Proposed Scotia law takes aim at skateboarders

Skateboarding would be prohibited on all public property in Scotia under a proposed new law.

Skateboarding would be prohibited on all public property in Scotia under a proposed new law.

Mayor Kris Kastberg said the existing law prohibits skateboarding on village sidewalks and streets but it doesn’t mention village property. Youths have damaged the tennis courts at Collins Park and the dance floor at the Freedom Park stage, according to Kastberg. He believes the law needs more teeth for police.

“There was nothing in the law that allowed the officers to confiscate the skateboard for repeat offenders,” he said.

The Board of Trustees plans to introduce a new local law to prohibit people from skateboarding on any village property at its meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Village Hall.

Some youths have criticized the village for singling out skateboarders and appealed for a place to skateboard. Their pleas appeared to have some impact on the board as trustees weighed their concerns.

“I think we ought to work hard with making a place where people can skateboard legally and enjoyably,” said Trustee Tom Gifford during a Board of Trustees meeting last week.

Kastberg said he believes the skateboarders should undertake a strategy similar to the rowers in the Scotia-Glenville School District by working through the school to create a club.

“I wouldn’t mind supporting a group that wanted to do that but how big is the group?” he said.

Village officials doubted the feasibility of a skateboard park. Trustee Tom Neals said he spoke with a Clifton Park official who said its skateboard park isn’t well attended for the amount of money it costs.

Deputy Mayor Joe Rizzo said when Niskayuna opened its skateboarding park there was strong interest but it petered out in about eight months. The town has since dismantled the facility and sold it to a church in Northville.

Trustee Cathy Gatta wondered if the existing law could be tweaked to include a provision prohibiting skateboarders from loitering. That would allow people to skateboard if they were just getting from point A to point B.

After the board introduces the law on Wednesday, a public hearing will be held at the next meeting. Adoption could come as soon as the night of the public hearing.

Categories: Schenectady County

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