Cities may shoulder cost of YMCA skate park

A 12,000-square-foot skate park considered a hefty operating expense for the Peninsula Family YMCA may get a boost in funding as the cities of Millbrae and Burlingame consider financing the park’s day-to-day operations.

The YMCA skate park — a partnership between the YMCA, Millbrae and Burlingame — opened with great fanfare in 2002, in one of the first cities on the Peninsulato construct a permanent skate park that caters to both in-line skaters and skateboarders. The facility lingered on the drawing board early this decade, until officials finally decided on an $850,000 skater haven located behind Mills High School.

Millbrae officials approached Burlingame last week, asking to set up a meeting to discuss the feasibility of helping to run the park.

Burlingame Parks and Recreation Director Randy Schwartz said that such a meeting likely wouldn’t take place until sometime next month.

Millbrae City Manager Ralph Jaeck introduced the idea of additional funding for the skate park at a joint study session of the City Council and Parks and Recreation Commission Tuesday night.

“[The discussion] is in its very early stages,” Mayor Marc Hershman said. “I want to hear more about the numbers and the cost before forming any opinions.”

Though Millbrae provided the land for the park and some $150,000 toward its construction, Jaeck said the city does not fund the park’s operation. Similarly, the city of Burlingame contributed $100,000 to its construction but does not provide funds for its operation, Schwartz said. Much of the funding came from fundraising efforts, Jaeck said.

“We’ve provided a substantial portion of the capital funding, we certainly have a stake in what happens to it,” Jaeck said.

In exchange for Burlingame’s one-time contribution to the park, skaters residing in Burlingame are afforded the same deals and offers that Millbrae residents and YMCA members have.

“What would be important for us to discuss are the costs and the maintenance issues,” Schwartz said. “We do recognize that a lot of kids in Burlingame use the skate park and we’ll do what we can to help keep it running smoothly.”

YMCA representatives did not return calls seeking comment.

tramroop@examiner.com


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