Hillsboro may soon have a new skate park, along with a parks and recreation committee to develop it.
In a meeting of Hillsboro City Council’s Street and Safety Committee Wednesday evening, chairman Justin Harsha said he feels a skate park would make a good addition to the city and a fine use of the old tennis courts at the Hillsboro City Park on Railroad Street.
Pietro Cartaino, a Hillsboro resident who has been skateboarding since 1999, said he would be willing to lead efforts to develop a skate park, offering to lend his carpentry skills in the construction of ramps, and be involved in the Parks and Recreation Committee if one is formed.
“This would be something nice to be involved with,” he said.
Committee members Ann Morris and Tracy Aranyos agreed a skate park would be a good place for local youth to spend time.
Cartaino said the tennis courts at the Hillsboro City Park would be the perfect place to construct a skate park, since open areas generally deter vandalism and criminal activity.
Cartaino and interim Hillsboro Police Chief Steve Browder agreed that previous home-made skate parks in the city have been a source of that type of activity in the past.
Browder said the city should consider preventative measures such as a lock on gates, increased lighting and even security cameras so the area doesn’t drain police resources.
Browder said he’s not against a skate park being built, but that the city should proceed cautiously, adding that he’s known Cartaino for some time as “one of the good kids,” and that often young people go to skate parks just to have good, clean fun, although “that’s not what’s been the attraction in the past.”
The Street and Safety Committee voted 3-0 to recommend council create a Parks and Recreation Committee that could oversee the skate park’s development.
Also during the meeting, Browder said HPD officers conducted 55 traffic stops in three weeks on West Main Street in response to a complaint of frequent speeding in the area.
Several people in attendance agreed people often speed on West Main Street.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.