Memorial skatepark gains traction with Rome council
ROME — All seven members of the Rome Common Council passed a resolution to support building a new, state-of-the-art skateboarding park in Rome, to honor the memory of Stone Mercurio.
Several of Mercurio’s friends and colleagues spoke in favor of the proposed skatepark at Wednesday’s meeting. A GoFundMe.com fundraiser has raised over $60,000 since Mercurio’s April 18 death near his college, Clarkson University, in Potsdam. Mercurio, a champion diver and soccer player at Rome Free Academy, was an avid skater and snowboarder.
“We’ve been skating around Rome our entire lives,” said Hayden McMonagle, a childhood friend of Mercurio’s. He said the skatepark at Pinti Field is the “bare minimum” for skating, and that they want to build a modern park. “It will bring a sense of community. It is in an area where kids are doing dumb things all the time. It will create an area where kids can have something to do instead of getting into trouble all the time.”
The SFM Skatepark Project has selected the former Rod Mill Site near Bellamy Harbor as the location for the new skate park. They have a target completion date of fall 2024. More information on the proposed park is available online.
“We do want a new skatepark,” said Cameron Stewart, a real estate agent and incoming president of the Rome Rotary Club, who also spoke in favor of the park. “I think we can use a state-of-the-art facility right here in Rome. I don’t see how it’s a net negative. I love the opportunity that this city has provided.”
Most of the Common Council members voiced their support for the skatepark, and they voted unanimously on a resolution to support building the park.
“We as a community need to decide to push forward and help our kids out,” said Sixth Ward Councilor Riccardo D. Dursi, Jr., who helped bring the resolution before the council.
“This is the prime place for it,” said Second Ward Councilor John B. Mortise. “The community is going to pull together.”
• Fifth Ward Councilor Frank R. Anderson urged more members of the public to attend any future meetings regarding the West Chestnut Street Corridor Study. The previous meeting was on May 23. If people cannot attend the meetings, he urged residents of Rome to at least take the online survey about the project.
“It’s a very important road to all of us,” Anderson said. “Just take the survey and put any concerns down there.”
• Several councilors expressed their displeasure that Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo had not contacted them or invited them to join her on her Walks with the Mayor, which started over the past two weeks — even when those walks passed through their wards.
“It’s a failure not to include the Common Council in these walks,” said Third Ward Councilor Kimberly Rogers.
“Let’s get out there together,” said Mortise. “It’s not the mayor’s city.”
The following legislation was passed unanimously:
• Resolution 73 authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Power Authority of New York for $171,416.31 for street light maintenance.
• Resolution 74 issuing a SEQR negative declaration for the Griffiss Business District Skyline Gateway.
• Resolution 75 authorizing the mayor to apply for and accept a $3 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Park Drive Complete Streets Project.
• Resolution 76 in support of creating the new skate park at the former Rod Mill Site.
• Resolution 77 to accept the donation of a commemorative plaque from the Daughters of the American Revolution for Gansevoort Park. The plaque is in honor of the “men and women who achieved American independence,” and is dedicated as part of the country’s 250th anniversary.
• Ordinance 9598 authorizing the closing of North Main Street on Monday for Memorial Day services.
• Ordinance 9599 authorizing the temporary rebate increase to the Sidewalk Rebate Program for 2023.
• Ordinance 9591 amending Rome Code of Ordinances Chapter 80.
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