Upon learning it had the county's blessing Tuesday, borough council agreed to take $80,000 in county grants initially intended for the creation of a skate park at Walsh Pool and transfer those promised funds to the construction of a barrier-free playground at Berdan Grove.
The skate park, while not abandoned entirely, is firmly on hold until Fair Lawn All-Sports returns to the council with its plans for expanding the organization's footprint at the former Walsh Pool site. All-Sports' preliminary plans, which have not yet received council support, call for building a baseball and soccer field around the skate park.
While several council members said they intend to honor their earlier commitment to relocate the skate park, some residents have expressed outrage at skaters' wishes being deferred in favor of another borough project.
One Patch commenter called the council's decision, "Absolutely not fair to the kids that have been patiently waiting for this skate park," and said skateboarders were being "cheated" and "almost segregated" by the move.
Another commenter, a self-described skaterboarder, said they were annoyed by the council's decision.
"I have been waiting for [the skate park] to reopen and hearing that it won't happen and the funds are going to remodeling a park is just infuriating," the user wrote.
Advocates for the ADA playground argue that the borough's special needs community has been waiting years for a place to play in town and, without one, have been forced to travel out of town due to the borough's inadequately-equipped play structures.
Barrier-free equipment, which might include handicap-accessible swings placed alongside traditional swings or playground equipment that is eye-level with a child who is confined to a wheelchair, can accomodate families that have children with different levels of physical ability.
"[The playground] will be designed to serve ALL of Fair Lawn's youth," Patch user and ADA Committee supporter Jack O'Neil wrote. "Fair Lawn has been at the forefront of supporting citizens with disabilities, and continues to support inclusionary programs and projects."
The borough originally placed the modular skate park at a converted tennis court on 30th Street and Pellack Drive in June 2011, but the set up lasted less than a month before being disassembled as a result of resident complaints.
Last May, council voted to move forward with relocating the skate park equipment, which had been in storage, to the former Walsh Pool site. Designs for the project were drawn up, the pool was filled and the skate park looked like it would become a reality by early fall until council reversed course at Tuesday's meeting.
What do you think of the council's decision to reallocate the funds?