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Laurel opens skate park Saturday

The city opened a skate park at Centennial Park Oct. 18, the first park in the city.

"Many mayors and councils have talked about doing a skate park," said Mayor Craig Moe. "I think it fills a need and fills a void. I think the kids have enjoyed it from what I've seen. I'm glad we were able to do it."

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According to Mike Lhotsky, the city's director of Parks and Recreation, the city felt a need for the skate park based on citizens request.

He said the 2,100-square-foot skate park cost $370,000 and was funded from the city's capital improvements budget and a state grant from Program Open Space.

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The state program, which funded $270,000 of the project, makes funds available for local jurisdictions constructing open space and recreational uses.

Lhotsky said the entire project included a playground replacement, a sidewalk and landscaping, in addition to the skate park.

Use of the park will cost $10 for residents and $30 for non-residents, Lhotsky said. He said users need to register with the city to use the park, and that they are given a card that they can scan to access the area. He said the skate park will open from 8 a.m. until dusk.

There will be no city staff member assigned to the park, but Lhotsky said that the Parks and Recreation Department members and police will monitor the park regularly.

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Centennial Park is a 1.1-acre park located at the intersection of Montrose Avenue and Ward Street. The park is open from dawn until dusk, and there are no admission fees to use other park amenities, which include a picnic area, a tot lot and swings.

Prior to the noon grand opening on Saturday, the city hosted a park beautification effort from 10 a.m. to noon to spruce up the grounds.

While the park is the first in the city, Howard County has a skate park in North Laurel at the North Laurel Community Center, off of Whiskey Bottom Road.

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