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Updated 11:00am - Nov 26, 2014

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Skatepark costs soar past budget

By Jennifer Henion

Triplicate staff writer

Skateboarders may have to wait longer than expected for a skateboard park to be built in Del Norte County.

Design and construction work is now expected to cost $441,850, twice as much as first thought, requiring organizers to search for another $102,000.

"The cost is greater than first estimated because all costs have increased over the past few years," said Del Norte County grants manager Leslie Zondervan-Droz in her only statement of why the price tag is so big.

A design firm has already completed drawings and plans for the park. Wormhoudt Inc. of Santa Cruz was hired by the county last year for that task.

On Jan. 15, the design was revealed to the general public and found acceptable by those who attended.

The 15,000 square foot expanse of rolling concrete bowls, curves and inclines will be placed on land donated by the Crescent City City Council on the corner of Sixth and D streets and will be surrounded by about 5,000 square feet of landscaping and seating.

With help from a public campaign by the Del Norte Skateboard Park Committee, the county government collected about $220,000 from grants and local organizations.

Upon notice of the $442,000 price estimate from Wormhoudt Inc., the county decided last week to apply for another grant from the State Department of Parks and Recreation in the amount of $120,000.

County administrative officer Jeannine Galatioto said winning the grant should be a sure thing.

"I don't anticipate any kind of delay in getting it," she said.

Raising the remaining $102,000 is evidently up to the community.

"The skate park committee is diligently pursuing additional funding and donations to make up the difference in case the cost does run as high as estimated," said Zondervan-Droz.

Bev Noll, an organizer of the committee said the fund gap may shrink considerably depending on possible donations of construction materials and landscape labor.

Noll said despite the long tedious process and funding problems, she is still confident the park will be built in a timely, high quality manner.

"I'm not wavering...We are going to drive this bus home," she said.

When the county was asked if the park design could be pared down to fit the current budget, Galatioto said "possibly, but you have to remember it's a public works project," noting that it is the choice of the public and the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors.

Noll said with donations she is seeking from some businesses and individuals, construction will begin late summer or fall.

In the meantime, Wormhoudt must finalize construction plans and then Noll will present them for approval by both the city council and county board.

Both city and county attorneys will also be asked to draft the necessary ordinances regarding use of the park by the public.

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