In a 3-2 vote, the Select Board decided Wednesday night to inspect – and ultimately store – a skate ramp located behind the Paragon Boardwalk, despite residents’ pleas to relocate the structure to town property so that it could continue to be used.
The skate ramp, which is a 16-by-24-foot half pipe and is less than four feet tall, was constructed by Hull resident Matt Tanner with help from his son, Larkin. It’s been used heavily since construction, even during the winter.
The final motion, made by Select Board member John Reilly, sought to “have the building inspector check out the structure. If it’s worth taking as a donation, the town will accept it and have it stored at the DPW barn.”
The ramp would remain at the DPW until public opinions and concerns are sought, and the Parks and Recreation Department establishes a license of use and develops regulations.
Matt Tanner, the builder of the ramp, said he estimated it to be worth around $8,000. The owner of the Paragon Boardwalk complex is willing to donate it to the town free of charge, but it must be off the property in the next two to three weeks.
Larkin Tanner, a high school student who created a petition to “save the ramp,” told The Hull Times that Paragon told skaters the reason for removing the ramp was that “there were complaints by Hull residents that led to the decision that Paragon never had a permit to build a structure that can cause noise complaints and be a potential safety hazard.”
The petition has garnered almost 1,700 signatures, with more people signing regularly.
Larkin Tanner said that “putting the ramp in the barn is just going to rot the wood, and damage the expensive pieces of the structure of the ramp. Letting it get pushed off to the side while the town forgets about it and deals with other matters is not helpful to us at all.”
If the ramp were to be moved instead of stored, the proposed location is the parking lot on the corner of N Street, next to the baseball field.
Reilly and fellow board member Domenico Sestito were primary advocates for having the ramp stored, despite Matt Tanner’s protestations that “if that ramp is dismantled and stored it’s never going to go back together… it was never designed to be moved.”
Primary concerns against the relocation of the ramp to the L street location were safety and a “rushed process.”
Reilly and Sestito felt the process of moving the ramp was rushed.
“I don’t think we’re following a process that’s open, fair, transparent,” said Sestito, who also added that “I’m not against it, I’m just against this process. To be frank with you, I feel like it’s being rammed down my throat.”
The motion passed was a substitute motion. Clerk Donna Pursel initially put forward a motion to “move the ramp down to L street park with a temporary agreement with Parks and Rec … with the stipulation that the ramp is approved by the building department.”
Pursel mentioned that she was impressed by the number of signatures achieved on the petition to “Save the Hull Miniramp,” noting that the level of support “should have some value to it.”
While Larkin Tanner was not happy with the board’s decision, he said Hull skaters are “willing to compromise in any way we can if they would allow us to have this set up as soon as possible … taking it away from us for an indefinite amount of time is doing nothing to show the town how important skateboarding is to us.”
Information on the Select Board and dates of future meetings is available at town.hull.ma.us/board-selectmen. You can find information on Larkin Tanner’s petition by visiting change.org and searching “Save the Hull Miniramp.”