Santa Paula Times

SP kids can strap on their helmets, skatepark comes closer

March 29, 2003
Santa Paula City Council
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesSanta Paula kids can strap on their helmets, check their protective body gear and oil the wheels on their skateboards after the City Council addressed the skatepark at the March 17th meeting.First though will be fundraising to supplement the approximate $245,000 grant for the project.Interim Public Works Director/City Engineer Joe Lopez told the council that the projected cost of the skatepark is $350,000, a shortfall of about $160,000.Area skateboarders met with designers for three workshops and helped develop the design within Veterans Park, Lopez noted.Mike Taylor of skatepark design firm Purkiss-Rose noted that working with area skaters resulted in a “great design, very contemporary,” utilizing flow lines.The park will accommodate up to six skaters - a “run” of the course lasts about one minute - as up to 200 wait their turn. “I think the skaters put their footprint on it,” noted Taylor.Councilman Rick Cook asked if Taylor was aware of the budget before the design process.Taylor said a “price tag” has been put on each phase of the project.Mayor John Procter noted that “public contributions or partnerships,” had been envisioned to fully fund the project.Councilman Ray Luna said that the Santa Paula Association of Skaters had already planned on fundraising and grant writing
Vice Mayor Gabino Aguirre asked about lighting and Taylor said there are several systems - from motion detection to coin operated boxes - to provide same.A skatepark will not only provide recreation for youth but also boost the local economy, noted Derek Luna during public comment.Marisue Eastlake, a SPAS founder, said, “it’s been a long process, the culmination of an exemplary public process,” involving area youth. “Their participation was terrific; I’m proud of them and proud of their results.”The process to raise the balance needed to fund the full skatepark has been launched, but Eastlake said the city is entitled to $220,000 “according to the second round of state funding. . .SPAS is ready and willing to do our part of the fundraising.”Eastlake said the presence of a skatepark will “bring the community together, raise property values and the sense of importance it will be bring to our kids is immeasurable.”Several area clubs and organizations have endorsed the park, she added, but guidance must be provided on donation recognition parameters. “We also need some help in gathering statistics and graphics,” for selected grant applications. “I don’t have those numbers at my fingertips but the city does.”The estimated construction timeline is 60 days, noted City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, and “there’s a fighting chance it will be done by Labor Day,” if the request for bid is released in June.