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Athletic Foundation Awards $5K Grant to Skate Park

The grant is contingent on the public donating the rest of the $15,000 needed for park repairs.

The Chatham Athletic Foundation (CAF) has pledged $5,000 to help repave the Chatham Skate Park, according to township resident Mimi Mehta, one of the parents who has spearheaded the efforts to save the park.

"Although usable, the asphalt surface at the park remains deteriorated and bumpy," Mehta said in a written statement. "The Chatham Township Committee has authorized the Chatham Skate Park Committee to raise $15,000 for a new long-lasting acrylic skating surface."

Mehta and Mary Rohe, a borough resident who has also been dedicated to saving the sate park, reached out to CAF for help. CAF agreed to provide a grant for $5,000 to start off the fundraising.

The grant, however, is contingent on the rest of the $15,000 for the renovations being donated from the public.

The skate park was closed in August on the advice of the township's insurance provider. The park was structurally compromised and needed intense renovations.

Repairs were made to the ramps and the skatelites, the top cover of the ramps by the township's Department of Public Works using materials the township had at their disposal. Administrator Thomas E. Ciccarone invited the township's insurance carrier to come inspect repairs. Once snow from the recent blizzard was cleared the park reopened.

Still, Mehta said, the surface needs to be repaved before skaters can enoy the park at its full potential.

The coating Rohe and Mehta propose using is specifically designed for the acrylic wheels found on skateboards and skates and has been used in Hillsborough and Edison, Mehta said.

 

The township committee unanimously approved a resolution supporting the fundraising efforts of Mehta and Rohe. Now, however, the real work of raising the remaining $10,000 begins.

"The goal of the Chatham Skate Park Committee is to raise all of the money by May 1 so that the renovation can be complete for the summer season," Mehta said.

To that end the women have established the Chatham Skate Park Committee with a Facebook page and the ability to accept tax-deductible donations.

If they do raise the $10,000 in time, Mehta and Rohe plan to have a grand re-opening ceremony for the skate park in June to coincide with National Go Skate Day.

Tax-deductible donations for the skate park can be made by writing a check to Chatham Township with "Chatham Skate Park" in the memo line.

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