Oak Bluffs will allow the skate park on the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road to remain open, despite a recent call from the town insurance carrier to shut it down because of safety concerns.
Town administrator Michael Dutton this week said highway superintendent Richard Combra, town police and superintendent of schools Dr. James H. Weiss met recently with Elaine Barse, president of the Martha’s Vineyard Skate Park Association, to discuss the issues at the park.
Paul Chipman, a risk control consultant for Trident Insurance, sent a letter to Mr. Dutton on March 19 detailing his concerns about hazardous conditions at the park, recommending it be closed down immediately.
Mr. Chipman visited the skate park on March 8 and found a number of safety hazards, including worn wooden framework with protruding wood screws.
Mr. Dutton said the selectmen took Mr. Chipman’s concerns’ seriously, but never considered shutting down the skate park. “I think they recognize it’s a great facility. The kids use it and have found a home, and it keeps them in one place that is visible and near the schools,” he said, adding: “So we did exactly what we needed to do and found a solution that is best for everyone.”
Mr. Dutton said Ms. Barse and other representatives agreed to make any needed repairs to keep the park safe.
“The skate park folks acknowledged that things got a little beat up by heavy use and weather over the winter. . . generally speaking springtime is when they come in and do the maintenance they need to do. And if that calls for some maintenance work, they are committed to getting it done,” he said.
Mr. Weiss said he was happy to see such a positive outcome.
“It’s a great facility. I am pleased we were able to figure out a solution. Anytime we can promote organized activities for our youngsters, we should do that, and this is facility has quickly become a part of our community,” he said.