Citing the need for safety in skateboarding, but eschewing county government involvement in building a skateboard park, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors yesterday approved a report recommending that such a park be built.
The report said that the success of such facilities in other parts of the county, together with "numerous inquiries from skateboarders and proposals from eager developers, has convinced us that skateboarding is a viable recreation activity . . . and a skate park should be constructed."
The report was spurred by the death last fall of a Fairfax County boy who died when he fell while holding on the open door of a car that was pulling him on his skateboard. It was prepared jointly by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, the Fairfax County Park Authority and the county's Department of Recreation and Community Services.
Supervisor Warren I. Cikins (D-Mount Vernon) said that while "nothing would please me more than if all skateboards disappeared from the earth" the supervisors "had the responsibility to provide the safest conditions possible."
The report suggested that the skateboard rink be built on leased public land by private businessmen if no private land is available. But the supervisors were unanimous in rejecting this proposal as well as one that recommended the county help build the park as a last resort.
Supervisor Alan H. Magazine (D-Mason) said, "I am dead set against (the county) contributing money or land for this project."
The Board directed its staff to locate private land with zoning that could "appropriately accommodate skate parks."
In another matter, some of the supervisors expressed concern about proposed amendments to a 4 per cent gasoline tax bill now in a House of Delegates Finance Committee. The bill is meant to raise revenue forMetrorail construction from Northern Virginia jurisdictions.
Supervisor Joseph Alexander (D-Lee), the most vocal critic of the amendments, called them "blackmail" and said they break "a gentlemen's agreement" between the Board of Supervisors and the Northern Virginia delegation on halting, for a year, an overhauling of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.
The proposed amendments would require that the funds from the gasoline tax be sent directly to the NVTC in order to develop a regional transit system and improved traffic management systems, including $500,000 for "coordinated traffic lights."
Alexander objected to the fact that the tax revenue would go directly to the NVTC instead of to the local governing bodies. He said the amendments "were meant to tie our hands" and that he had understood "these kinds of things were not going to be involved in this type of legislation."
Contacted in Richmond, Del. Carrington Williams (D-Fairfax), sponsor of the amendments, said he "was just trying to save the separate $10 million state appropriation for Metro" by tacking the amendments onto the gasoline bill.
He said the proposals were part of a financial package whose passage aides to Gov. Mills E. Godwin had indicated, "would make less objectionable" to Godwin the $10 million Metro funding from the state.