Photo: Clinton Green, Ann Green (middle) and Connie Richter made a presentation to City Council, Monday, proposing a new skate park incorporating areas for people of all skill levels./Kimberley Molina
A new and improved skate park is one step closer to breaking ground after Fort St. John City Council passed a motion, Monday, to begin discussions with a local skate park committee on acquiring a piece of City-owned land.
The Fort St. John Skate Park Committee made a presentation to Council on its proposal to create a new skate park that would not only rival the one in Dawson Creek, but provide space for participants of all skill levels.
Although the current park near the Kids Arena was only built in 2001, Clinton Green, a Committee representative, says the park has suffered the effects of time and vandalism and is in desperate need of a facelift. Green says the current space is poorly designed, doesn’t provide a challenge for more experienced skate boarders and bikers and has a lack of adequate space for the number of interested users.
The Committee, which includes local skate boarders, bikers, parents and community supporters, has teamed up with the Fort St. John and District Sport Council. They say the project would instil a sense of community pride, enhance the community’s reputation and encourage more physical activity.
Green told councillors that the Committee is hoping to acquire City-owned land at 93 Ave. and 93 St. for the project. It then hopes to hire New Line Skateparks Inc., to construct the multifaceted park, which he says would create an improved space for skateboarders and bikers to enhance their skills and could even benefit tourism to the city.
The Committee is hoping to have the City donate the land so it can then go forward with building a 1,400 to 1,900 square metre skate park that would rival Dawson Creek’s 1,020 square metre park and include a washroom onsite. Green says acquiring that lot, in particular, would make the park more easily accessible and would help cut down on vandalism since it is more often patrolled by the RCMP than the current site.
The park is expected to cost between $400,000 and $500,000 and he says the Committee hopes to fundraise that amount with the help of the Sport Council, which has the added ability to issue tax receipts.
City Council voted in favour of working with the Committee to create an agreement for the park’s funding, location, construction, management and ownership.