Youths still ride at deteriorating skate/bike park

There still is daily activity at the skate/bike park in Kane despite deteriorated conditions that are expected to remain indefinitely.The Kane Borough Council at this time has no plans-- and no money-- to again repair the facility built in 2004.Speaking at a meeting last week, Council President Howard Kane said a fundraising drive would be the only way to come up with money to fix the popular recreational site.The borough in 2004 used $31,818 from a federal community development block grant (CDBG) to buy materials for the skate/bike facility at Glenwood Park on Hacker Street.Volunteers under the direction of former Councilman Bob O'Rourke built the facility.The Kane Rotary Club donated $10,000 for the construction of a blacktop pad for the facility.The borough Streets Department three years ago installed new materials to improve the surface of the skate/bike park. But the wear and tear of use-- as well as vandalism-- has led to more deterioration."It's broke," Councilman John Gentilman said.Youths who use the facility attended a council meeting last year and vowed to do their part to revive the site."The young adults were supposed to raise money," Kane said at the council meeting. He said council "hasn't heard from the kids" who pledged to seek donations. He made his remarks in response to a query from Erin Vassallo, the new executive director of the Kane Area Development Center-- which includes the Chamber of Commerce.The Eagles Club reportedly has made a $1,000 donation for the skate/bike facility.Kane said the borough doesn't have money to buy materials to repair the facility. He said CDBG funds can't be tapped for maintenance projects.Even though repairs are needed, youths riding bicycles and skateboards still fly up and down ramps at the skate/bike park and perform airborne maneuvers.A sign at the site advises riders to use the facility at their own risk.In other business at the 2-hour, 20-minute meeting last week, council:*Received notice that a citizens group is circulating petitions in an effort to move the time for council meetings from 4 p.m. on the second Monday of the month to 7 p.m.Mick Petruney, who is among those circulating petitions, said the evening time would give "working people a chance to be here."Kane said council sets its meeting time at its annual reorganizational forum in January.Gentilman said council should "consider" the request to move the time for the meetings to 7 p.m.See full article by purchasing the July 11 edition of The Kane Republican.Kane Borough CouncilWhen: Monday, Aug. 13Time: 4 p.m.Where: Borough building, Bayard Street