By Ang Gilchrist
Area businesses are being asked to help make a dream come true.
The future location and construction of the skate park was discussed at the Gordon City Council meeting held last week. Despite diligent efforts led by Trina Janis, only $22,000 of the $50,000 needed to complete the skate park has been raised.
Renewed efforts to build a skate park began with the untimely death of Trina’s son, Trey LaMont, who was killed in a car accident last summer. Trey had a dream of having a specific place for he and his fellow skaters to gather.
Gordon resident and skater, Valerie Mann, said that she really hoped to see the funding for the skate park begin to come in from area businesses. She said that skaters really do need a smooth surface to safely skate, but until one was built, they were left to skate on the sidewalks, empty parking lots, and streets of Gordon.
According to City Manager, Fred Hlava, the tentative location of the skate park will be across the street to the east from the Senior Citizen’s building and the Gordon Fire Hall.
The city council was asked if they had looked into other locations for the skate park, such as the tennis courts or near other park areas already developed within Gordon. Hlava explained that several locations had been considered, but it was the consensus that the proposed location best fit the needs of the community. When asked about using the lot just east of the proposed site, where the city currently stockpiles gravel and dirt, Hlava said that was an area they could look into utilizing for the skate park.
Pat Reed lives next to the proposed location and was at the meeting to express her concerns. Although she is in favor of having a skate area for locals, she is worried about having a congregation of kids at the park, sitting on the grass, and leaving pop and snack debris behind. She asked if there would be patrol to keep an eye on the kids and also mentioned the fact that there will not be any restroom facilities or drinking water for the skateboarders at that location, to which Hlava replied that there are numerous park areas within Gordon that do not have such facilities. Hlava went on to say that the local volunteer fire department members would be able to keep an eye on the skate park, as they often are at the fire hall. The city police department would also monitor the area as part of their routine patrol.
“I feel uncomfortable putting the skate park in a residential area,” said Reed. She expressed concern over property values dropping because of the skate park and went on to say that she had hopes of putting up a two-stall garage and doing some landscaping in that area, provided the city would work with her.
Regardless of where the actual skate park is built, raising the remaining $28,000 is the immediate concern and delay. Since the skate park will be concrete, the funding needs to be in place before construction can begin. If the funding committee can’t secure the money, they risk losing a $10,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation that needs to be used by January 2013.
We will keep you updated on the skate park progress as information is received.