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Who is responsible for upkeep at Weirton’s skate park?

Updated: Friday, August 22 2014, 05:12 PM EDT

WTOV9.com
HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va. The skate park in Weirton has been part of the community for 5 years. It was designed for the community to enjoy, but now its future is up in the air.
City officials are trying to figure out who is responsible for its maintenance and upkeep.
People who work around the park every day say it’s usually packed after school with kids and really people of all ages. But just looking around, it’s clear there's work that needs to be done. And it's become a battle between the city and the Board of Park Commission.
The skate park is located in the parking lot of the Weirton Municipal Plaza near the Edwin J. Bowman Field. It was originally opened under former Mayor Mark Harris, who was charged with embezzling money from the skate park project.
"This was a decision by a former mayor to put this skate park,” Weirton Park Board member Ed Bowman said. “Ironically, I was a state senator at the time, and I received a $19,000 grant to fund that particular skate park, so I have an interest in it. I think it’s something that was good for the community, those who participate in it."
With a new administration, there's been a disagreement over who should oversee and take care of the skate park.
City Councilman George Ash recently asked the park’s board and commission to take over maintenance. Bowman said they decided to respectfully turn down the request for two reasons.
"One is what was reported to us by our director that the insurance companies told us if we accepted responsibility it would cost another $10,000 in our insurance policy. That’s a major factor,” Bowman said. “Secondly, we were discussing that evening; we're having problems keeping up with maintenance of our facilities, so it doesn’t make sense if you’re having problems with your current facilities that you would take on something new."
But the discussion doesn't end there.
Bowman says the board is sending a letter to city leaders on their position and telling them that they are open for talks.
"If you've got a substantial number of citizens using it, then I think it should be kept in one way or another whether the city or the park board to keep it in operation," he said.
Ash says he plans to discuss the topic with the city manager. Mayor George Kondik says the park is currently covered under an umbrella insurance policy.

Who is responsible for upkeep at Weirton’s skate park?


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