Mayor eager to see skate park completed

With work on the Kiwanis skate park expected to start later this month, Fort Frances Mayor Dan Onichuk said Tuesday that he’s looking forward to seeing the project completed.
“I’m excited for the kids and the all volunteers who have worked so hard to make this happen,” he remarked. “Anything like this that happened in our community is a good thing.
“For the young people who enjoy the sport, it’s a huge addition to the town,” Mayor Onichuk noted, saying it adds to the town’s appeal and what it has to offer residents and visitors alike.
“If you’re a tourist passing through, and if you have kids who are into skateboarding, maybe you’ll stay a little longer,” he reasoned.
He stressed “all the credit” for the skate park goes to the parents and youth involved, as well as former mayor Glenn Witherspoon, who started pushing the project several years ago.
As previously reported, the skate park committee and the town inked an agreement Friday.
“Today is a good day. It’s taken a long time to get to this point. We’re going to get things going as fast as we can,” committee chair Rob Tovey said moments after sitting down to sign the agreement with Mayor Onichuk.
“The ball’s in our court,” he added.
The agreement covers all aspects of the project, including:
•funding (the town shall not be contributing funds to the project);
•construction (the skate park committee will be responsible for any damage to a watermain on the Memorial Sports Centre property during the construction);
•liability insurance, ongoing maintenance, and operation (the town shall assume responsibility for this if the project is completed to the town’s satisfaction);
•storm sewer design; and
•landscaping, parking, and signage (the park shall be named as the “Kiwanis Skate Park” on a sign erected at no cost to the town).
If all goes as hoped, the site should be excavated, the concrete base poured and settled, and the components installed before the end of July, said Tovey.
The skate park, expected to cover 9,600 sq. ft. on the north side of the Memorial Sports Centre, will feature various components (ramps, rails, stairs, etc.) for skateboarders and in-line skaters.
It will cost a total of $180,000, including the concrete pad, skate park components, and landscaping, among other costs.
The committee still needs to raise about $40,000 to pay for the project.
As part of that fundraising campaign, volunteers are selling raffle tickets for a 60/40 draw. Skateboarders started going door-to-door here yesterday, selling the tickets for $5 each, and will continue to do so through tomorrow evening.
After that, tickets will be available from committee members up until the draw date, which is slated for Saturday, June 25 at the Fort Frances Museum (to coincide with the 100th birthday celebration of Scott Street).
Committee members also have been promoting the brick campaign to local businesses and individuals. The public is welcome to check out what the bricks look like at a display put up in April at A Buck or Two (209 Scott St.)
Bricks cost $100 each, and will be installed at the skate park with an individual, family, or company name on it.
And since news of the skate park has been in the Times over the past few months, a number of individuals have made donations to the project.
Anyone wanting to make a donation to the skate park project, or give input, can call Tovey at 274-6113.