OCEAN CITY — City Council voted 6-0 Thursday night to apply for county funds to help defray the cost of a new skate park.
With an April 15 deadline to submit the application for a Cape May County Open Space grant nearing, council put the park’s proposed location in the 500 block of Asbury Avenue on a fast track. One of the requirements of the application is that a proposed site be named.
The city has budgeted $250,000 for the project; council hopes the county funding would will provide “a large chunk” of the estimated cost of the project, $750,000.
The skate park has been a polarizing issue. In two earlier meetings, the biggest objection to the preferred site was its location.
Many residents of the neighborhood nearest the proposed site, which is bordered by a firehouse, a primary school, a church and commercial buildings, said it will affect the city-owned lot upon which they rely for parking.
City Council members have repeatedly assured residents that the lot, and potentially areas surrounding it, will be reconfigured so as to preserve all of the parking.
The new skate park will replace the one at Sixth Street and the Boardwalk that was closed in October 2011 with a state-of-the-art concrete park that supporters are touting as an attraction to locals and visitors. Some even envision a day when Ocean City will play host to a national skating competition in town.
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