Committee eyes prospective future sites for skate park
As part of its first meeting Monday July 2, the city’s skate park Ad-Hoc Committee compiled a list of five sites for a future municipal skate park; the Merrill Festival Grounds topping the list.
The high visibility of the area for passing traffic and centralized location were key attractions for the three-member panel during discussion; comprised of Parks and Recreation Director and facilitator Dan Wendorf, Parks and Recreation Commission member Kyle Gulke and at-large member Kate Baker.Other locations favored include Streeter Square, the MARC, Ott’s Park and either expansion or renovation of the current park location on West First Street. According to Wendorf, the current park measures approximately 5,200 square feet and the ideal size for a future park would be between 6 and 8,000 square feet. He cited location and funding as the biggest hurdles to overcome in establishing a new skate park, and what he felt were two key factors why the most recent skate park initiative did not succeed in 2016.
During Tuesday’s meeting Gulke and Baker agreed the construction of one large skate park isn’t as important to them as assuring users have a safe area to skate.
“I’m not sure if we need one big skate park, but more of safer areas for our kids to skate,” Gulke said, “Having a few smaller parks of varied skill levels is another option we could look at,”
The next meeting date for the Skatepark Ad-Hoc committee has yet to be determined. According to Wendorf, the committee will move forward exploring all viable options to include other possible sites aside from parks. Wendorf stated he intends to work with City Building and Zoning Inspector Darin Pagel to compile a list of viable properties and bring forward to the committee for future consideration.