Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Skate park thefts sour deal

by Chris Schultz

September 13, 2012

Lake Geneva had a deal with the village of Twin Lakes to sell its old wooden skate park ramping for $7,500.

Thanks to some thieves, that deal is now dead, City Administrator Dennis Jordan told the Lake Geneva Board of Park Commissioners Sept. 5.

Three pieces of a material called Skatelite were unscrewed and removed from ramps at the old park, Jordan said.

Skatelite is a mat-like material made from fibers and plastics that provides a smooth surface suitable for skate boards, BMX bikes and other recreational wheels.

Three lengths of Skatelite, roughly 3 feet wide by 6 to 8 feet long, were stolen shortly after the grand opening of the new skate park, Public Works Director Dan Winkler said in a recent telephone interview.

During the park board meeting, Police Chief Mike Rasmussen said several people and a vehicle had to be involved in the theft.

Nearly 300 counter-sunk screws had to be removed to free the Skatelite from the ramps, he said.

Park board Commissioner Dave Quickel said he didn’t see the theft as a minor thing.

“I resent someone taking it apart,” he said of the skateboard ramp. “It cost us a $7,500 deal.”

Quickel said he would like to see the city post a reward for the name or names of those responsible.

Jordan said he found Twin Lakes’ decision not to take the skate park equipment curious. He said the wooden ramps and rails of the old skate park are about 10 years old and need some repair and refit which would include application of new layers of Skatelite and maybe a new coat of paint.

Jordan estimated that the stolen Skatelite was probably valued at $500. He said he offered to lower the price on the used equipment, but Twin Lakes refused the offer.

Jordan said Covenant Harbor has asked for the old skate park equipment and offered to remove it for free.

The three missing sections of Skatelite can be easily replaced, Jordan said.

Because Covenant Harbor is relying on volunteer labor, the old park equipment won’t be removed until sometime around Sept. 29, Jordan said.

Rasmussen said the theft might have been committed by someone scavenging what they thought was trash for their own backyard skate and bike ramp or someone seeking a souvenir.

A message was left with the Twin Lake Village Hall asking for comment, but a reply did not reach the Regional News by deadline.

According to the village’s website, the Twin Lakes Park Commission is working with a local family to raise funds to renovate the Skateboard Park at Legion Park.

The park commission has committed to match up to $12,500 against funds raised privately from the public.