All of the hard physical work and environmental work has been completed on the skateboard park in Danbury. It's expected to open next month across from the Ice Arena.
For years, city officials said they've been inundated with requests by the city's youth for a skate park. The main issue delaying the project was liability concerns. After discussions with the City's insurance carrier late last year and early this year officials decided to move forward. During a City Council ad hoc committee discussion it was decided that if the City doesn't permanently staff the park, and if signs are posted telling users they skate at their own risk, the liability would be minimal. During the meeting it was suggested that providing lighting at the park would create an attractive nuisance. The park would close at sundown, like other parks in the City. It was also suggested that there not be fencing around the park, unless it's decorative.
The parcel of land that the City acquired from the Danbury Redevelopment Agency was a piece that no one else showed interest in, in part because the cost of remediation would be too high. The contaminated soil will be encapsulated by the concrete pad base, which is an environmentally approved method of dealing with the type of contamination at the site. The Traffic Commission would not have allowed cars to exit onto Patriot Drive, also making the land unattractive for other uses.
The land is easily accessible by police, EMT and fire service.
During the ad hoc committee meeting, it was said that the park would give skateboarders a centralized location for recreation, removing exposure to further damage throughout the City. The Mayor said he has received numerous complaints about damage in the City.
Preliminary cost estimates were about $150,000.
There is an old brick-lined culvert that runs under the property that was built in the 1800s, diverting a considerable amount of storm drainage to the Still River. In order to prevent damage to the culvert, a top was going to be created, and the manholes changed to grates which will allow water to go in.
There was some unforseen drainage work that was needed.