the Edgemere neighborhood have patiently been waiting for the park to be built,” said Waaijer, who added that activity at the hockey rink last month convinced the youngsters their skate park would be ready this spring.

“When asked about the progress, Jill Weber [the Parks Rockaway Administrator] responded apologetically that the money that was allocated in 2007 was no longer available. They removed the old hockey rink, but instead of a skate park they will probably put picnic tables there, removing all opportunity for skateboarding activity from Michaelis Bayswater Park.”

Councilman Sanders could not be reached for comment. While the Bayswater skate park is history, Parks will begin the process of bringing a skate park near Rockaway’s beach between Beach 12 and 13 Streets as part of the mayor’s PlaNYC initiative. The skate park will be more than 50,000 square feet and will serve all levels and styles of skaters.

“The park will be an unsupervised facility with all skate elements under 3-foot high,” said Bertuccio. “The layout is designed to create a free-flowing skate environment. The park will include a central mound, ledges of various heights, stairs with 6 inch risers, skate rails, hubba ledges, and embankments of up to 3 feet.”

The skate park is part of renovation that reaches from Beach 11 to O’Donohue Park on Beach 17 Street. Construction for the whole project begins this summer and is scheduled for completion in Spring 2012.

While there is no current funding for a skate park in Bayswater Park, Bertuccio told The Wave that, “The Rockaway Administrator’s office will work with the community and skateboard professionals once funding becomes available.”

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