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Friday, May 6, 2016

Board chooses skateboard park site

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Brazil City Park Board unanimously agreed Wednesday to set aside a portion of land in the south part of Craig Park to a local group of skateboarders for a future skatepark.

Several stipulations followed the decision. Nothing can be done with the land until all the money is raised for the park's construction, the park board must be kept up-to-date on the fundraising process and the safety of the park must be inspected before any skater grinds the first rail.

In addition the park board will not be responsible for any present or future costs of a potential skate- park.

When the board voted "Aye" in favor of the skateboarders, the majority of the room said the phrase in unison. An immediate applause followed.

"I would be delighted to have a skateboard park-- I just want everybody protected in this thing," Board Member Caroline McCullough.

Twenty-plus teenage skateboarders piled into the City Council room, some carrying their boards and others bringing their parents along. One mother even brought a video camera to record the event.

Board Member Brad Deal said, "I look at this as an area for kids to go."

During the meeting, Mayor Tom Arthur and Brazil Human Resource Safety Director Debbie Hobson presented the concept to the four member park board.

"I want to be proactive," Arthur said. "I don't like kids getting in trouble."

Arthur told the board about the $50 citations that the city regrettably has to give to skateboarders skating where they aren't supposed to. The citations have been given because skateboarders had been tearing up parts of Brazil parks and other parts of the city.

Despite the citations the city can deliver to skateboarders skating where they're not allowed to, the possible construction of such a park is outlined in Arthur's vision statement for Brazil.

Hobson said, "This will be fully funded by donations. Until we get all the donations we need, the park will not even be started."

Park Board President Ruth Ann Jeffries told the skater activists they should look into creating a contract and starting an organization to be on the safe side so a future park board with different members couldn't take the land away from them.

Jeffries said while not likely, it is possible that if the park board members changed that a new group could say they don't want the skatepark.

"I don't want anybody to take it away from you once it's built," she said.

Aside from the initial cost of construction, maintenance was another topic brought up Wednesday.

New Board Member Linda Messmer said she is in favor of the idea, but can't foresee the board helping with any additional costs, including maintenance, because they are already in debt for this year.

"To me, this park board has no money for growth now," Messmer, the new treasurer, said.

Hobson said yearly fundraising could be done to pay for maintenance costs.

If plans are ever approved by the board and the park constructed, it would sit in the south part of Craig Park and be open during regular park hours.

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