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Survey: Skatepark tops priority list

Some boys play a vigorous game of basketball yesterday at the Del Norte County recreation center. Youth facilities were a top priority for those surveyed about countywide recreation needs. At the top of the list was a skateboard park, a much discussed and debated facility now in the planning stages. (The Daily Triplicate /Stephen Merrill Corley).
Some boys play a vigorous game of basketball yesterday at the Del Norte County recreation center. Youth facilities were a top priority for those surveyed about countywide recreation needs. At the top of the list was a skateboard park, a much discussed and debated facility now in the planning stages. (The Daily Triplicate /Stephen Merrill Corley).

By Jennifer Grimes

Triplicate staff writer

And the survey says: Del Norte County residents want more recreation facilities for young people - especially a skateboard park.

Thats the result of a survey taken by local governments who are banding together to create a recreation facilities and programs master plan for the county.

More than 1,000 people responded to the survey.

When asked what they would most like to see offered, 46 percent said a skateboard park.

On the same question, 34 percent said a teen center and 33 percent said a performing arts center. All other suggestions like horse trails and a sports complex got lower percentages of support.

Now the consultants take over. Using this survey...the consultants will compile a master plan, said Ben Angove, the countys administrative officer.

Professional consultants were hired jointly by officials of the Del Norte County Unified School District, the city of Crescent City and the county.

On June 25, the consultants will be here to explain the results of the survey. Angove said at that meeting a task force will be formed to set a plan and govern the structure for how to proceed.

The plan for a skateboard park is already moving forward.

Angove announced Tuesday that the county is now formally searching for a qualified firm to design the park.

Design firms interested in the job have four weeks to make a proposal.

The selected firm will first be asked to recommend which of the four sites offered by the city is most conducive to a park. The second phase ... will be to develop a site-specific design for the park, Angove wrote in a report to the County Board of Supervisors.

Though four of the five supervisors approved moving the process forward for a park, Supervisor Clyde Eller said hes against spending government money for such a facility.

Ive continually asked for a plan that shows we are not going to dump county dollars. I dont want a skatepark or any other facility thats constantly dragging down our budget, Eller said during Tuesdays board meeting.

But some funding for the park has already been acquired. Just under $100,000 was granted through California State Senator Wes Chesbro.

And a local community group called the Skateboard Park Task Force has raised more than $12,000.

Angove said the park will likely cost $250,000 to build.

Other recreation projects suggested in the survey will be discussed at the June 25 meeting.

The goal of the meeting will be to review the survey responses and to chart out the next steps for completion of the plan, Angove said.

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