MONOMOUTH — The Monmouth-Independence Skate Park Committee has raised about $4,000 since August toward a new skate park at the S-Curves in Monmouth.
Brice Spreadbury, who took on the project about three years ago, updated the Monmouth City Council at its Jan. 21 meeting and asked for support.
“I picked up this project when I received word that someone started it but never finished it,” Spreadbury said. “Within that time, we’ve secured a location for the skate park that has all the necessary pieces in place to be a successful recreational park, including restrooms, parking and adequate space for neighbors.”
The new location is west of the existing skate park, which is at the S-Curves, on the other side of the baseball field next to Hogan Road North.
“The current skate park was built over 20 years ago out of materials that would deteriorate,” Spreadbury said. “The wood is beginning to raise and chip. The metal is rusting, and there’s nails coming loose in places, providing a safety hazard to the people and their equipment.”
He said if the current park was expanded, it would “infringe upon private property owned by the mini-golf business.”
Suzanne Dufner, community development director, has been working with Spreadbury for about a year and half.
“I have been so impressed by his community leadership and his actions,” Dufner said. “He’s one of those servant leaders who doesn’t just come to the city and say, ‘You need a new skate park,’ and walk away and expect us to try to come up with the funding and figure out how to get that done. He comes with solutions as well, and (forms) partnerships and (reaches) out to community members to generate excitement and then actually help raise funds now for this very important project.”
In July, the skate park committee entered into an agreement with the cities of Monmouth and Independence to share fundraising, project management and construction responsibilities for the project.
“We see this as a project that will benefit both communities,” Dufner said. “It’s more of a regional project.”
The group raised money to have Dreamland Skate Parks develop a conceptual design.
“They estimated the project at $425,000,” Dufner said. “That did not include prevailing wages, so we’re looking at a number larger than that, probably $600,000. That number will be in flux as we do the final design.”
That will have to come from a number of sources, she said.
“We’ve started putting together that funding strategy to look at how we can pull all those pieces together,” Dufner said.
Monmouth is the fiscal agent for the project.
At some point, as they apply for grants, they will ask the council for a formal letter of support.
They also will rely on in-kind donations.
“That’s something they did in the Lebanon Skate Park,” Dufner said. “Actually they built most of theirs with private funding and in-kind donations. If we can get a number of those materials donated or at cost or reduced, that will really help us control those costs.”
Dufner said the Lebanon Skate Park attracts a number of skaters for competitions and events.
Spreadbury said the Monmouth-Independence skate park will support the development at Ash Creek Station — a commercial complex being constructed on the opposite side of the S-Curves.
“People who use the skate park facility are going to surrounding communities and spending money there,” he said.
Donations to the skate park project may be made at Monmouth City Hall, 151 Main St. W., or through the city’s website ci.monmouth.or.us.