The Brazil City Parks Board and the Brazil City Council conducted a joint meeting to discuss with the public and representatives of the Clay Community Skatepark Committee (CCSC) concerning issues with the skatepark.
CCSC representative Roberta Weliever gave an update to the board on the money raised by the committee and to ensure appropriate steps are being taken for the transportation and the installation of the equipment.
Forrest Sherer Insurance Personal Lines Vice President Chris Reynolds said the information presented by Weliever calmed the worries of the insurance company.
"We are very satisfied with what we have seen tonight and as long as everything will be professionally installed with the correct insurance and not done by volunteers, then insurance should not be a problem," he said. "I would recommend disclaimers being posted about not having communication at the location."
Brazil City Parks Board President Ruthann Jeffries asked Brazil Police Chief Dave Archer to address members of both boards and the public because officers will be involved if crime occured at the skatepark. Archer commented on his recent phone calls with the chiefs of police in Danville and Greencastle.
"Danville had issues with graffiti, drinking, drugs, and they became tired of constantly battling the problems," he said. "Greencastle told me they constantly have calls concerning drugs, fighting and underage drinking."
Archer agreed children of the community needed someplace to go but parental supervision was key.
Though Weliever and other members of the audience believe the reason why Danville had so many problems was because the skatepark was in an isolated location and though Archer agreed she could be right, he was adamant that just because it is a skatepark doesn't mean only skaters will be there, and again stressed parental supervision as well as the responsibility of the skaters.
One resident from the area where the skatepark is proposed to be located spoke about her displeasure with the location.
"I speak for myself when I ask the park board to reconsider putting the skatepark at Craig Park," Brazil resident Andrea Baysinger said. "I think that there is a more appropriate location that is not at Craig Park."
Though Jeffries, Vice-President Todd Brackman and Secretary Carolyn McCullough are still undecided, Treasurer Linda Messmer is against having the skatepark in the city parks but not the city. After reading a 31-item list from a member of the Danville Parks Board about the illegal activities taking place, she wanted to explain why she felt the way she felt.
"I am not against skate boards, or skate boarders but the skatepark itself seems to be a draw for negative elements and my job as a Park Board member is to have the best interest of the parks and the community," she said. "Eventually, something is going to break or have to be maintained and this board cannot afford it."
Members of the community disagreed with Messmer.
"We have those problems now in our community and it is a part of the culture in today's society," CCSC representative Brian Atkinson said. "Please do not focus on the negative when making this decision, because those people that do that are already in this town."
Cost is one critical item to the parks board Jeffries stated, it is the vandalism and graffiti that costs them money. In previous meetings board members have read reports to budget at least $5,000-$6,000.
"We are operating on a very limited budget and every time something is damaged, we have to repair or replace it," she said. "This is city property and we have to be concerned."
Jeffries was able to elicit the only reaction from the council when she explained the cost and the possibility of needing money.
"The reason that the council is here is because they have to accept our budget and they need to be aware that we may need more money to maintain this," Jeffries said.
Even though the Danville Parks Superintendent told Weliever there is little or no upkeep to the equipment or the concrete pad on which the equipment will sit, the board is planning for the worst but hoping for the best.
"If we cannot maintain the skatepark or if it is vandalized and we have the police called a lot, then it is within our right and duty to close it for an extended period of time whether it is for one week or two," Jeffries said.
Weliever said depending on funding the soonest the skatepark could be in place would be October or November and the latest would be next spring.
Before the city council adjourned their portion of the meeting, Messmer made one last comment.
"At the next meeting of the Brazil City Parks Board, I will probably make a motion to resend my vote for the skatepark," she said.