GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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April 26, 2013

Editorial: Skate park worth a look for CPC

There are no doubt a number of very worthy applications for Gloucester’s Community Preservation Committee to consider when its members sit down to decide which of the submitted projects will be granted shares of the city’s Community Preservation Act money in the latest round of funding.

And the 2012 change in project eligibility, which opened the door to upgrading existing municipally-owned open sites like Gloucester’s Newell Stadium, no doubt opens that door to improving other city-owned properties, as well.

But the idea of using city CPA dollars to work with a group of local young adults and teens and rehabilitating Gloucester’s beleaguered skate park adjacent to O’Maley Middle School indeed comes across as an excellent use of the CPA for a type of project that can be all too often overlooked.

Let’s face it, the skate park doesn’t have organized groups behind it, like Little Leagues, formal youth football programs, PTOs, or recognized preservation groups that come to the table with established political credibility and clout. By all counts, 21-year-old Michael Asaro and his friends simply show up and use the park when they can — and they’ve chipped in their own money to make it safer and maintain it, as well.

They’re getting help with their bid for CPA money; the city’s Department of Public Works, strapped to keep up the park through its own budget, worked with the skaters on the application and on identifying needed repairs and potential costs. And those will no doubt play a role in determining its viability.

But it’s good to see such a true grass roots group of young people work with the city toward a project that can benefit all. We wish them the best in getting the help they need.

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