Youth to have say in future of Soldotna skateboard park

Posted: Friday, April 14, 2006

 

  Young people utilize a park designed for skateboarders and BMX bike riders shortly after it opened in 2003. The city closed it following repeated incidents of vandalism. Clarion file photo by Joseph Rob

Young people utilize a park designed for skateboarders and BMX bike riders shortly after it opened in 2003. The city closed it following repeated incidents of vandalism.

Clarion file photo by Joseph Rob

When the city of Soldotna takes up the question about what to do with its skateboard park, it will seek input from the ultimate users — the city’s young.

Mayor Dave Carey on Wednesday scheduled a public hearing for 5:30 p.m. April 26 to get people’s comments on whether the skateboard park should be reopened this year, and if so, where.

City officials ordered the park closed last September due to continuing vandalism and reports of drug abuse at the attraction.

Carey said at the time, the city could not supervise the park due to its location, and suggested it be closed until spring.

Andrew Carmichael, Parks and Recreation director, said the city had received a security camera last year intended for use to monitor activity at the skateboard park.

On Wednesday, Carmichael told the city council he was planning to inspect the area to determine a secure, vandal-resistant mount for the camera.

Council member Sharon Moock objected, saying the city made a pledge to youth last fall that they would be involved in deciding the future of the skateboard park this year.

City Manager Tom Boedeker apologized and said he had not attended the meeting during which the commitment was made to the young people.

Boedeker said he would go along with a work session to discuss the issue.

Carey instead scheduled a public hearing prior to the city council’s next meeting, April 26.

Council member Jane Stein, who worked for a number of years on the project to get the $80,000 skateboard park built, said Wednesday, “Young people who have concerns ... now’s the time.”



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