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Free ride at Mastic Beach skate park?

The Brookhaven Town board tabled a decision Tuesday

The Brookhaven Town board tabled a decision Tuesday night on proposed fees for a new skate park across from William Floyd High School, giving skateboarders a free ride until the board's next meeting on Jan. 25, 2011 (Dec. 22, 2010) Credit: Carl Corry

It could be a free ride for skateboarders in Mastic Beach for the next month. The Brookhaven Town board tabled a decision Tuesday night on proposed fees for a new skate park across from William Floyd High School.

The park, the first of its kind in Brookhaven, was a pet project of the late Brookhaven Councilman Keith Romaine, who represented the district. His friend and successor, Councilman Dan Panico, a William Floyd graduate, objected to the proposed fee structure.

The rates presented by Parks and Recreation Commissioner Ed Morris were $5 daily, $35 monthly and $275 annually for residents, and $10 daily, $70 monthly and $500 annually for non-residents.

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“I don’t think anyone in my district can afford that,” said Panico. “I think $275 will cause shockwaves through the community.”

The board eventually put off a vote on the fees to examine if they could be lowered while still covering the cost of running the park, which will include a part-time worker.

Until a decision is made, likely at the Jan. 25 board meeting, the town is considering whether to hold off on an official opening of the park or open the park and charge nothing until the fees are set.

Either way, with the park complete, skateboarders are already making use of it by getting around or over the steel fence, Morris noted, to the smirks and chagrins of board members.

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