By Connie Williams
July 31, 2010
Is the Borough experiencing the same song and dance about a skate
park as it did in 1997-1998? Lots of folks, talking to assembly
members and parks and recreation staff about the importance of
supporting the youth and giving them something to do. Government
officials were hearing it in the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's.
The problem I saw was you had many folks in favor of the project,
but in reality, only a few, by comparison actually utilized the
facility for what it was intended.
The existing skate park was constructed with the last remaining
funds from the bond that built the recreation center, which is
now paid in full. The total cost of the skate park was under
One of the hardest parts of having a skate park is the noise,
vandalism and attempting to keep users safe. When the skate
park first opened, we had numerous complaints from surrounding
neighbors about the noise at all hours of the night. We finally
installed a high fence that could be locked at dusk and placed
our custodial staff on a graveyard shift to avoid night time
noise and vandalism. Who is going to maintain it? One letter
suggests that Parks and Recreation would. Parks and Recreation
does not have maintenance staff. The Borough does have a Public
Works Department, however, what kind of liability is the Borough
willing to take on?
I would suggest that if this group is serious, they form a non-profit
organization and negotiate with the Borough to lease land, say
out around Ward Cove and the group can attempt to obtain the
funding through grants and donations to construct it, and user
fees to maintain the park.
About: " 45 year resident
of Ketchikan. Former Gateway Recreation Center Supervisor -
during the construction of the current skate park."
Received July 30, 2010 - Published
July 31, 2010
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