Youths present skate park plans to board

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 23, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; One month after coming before the city council to discuss the recently torn down skate park, a group of skating enthusiasts presented their plans for a new skate park to the Parks and Recreation board Monday.

According to Brittany Carter, a ninth grader at Demopolis High School who has been spearheading the effort to bring back the park, she and her group of friends are willing to do all it takes to construct a place to practice the sport they love.

The youths have also committed to helping clean up and keep out vandalism, which was one of the reasons cited by the mayor that the park was torn down.

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Carter and three of her friends presented several different layouts and designs for a skate park, which were found by researching companies on the Internet.

The most promising company is based out of Missouri. Carter said the company builds skate parks based on finances availavle.

The cost for such a project ranges anywhere from $25,000 to $75,000 depending on both the size of the park and the elements that are built. This particular company also provides workers for each park they construct. As for as maintenance, Carter said it would be minimal, due to the fact this company offers a 20 year warranty for its parks.

Nothing was decided at the meeting, but Bill Meador, chairman of the board, said the plans would be taken into consideration.

Parks and Recreation Director Mark Pettus said in a later interview the department was planning to replace the skate park &8220;at some point,&8221; but they were still trying to determine a time frame and a location for the project. He said the main concerns are with fitting the park into the city&8217;s approved comprehensive plan and also in accordance with the Arch Street project, which remains under construction. Pettus said Phase II of the Arch Street Project is slated to be built right through the area where the park was located.

The skate park was torn down in December without any posting or public notice, which prompted the skaters to contact the mayor about it being razed. After meeting with the mayor and the council on the issue, the skaters were granted access to use the remains of the skate park until the situation could be addressed. Carter said she and her friends have only gone a few times to the razed skate park.