Burglary, budget gap test spirit of Bath Skatepark

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BATH — The Bath Youth Meetinghouse and Skatepark is relying on the community to help it cope with some recent setbacks.

Thieves broke into the 4 Old Brunswick Road building last month, damaging cameras and vending machines, and stealing cash. A 17-year-old boy from Woolwich and a 16-year-old Bath boy were charged with theft, burglary and criminal mischief, Police Lt. Bob Savary said Wednesday.

Now Burgess Computers in Bath, which donated the cameras, has stepped in again to replace the ones that were damaged, according to a Friends of the Skatepark press release.

“The cameras that Burgess Computer generously donated have been essential for keeping teens safe,” Bath Parks and Recreation Director Steve Balboni said in the press release, adding that “this is just one example of their amazing support for the youth in this community.”

The facility, which lost a full-time and a part-time employee early this year, and had to reduce its operating hours, is in part funded by the city. Fundraising to address a growing budget gap also comes through the Friends of the Skatepark, via events such as the annual “Chili Chowder Festival.”

The Friends this weekend will offer food including turkey and ham at the Skatepark’s annual holiday party, open to youth and their families at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13.

A fall fundraising raffle, which helped pay for a Skatepark advertising campaign, concluded Nov. 30.

“We need to raise the profile of this valuable community resource, beyond Bath, and thought print ads would be a good way to do that,” Friends member Dallas Denery said in the press release. “We are also reaching out to Bowdoin College students, where students tend to hang up their boards for the winter.”

The Friends hope to raise enough funds to open the Skatepark on Sundays this winter. Tax-deductible donations can be made at bathskatepark.com, or by visiting the Skatepark.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.