Windham to Negotiate with Salem for Skatepark Equipment

August 23, 2013

by Barbara O’Brien

The saga of what to do with Windham’s skatepark equipment continues to unwind as selectmen undertake negotiations with Salem town officials.

Windham’s town-owned skatepark, located near the entrance to Griffin Park, has been closed for nearly a year already.  Selectmen decided to shut it down just after Labor Day last year, due to numerous behavior issues plaguing the area.  Earlier this year they decided to make the closure permanent and attempt to sell off the equipment.  Thus far, however, there has been little interest from other communities and the cost of dismantling the equipment and moving it elsewhere is prohibitive, with quotes hovering near $10,000.

One of the main issues encountered in selling the equipment is that nobody seems to want the whole kit ‘n caboodle.  Bids made thus far have been piecemeal and far below what town officials had anticipated.

Town officials in Salem submitted a bid previously, but then lowered it to only $3,100 when they realized how much it will cost to move the equipment.  And Salem doesn’t want the whole thing, either, only three ramps and 10 pieces of unused plywood sheeting.  During the most recent selectmen’s meeting, however, it was admitted that nobody seems to know where the plywood sheets are at the present time.  Apparently, they are not where they were supposed to be stored.  Town officials said they would continue looking into the matter.

In the meantime, selectmen agreed unanimously (5 to 0) to enter negotiations with Salem town officials.  Also, in hopes of unloading the rest of the equipment, attempts will be made to sell it online.  Although no minimum bid was set, whoever purchases the remaining equipment must take it all and remove it at his or her own expense, including the fence surrounding the skatepark.  All equipment must be taken “as is, from where it is,” Town Administrator David Sullivan explained.  It was also noted that whoever bids on the equipment must have the means to remove it themselves.  Selectman Kathleen DiFruscia said she was concerned that someone might pay a couple hundred dollars for the equipment, start to remove it, find out it was too much trouble and leave the job half-done.