Town council chooses site for skate park Fundraising in the works

The proposed skate park project took another step forward Monday night after town council approved having it built to the north of the Memorial Sports Centre—not to the east of it.
“If we were to locate the site here, there are two major concerns,” Community Services manager George Bell said in a report to council, referring to the north site.
“Firstly, it would be constructed on a major waterline, and second, there are major drainage issue with water draining off the IFK [Ice for Kids] Arena,” he noted.
“The major advantage of this location is it does not impact the use of the tennis courts,” Bell added. “That would give us time to plan for the redevelopment of this facility to the St. Francis [Sportsfield] site.
“It is the recommendation of the Community Services executive that the skate park site be located as per site plan P3 on the north side of the Memorial Sports [Centre], proper drainage be installed, and the waterline be relocated at municipal expense,” Bell concluded.
“I think we move forward with that,” said Mayor Dan Onichuk, adding this location also takes care of snow removal concerns he had with the previous site to the east of the Memorial Sports Centre.
Coun. Tannis Drysdale noted the plans also take into account possibly building a new library on the northeast corner of the property, and the library board approves of that location if a new library were to be built there.
“We think it solves all the problems we’ve had,” said Coun. Struchan Gilson, who sits on both the Community Services executive committee and library board.
The site was approved, and the matters of moving the waterline and addressing drainage referred to the Operations and Facilities division for further investigation and pricing.
< *c>Fundraising underway
Meanwhile, skate park committee chair Rob Tovey said yesterday he was thrilled to hear the town picked a site for the project, which he still hopes to get underway this summer.
He noted the committee is focusing primarily on fundraising. It not only is promoting its brick campaign to local businesses and individuals, but has applied for a lottery licence and is lining up fundraiser raffles.
A skateboard-a-thon next month is another fundraising possibility, added Tovey.
And since news of the skate park has been in the newspaper in the past couple of months, a number of individuals have made donations to the project.
While the committee most recently has been looking at getting a park done this summer by Barkman Concrete of Steinbach, Man. for an estimated $230,000, Tovey noted another company from Toronto has been asking to put in a bid on the project.
The skate park committee will be holding a meeting with representatives from the company this Monday (April 4) at 7 p.m. in the meeting room at the Memorial Sports Centre.
While this does not mean the park won’t be built by Barkman, Tovey reasoned it doesn’t hurt to compare prices.
When fundraising for projects costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, even $25,000 is a significant savings, he added.
The public is welcome to attend this meeting, which also will have representatives from Kenora here wanting to meet with the same company. A group in that city also is planning to build a concrete modular skate park.
Anyone wanting to make a donation to the skate park project, or give input, can call Tovey at 274-6113.