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SPI Leaders Grinding Out Skate Park Plans

April 16, 2018
The Valley Morning Star


Airwalks, pop shuvits, 50-50 grinds and boardslides are some of the skate tricks thrashers want to land at the future Tompkins Park skate facility.

They have been waiting for nearly five years. And they will have to wait a little longer before dropping into a ramp or concrete bowl.

This past week, city leader’s kickflipped the skate park project back into committee and cleared the air of any ideas they were going to turn it into a dog park or walking trail.

“By rejecting the bids the City Council is not rejecting the skate park,” Mayor Dennis Stahl said.

The council unanimously rejected the only two bids they received from two skate park builders at the last city meeting.

The bids, received in March, exceeded the spending limit. That was the problem.

“I need you all to reject the bids and let us continue to gather the funds needed,” said Darla Jones, SPI assistant city manager.

She recommended plans to build the skate park continue.

Talks had surfaced on the Internet the city wanted to kill the project because of lack of funds or lost grants.

“Don’t reject the idea of building it,” Jones told the council.

Unlike in the past, the city may now qualify for funds from the Tony Hawk Foundation to help pay for the park.

“We want a skate park and it’s up to other people to do it,” Stahl said. “Boiling it all down, rejecting bids does not mean we are killing the skate park.”

The mayor also had other ideas to get the project rolling.

He said one way would be with the help of the skateboarding community working together to raise funds or adding the skate park into the Parks and Wildlife grant for phase two of the park.

“The council approved it but it’s up to the communities and the EDC to do this stuff,” Stahl said.

The EDC donated $100,000 for the concept and construction of the skate park. From those funds, $10,000 was used for the design of the park.

Council leaders also noted the price for concrete has doubled since 2012.

Currently, there is a balance of $90,000 which the Island has to build the skate park.

Jones also said there is a GoFundMe page online to raise additional funds.

Many local residents and skateboarders stood in solidarity at the last meeting to show their interest in seeing the skate park become a reality.

“Obviously people want it,” said Alita Bagely, SPI councilwomen. “And there are a lot of people who still want the skate park.”

 

By RAUL GARCIA Staff Writer


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