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At last night’s City Council meeting, legislation requesting an additional $75,000 to enlarge the footprint of the previously authorized skateboard park renovation was on the agenda for a first reading. Hudson Park Board Chairman Keith Smith spoke to Council about the Park Board’s recommendation to enlarge the existing park’s footprint by 2,500 square feet for safety and functionality. Council previously authorized $250,000 to renovate the badly deteriorating park structures and pad that have been in place for about 15 years. Without the renovation, the skatepark would have to be closed next year due to safety concerns.
According to Smith, the original $125,000 cost to enlarge the pad is being offset by a donation from Vans Shoe Company, bringing the actual cost to $75,000. The small additional amount would make the park safer, better, and more suitable to the Hudson youth who use the park regularly.
The renovation costs would come from the Park Fund, not the general fund. The Park Fund is a designated fund that can only be used for park purposes. If the City closes the skatepark and doesn’t spend that money, it cannot be used for general fund items such as roads, infrastructure, or other operations in the city.
“We are planning to spend millions of dollars on multipurpose paths and other items in the parks,” said Smith. “The cost of the skate park enlargement and renovation does even put a small dent in the total parks budget and fund but is a vital activity for our community.” Smith explained that the skatepark was originally built based on demand from parents and children in the community who wanted an outlet for youth to play a sport that will become an official event in the 2020 Olympics. Basketball, baseball and soccer aren’t the only sports that kids play. There’s camaraderie and friendships that are a vital part of the skateboarding phenomena, and the Hudson Parks wants to provide activities for all ages.
Smith stated that Parks paid more than $200,000 for the splash pad, which is suited for children up to about 8 years old.
The legislation will go through two more readings before City Council votes on the Resolution for additional funding. Watch the skatepark discussion here.