GROUP TO PRESS CITY COUNCIL FOR SKATEBOARD SITE IN PARK

December 29, 2000 11:00 pm

By Jennifer Grimes

Triplicate staff writer

Finally, local skateboarders will have a place to ply their trade - legally. But only if the Crescent City Council agrees Beachfront Park will be the location.

A professionally designed skateboard park will be proposed to the council at its Jan 16 meeting.

This project has been in the works for a long time, and may just be about ready to go! said Kathy Stephens, Public Health Nurse and coordinator of the movement to build the park.

More than 30 Del Norte County notables and 50 young people have fought five years for such a park.

Money has always been an issue. Location, of course has been an issue. And some of the past members (of the city council) didnt even know what skateboarding was, said Kelley Nolan of past obstacles to the project. She is a Del Norte County Social Worker and Juvenile Justice Commissioner.

Now, Stephens, Nolan and County Administrative Officer Ben Angove said all the details are in place except official approval from city council. The council granted conceptual approval of the park but not the location.

With the help of State Senator Wes Chesbro, $92,000 has been set aside to fund the project. The money is specifically for Del Norte County to build a skateboard park.

But to receive those funds park coordinators and county officials must have a location nailed down, a schematic design and a cost estimate.

The state has to know what the money is going for. If the city agrees on the site, the rest of the details can be processed fairly quickly, Angove said.

Designs for the skateboard park will be modeled after the Grants Pass park. Eric Dockins created those designs which were also used for the skateboard park in Ashland.

Stephens and Nolan said skateboarding tournaments will be possible when the park is built. The tournaments bring competitors from all around the state and sometimes the nation, Nolan said. That could mean major tourist dollars for the whole community.

The park will go a long way to get kids off the street, too, Stephens said.

As a social worker and Juvenile Justice Commissioner, I see a lot of kids that need something to do, added Nolan.

The two women will make their presentation for the Beachfront Park location to council at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 16 in the Cultural Center.

Letters were sent to 36 county, city, harbor and other local officials who showed support for the park in the past. Stephens said she hopes all who can will go to the meeting and lobby the council.

Were very excited about the new council. I hope theyre as open to it as they said they were during the campaign, Nolan said.

If the countys written proposal for the skateboard park is accepted by the state, Stephens said building could begin this summer.

It will be very cool. We are so excited this is finally happening, she said.