City requests more input on skate park issue

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The topic of building a skate park in Cassville was revisited during Monday night's city council meeting.

Several teenagers and their parents were in attendance at the meeting to follow-up on their initial presentation concerning a skate park, which they made back in August of 2006.

Jim Morris, of Monett, who has helped build skateboarding ramps for parks in Sarcoxie and Pierce City, also attended the meeting at the request of those lobbying the council to create a local skate park. He told the aldermen that he would be willing to build ramps for a park without charging the city for labor if the city would buy the materials.

Kenny Schieler, who oversees Cassville's park system, said he collected some initial cost estimates on skateboard park equipment from two playground equipment suppliers.

"A very small skate park package would cost around $24,000," said Schieler. "I wouldn't mind going up to see what he (Morris) built, because I know we have no money in the budget for equipment this year."

Schieler also stated that he envisioned the skate park being built in the city's South Park, although he said he would like to get the Park Board's input before proceeding with any definite plans.

Alderman Joe Cavness requested that the city investigate the liability issues that could be created by a skate park and the other council members agreed.

In response to those concerns, Morris said it was his experience that skateboarders accepted the risk of injury associated with the sport.

"Kids get hurt from time to time but they consider it a badge of courage," Morris said.

Mayor Jim Craig asked City Clerk Kelly Paul to schedule a Park Board meeting in the coming month. He also advised Willie Linenbrink and Zack Jacobs, the two teens present at the council meeting, to attend the Park Board meeting and also get other teens interested in skateboarding to attend with them.

Alderman Pete Landstad suggested that the meeting be held at the high school to accommodate the teenagers.

"The kids are asking for a place to skate," said Landstad. "Right now they're using the sidewalks, the streets and the curbs and it's not safe for them or the public. It's a valid form of recreation and worth looking into."

In other business, the council:

• Approved bills that totalled $32,205.96.

• Accepted a $15,154 bid from Tiff City Pump, Inc., for the purchase of a new motor and pump for Well #2. Layne-Western and Reavis Water Well & Construction, Inc., also submitted bids, with Tiff City being the low bidder.

• Presented years of service awards to the following employees: Lonnie McCullough, Sr., 25 years; Kenny Schieler, 15 years; Jeff Stockton, 15 years; Kelly Paul, 10 years; Tina Rasmussen, five years; and Michele Holenda, five years. City Administrator Mike Hayslip presented each employee with a certificate and commemorative pin.

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