Ocean City Skateboarders Upset Over Park Cutback Proposals - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Ocean City Skateboarders Upset Over Park Cutback Proposals

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OCEAN CITY, Md. - Ocean City leaders are looking at some major cut-backs with one proposal on the table that could affect the 37-year-old skate-park.

At a recent budget meeting, the city council proposed shutting the Ocean Bowl Skate Park down in January and February, this among other ideas to save money. Closing down the park for two months would reportedly save the city $15,000 a year. Among other changes that could come include cutting back bus operation hours.

Council member Brent Ashley says he was the only one to vote against the proposal.

"This is all about the money," said Ashley. "The employees of Ocean City, the union employees and the general employees have been promised larger raises over multi-period of time.

"We should be celebrating a skateboard park. If anything, we should be making the hours longer. How are you going to close this down? It's crazy."

According to skate park workers, Ocean Bowl is the country's oldest, continuously operated skate parks and also brings in the Dew Tour in June.

Workers worry what will happen to the kids if changes go through.

"Kids that come here every day and they're not going to have anything else to do," said J. D. Diehl. "They'll sit home and play video games or get into other stuff they probably shouldn't get into. They're taking a lot from the kids and the community."

Twelve-year-old Diego Zane, like dozens of other local kids, rides his skateboard almost every day at Ocean Bowl. For him, it's an opportunity to have fun with his best friends and not worry about anything.

"If they close the skate park, what are we going to do?" asked Zane.

We're told there may be more discussion at Tuesday's city council work session and then again at the first reading of the budget, which could happen as early as next week.

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