Correction on Skate Park story

To the editor:

  The page one story on Monday, July 8 salutes the Skate Board Park on its third anniversary … a well deserved story.

  However, the second paragraph is completely incorrect. It reads: “The SkatePark was proposed 23 years ago when skaters attended government meetings demanding for a place to skate legally.”

  That story proves how history can become so screwed up. Twenty-three years ago I was village manager. There were no skaters at any government meeting, but the first thing we did was build a skateboard park. The Enterprise story reads like the original skate park never existed.

  Shorty after I was appointed VM my granddaughter Keana Riley came to me and said what a tough time her skateboarding friends were having with no place to skate and the police, rightly so, chasing them off the sidewalks.

  The village built a skateboard park behind the village offices within the next month … not as professional as the one today but it sure served the purpose for kids back then.

  This was all done with the blessing of Mayor Tim Jock and the work of the village highway department headed by Steve Natoli. It was accomplished not with $25,000 or $35,000 but with imagination and hard work.

  Guess what? The kids flocked there; there was a platform built for music programs and other activities and the kids, instead of being chased off the sidewalks, were having their bruised knees and elbows patched by the kind police officers.

  The second season, headed by police Chief Don Perryman, the police department organized a successful party for the kids. The police donated food and soft drinks and hired a D.J.

  After several years there became a need for a more professional park and the old park was abandoned

  The Enterprise goes on to say: “The response to the skaters was simple: Get the money and we’ll build it.”

  And finally, 20 years later that challenge was met.

Howard Riley

Harrietstown Town Council

Saranac Lake

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