By JESSICA CRAWFORD • Daily Leader
Recreation Director Gary Scott and his skate park committee met Monday evening to discuss some final options regarding the project to be erected in Light Park.
Although there are several ways to go about constructing the park, money is involved in all of them. Scott and his committee are doing their best to get the highest quality park for what money they have to work with – and they still aren’t sure what that amount is.
Discussions have ranged from moving some of the equipment from the Mary Frame skate park to the new facility in Light Park. However, Scott feels that issue should be discussed further at the Feb. 9 meeting.
“We need to talk about Mary Frame because I think they want to keep that stuff there,” Scott said. “We can probably move some things, but that is just some ideas.”
According to the youth that attend the meeting, a half-pipe is a piece of equipment they truly feel is a must for their park. But money has been of great concern to them.
If the half pipe is what you guys really want. The cost is going to be high, and we know it is going to be high,” Scott said. “Don’t let that bother you. We can do it.
“There are some grant monies that we can go for,” he assured them.
“You guys don’t have to worry about grants, but I will tell you what I will need you to help me with later on. We are probably going to go to the community and ask for some assistance from businesses.
“I will have a letter made up and you can just take the letter and hand it to them” he continued. “That way they can contact me if they have any questions and if they want to help donate they are going to check with the city to see what is going on. If you hand them a letter then that is what we want them to do.”
Scott feels that money donated to the park throughout the city could easily be used to help with fencing and lighting cost and possibly a few other things.
That could be used to help in fencing and lighting and even some other items. You know, there are some businesses out there that wouldn’t mind helping out,” he said. “Every little bit helps – $100 here, $100 there maybe could even lead up to $1,000 from somebody else. And that all adds up. We can do it.”
In order for Scott and his committee to get grants for their project, there are stipulations. And the stipulations require they do not build their own park or their own equipment.
“Keep this in mind,” he said. “With the grants, if we go out and build our own (park) there are a couple of people that we would try to get grants from that would not help us because they will not help unless you buy the stuff from a manufacturer.
“So those people would be American Ramp Company and also Tony Hawk,”
he added. “But they will help us if we buy from a manufacturer.”
Scott continued to try to keep the kids upbeat by assuring them, they will find the money for their park somewhere.
“There are other places to get money in the community, I just wanted to show you some ideas,” he said. “This is what we came up with at our last meeting, we had our first meeting in October. One of the things we have to do is grab a hold of that idea and start going with it.”
At the past meeting, American Ramp Company of Joplin, Mo., broke the project down into phases and provided their costs. However, Scott’s idea to save money and to get the kids more for their money is to use ideas and equipment from several different areas.
The main cost remains to be concrete and continues to be a worry for all involved. $29,000 alone will go to concrete.
“Concrete is the most expensive, and I know we have pretty skilled individuals in our community that work with concrete but with this, I think it would be better if we do it right,” Scott said. “All steel with a 20-year warranty and a non-skid surface. It will be here longer than you guys will be skating.”
“No, it won’t,” commented one of the youth from the committee.
Apparently, he will be skating well into middle age.