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Windham to sell off skate park equipment

WINDHAM - With the town's skate park now permanently closed, the Windham Board of Selectmen voted unanimously last week to place the town's nine skateboarding ramps up for sale.

During the April 22 board meeting, Recreation Committee Chairman Dennis Senibaldi shared the most recent updates of the skate park's status.

The town's skate park in Griffin Park has been closed since mid-September, and earlier this month the board voted to close the park for good due to concerns over vandalism and other inappropriate behavior.

Senibaldi said the recreation committee looked at possible alternatives over the past month and researched the potential costs of relocating the park to another area of town or storing the equipment.

Options such as relocating the park to town-owned property, either behind the police station or between the fire station and library, were considered the but costs proved prohibitive.

Senibaldi said it could cost up to $30,000 to install a new concrete pad on either site, while the actual relocation of the park equipment would cost thousands more.

Possible storage sites were considered, including behind the police station and at the town's landfill, but neither area offers enough storage space to contain all nine pieces of equipment.

"Honestly, neither of those sites would be conducive to our needs," Senibaldi said. "These are large pieces that take up a lot of space."

The town's skate park equipment, made mostly of wood, is around 11 years old and it's likely that much of it wouldn't survive being dismantled and moved, meaning the ramps would need to be moved in one piece.

"If they're moved anywhere, they have to be moved to a flat spot if you want them to survive," Senibaldi said. "And if you store them then before you relocate them, it's double the money."

"Once you dismantle them, you might as well throw them out. They're wood construction, and it would be difficult to truly keep them in worthwhile shape," he said.

According to Town Administrator David Sullivan, the town has already received "a sizeable offer" from an unnamed individual interested in purchasing the equipment.

Sullivan said it would be inappropriate to disclose the identity of the potential buyer before placing the items up for bid.

Selectmen agreed that moving the park wasn't an economically feasible option.

"I think the board was very clear on this. We voted to close the park," Chairman Phil Lochiatto said. "Seeing the cost of moving it is exorbitant, I for one don't want to spend any money on the town side to move this."

With that, the board voted unanimously to reconsider its decision to remove and store the park's equipment.

"Based on the quotes we've received, there's really no option to move it," Selectman Roger Hohenberger said. "I had no idea it would cost so much money."

Bids for the equipment's sale will be accepted for 30 days. Upon the closing of the bid period, the sale will be finalized at a future selectmen's meeting.

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