A new design will be drawn up for Dragon’s Nest Skateboard Park in Farmington after Selectmen approved the $8,000 expense Tuesday night, June 28. University of Maine Farmington freshman Michael Frampton maneuvers over an obstacle in the park Thursday afternoon, April 22, 2021. File photo/Livermore Falls Advertiser

FARMINGTON — Selectmen Tuesday night, June 28, approved funds for the town’s skateboard park and a new police cruiser.

The $8,000 will be taken from the Dragon’s Nest Skateboard Park reserve account. Platform Group  will provide design services needed to upgrade the park to modern standards.

“Over the past couple years Seth Wescott has done an annual golf tournament through the Franklin County Chamber [of Commerce],” Parks and Recreation Director Matthew Foster said. “He requested some of those donations go to the park for planning, maintenance, improvements, everything.”

Selectmen approved a $4,000 donation from the Chamber for the skateboard park last December. A $4,700 donation was accepted in February of 2021.

The Dragon’s Nest originally opened in 1991 and was reopened in 2020.

Steve Shible, the former Parks and Recreation director who retired in 2015 stated in a Sun Journal article, the park was ahead of its time. It did not survive but we attempted to do something for a group who were not into other sports, he added then.


“I spoke with quite a few people and one of them Tobias Parkhurst – president of the Maine Skateboard Association [MSA] – he has a lot of connections,” Foster said. When Platform Group heard about the project they showed interest, it being the first skateboard park in the state, he noted.

“Typically it is about $7,500 to have someone do a design – that’s not blueprints or construction plans or anything else – pretty much a picture drawing,” Foster said.

The park design, cost estimate and document’s typical cost is $15,000-20,000 but because MSA has backed the project Platform Group is willing to provide their services at a reduced rate, Foster noted in an email sent to Selectmen June 23. American Ramp Company’s $7,500 bid did not include the construction specifications and documents, his email added.

“It is a pretty significant gesture,” Foster said of Platform Group’s offer. This company’s lead designer Tito Porrata designed a park in Miami that is one of the best in the world, he noted. “We are pretty lucky we have this interest, have a lot of connections going on because of the historical value of the park,” he stated. “We don’t really have a good skateboard park in western Maine. As soon as the Dragon’s Nest [Skateboard] Park came back [people] started coming.

“It was kind of interesting, cool going through all the history. We have a guy who works with the Tony Hawk Foundation.”

“Tony Hawk is hands down the best skateboarder in the world,” Town Manager Christian Waller said.


The design plan must be available before grants for construction can be applied for, Foster said. “We can’t raise money if we don’t know the cost, can’t get support if we can’t see what we are going to get, can’t get grants until we can show them we have everything,” he added.

Foster said there is much more knowledge now for skateboard parks. When Dragon’s Nest first opened there were barbed wire fences around it, it was staffed all the time because of lawsuit concerns, he noted. “It was built out of pavement, Maine pavement doesn’t last forever,” he stated. “Concrete is really the way it has to be, it lasts 30-40 years. The less maintenance the better.”

“It is pretty cool, nice to see stuff like this,” Selectman Chair Matthew Smith said. He shared some of his skateboarding memories.

“I am excited about the skateboard park,” Foster said. A lot of kids don’t fit into traditional sports like baseball, soccer and don’t get as much attention, are forgotten, he noted. That is why grant money is available, he said. Foster spoke of a story Parkhurst had shared about not being the most athletic jock, so he started skateboarding in his driveway. Now he is a professional from Fairfield, Maine, Foster added.

Selectman Scott Landry said it was really good to see two things happening for youth in the community. Earlier in the meeting Farmington Rotary Club Chapter 7790 members shared plans to install a music garden in Walton’s Mill Park as part of their centennial celebration in 2025.

Selectmen also voted to allow Police Chief Kenneth Charles to accept the $35,361 bid from Hight Ford for a 2022 Ford Interceptor SUV police cruiser. Estimated upfitting costs make the total $45,361. The vehicle is in stock.


It wasn’t the lowest or the highest bid submitted, Charles said.

Farmington Ford quoted $49,389 for a 2023 ready for road model that would be available in November. Estimated upfitting costs brought the total to $54,389.

Quirk Auto’s price for a 2022 model was $34,987 or $44,987 after upfitting costs were factored in. Delivery would have been in July.

Rowe Ford’s price for a 2022 model was $38,265 or $48,265 with upfitting costs included but delivery was to be determined.

“Quirk was a little bit less expensive, however there were some items that weren’t added into that price that would have been more expensive to purchase afterwards,” Charles said. The Farmington Ford bid was a bit deceptive as a number of items included offset the outfitting costs, he noted.

“I went over this with a fine tooth comb,” Charles said. “No matter what we went with we would still end up with the same [vehicle] on the road. It is just a matter of price. Hight wasn’t the lowest, but in the long run is a bit cheaper.”

“I am glad to see it came down to two local dealers,” Selectman Scott Landry said.

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