The skate park in Kennebunk, on Factory Pasture Lane, is pictured in this undated photo. Kennebunk Selectmen received $100,000 to improve the aging wooden ramps. However, voters turned down a proposal to build a new park in Parson’s Field in June.

The skate park in Kennebunk, on Factory Pasture Lane, is pictured in this undated photo. Kennebunk Selectmen received $100,000 to improve the aging wooden ramps. However, voters turned down a proposal to build a new park in Parson’s Field in June.

KENNEBUNK — After a bruising defeat at the polls, where voters by a 2:1 margin rejected moving the town’s skate park to Parsons Field, the Board of Selectmen again are considering new locations for the ailing facility.

The selectmen and Town Manager Barry Tibbetts discussed their options at the Sept. 22 Board of Selectmen meeting in their first public discussion after the town vote. Some selectmen expressed frustration with further work on the subject, while a majority agreed that the issue should be brought to a town vote again next year if a new location was chosen.

Selectman Shiloh Schulte, who had spoken to many members of the public on the issue during his campaign for a seat on the Board of Selectmen, said the options would be to renovate or consider alternative locations.

“I think it’s pretty clear where we stand right now. … The default position is we’re looking at renovating the current park,” said Schulte. “That said, there’s a lot of interest in looking for alternate locations. We have a set of alternative locations and I think it would be perfectly legitmate to look at other sites at this point. … It should come up before the town as a question to vote on.”

During meetings in the spring, the selectmen debated whether a town vote allocating $100,000 to the project would allow them to choose a different location, as the language earmarked the funds for “repairs” to the skate park. Selectman Richard Morin felt a similar issue was at play in the vote that rejected the move to Parsons Field.

“Unfortunately it was worded as an either-or type question,” Morin said, pointing to the clause that asked voters if they wished to move the skate park rather than make repairs. “It’s an overwhelming message: improve the skateboard park. So I’m not sure what we’re entertaining here other than rehashing what we’ve already did once.”

Schute pointed to one way the selectmen could address the concerns of the skaters without moving the location.

“One of the things that kept coming up was, ‘Why can’t we make this space into a nice park like we have in rotary park?’ … (That) would go a long way to improving this part of our town, which is very close to the downtown,” Schute added, pointing to sidewalks that could be added during upcoming meetings on road construction.

Chairman Kevin Donovan pointed out that no action would be taken in the near future since construction can’t take place in the next year, and requested that the selectmen review the list of alternative locations and information they collected over the past year.

“We’re not under the gun for any of this. … From my perspective we probably should review what our alternatives are and if there are any new ones,” said Donovan.

Town Manager Barry Tibbetts said he would bring locations from last year’s discussions to the selectmen’s meeting in three weeks.


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