Middletown OK’s $3.2M park purchase moves to $1.4M skate park

MIDDLETOWN – The township committee has given the green light to the township to buy Fairview Fields on Oak Hill Road for $3.2 million and has begun the process to allocate an additional $1.4 million for the construction of a skate park at the Bill Kunkel Memorial Park to Leonardo.

The township will post a $160,000 deposit for Fairview and bail for the remaining $3.04 million, according to a pair of orders the township committee passed on Monday. The governing body also presented another pair of ordinances for construction at Kunkel, which will need to be finalized at a future meeting.

The township hired Spohn Ranch, a transnational skate park design company, and suburban Flanders-based consulting engineers to work on the proposed skate park in place of what is now a roller hockey rink.

The township is also looking to make improvements to a park parking lot and other improvements.

“Once we have secured the funds, we will be able to bid on the project,” recreation director Janet Dellett told the township committee on Monday. “It’s aggressive, but we hope to be able to launch an offer at the end of June, beginning of July.”

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The roller rink was being used as a “do-it-yourself skate park,” Mayor Tony Perry said Monday.

Perry thanked the township consultants and employees who worked on the project, as well as the local skaters who provided their input. “It’s a project that doesn’t happen that often,” he said.

The municipal committee previously authorized the purchase of Fairview Fields for $2,575,000, but raised the price on Monday “to avoid various costs, including but not limited to litigation,” according to one of the new orders. The adopted ordinance authorizes the municipality to acquire Fairview”by purchase or eminent domain for public recreational purposes.”

Alex N. Gecan covers local news and unsolved mysteries for Asbury Park Press. You can reach him at 732-547-1365 or [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @GeeksterTweets.

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