Eyes on skaters could return

Hueso proposes funding for supervision

Watchful eyes could return to the Carmel Valley Skatepark, as San Diego City Council President Ben Hueso proposed including funding for supervision at the city’s five skateparks in the budget.

Cuts to the parks and recreation department left the skateparks unsupervised in January, just two months after the Carmel Valley Skatepark opened.

The City Council will hear the proposal at 2 p.m. June 8 and a decision is expected soon, said Clay Bingham, deputy director of community parks. Bingham said the city is under the wire to finalize the budget.

Bingham said the cost to operate all five parks is $555,000. The estimated revenue is $214,000, leaving a net cost of $341,000. Whether that means the $5 entrance fee will return is undetermined, he said, as the council just passed a new fee schedule that did not include skateparks.

Should the proposal pass, the council will have to revise that schedule. The city does have a protocol accommodating community members who wish to volunteer to patrol the park and remind users of the rules.

While they have no real authority, Bingham said they act as the community’s eyes. The Carmel Valley Skatepark does have an extra pair of eyes at the neighboring Northwestern Division Police Station, which is next door. Officers can also watch the park through surveillance cameras.