May 2016 dedication possible in Clintonville
By Bert Lehman
Despite the city of Clintonville spending $10,028 a little over a year ago for used skate park equipment, the Gordon Noren Skate Park in Clintonville has continued to sit idle.
That could change by next summer, as an action plan has been put together by the city, in an effort to reopen the skate park.
At the Oct. 13 Clintonville City Council meeting City Administrator Chuck Kell told the council he has had members of the community, including kids, approach him with concerns that opening the skate park hadn’t been moving forward.
Kell told the council he spoke with Justin Mc Auly, director of the Park and Rec. Department, about the skate park. At that time not all the equipment that was purchased last year had been transported to Clintonville.
“One directive I gave was to get that equipment up here so we had it in our hands,” Kell said. “That has been taken care of, we have all the ramps and everything now that we purchased a year ago.”
At the Sept. 29 Park and Rec. Committee meeting, Mc Auly told the committee the reason all the equipment was hauled to Clintonville right away. He said after the city purchased the equipment in October of last year, he was told by a Mauston city official that the equipment would fit on a 54-foot flatbed semi trailer. When Mc Auly and others traveled to Mauston last fall to pick up the equipment, they realized not all of it would fit on one load.
The trailer for that trip was donated by Schutt Industries, while the truck was donated by Jepson Transport.
Mc Auly said another trip to Mauston took place in May to disassemble the remaining skate park equipment in Mauston.
“I could not find another form of transportation before winter,” Mc Auly said.
Work schedules of Park and Rec. employees also limited the opportunities to make another trip to Mauston, Mc Auly said.
The remaining equipment was moved to Clintonville in August. Schutt Industries donated the truck, trailer and driver for this trip.
At the council meeting Kell said he also asked Mc Auly to develop a plan on how the skate park was going to be completed, with an expected completion of May of 2016.
“I just felt that if we’re going to have this for the kids, I didn’t want those kids that are salivating over the skate park graduating high school before it was done,” Kell said.
The equipment was originally purchased with money from the Rec. Center Building Fund, with the intention that the amount taken out of the fund would be repaid as the city collected donations for the skate park. As of the council meeting, Kell said the outstanding balance was $4,239.
Kell informed the council that Mc Auly told him the Clintonville Lions Club had committed to pay the city the amount of the outstanding balance.
“They have also made a commitment to work with him to come up with the balance of the cost of putting this skate park together which is approximately $7,000,” Kell said.
At the Sept. 29 Park and Rec. Committee meeting, Mc Auly updated the committee about the skate park. He told committee members that the ramp material comes in 4 feet-by-8 feet and 4 feet-by-10 feet sheets. The 4 feet-by-8 feet sheets cost $200 per sheet. The sheets are made out of a resin material, and come with a five year warranty for manufacture defects.
Mc Auly said has also been receiving emails from kids wondering when the skate park will reopen.
The Lions Club also volunteered to help assemble the skate park equipment, Kell said.
The action plan created by Mc Auly called for the ramp equipment to be moved into their final positions and assembled by the end of October.
By mid-November the ramp equipment is to be inspected, and an inventory taken on ramp surface material that is needed.
In February or March of next year, ramp surface material and hardware is scheduled to be ordered.
The plan calls for the ramp material to be installed in May. Painting the ramp equipment is also scheduled for May. The last phase of the plan is contingent on the weather.
Once all those steps are completed, a memorial dedication and grand opening of the skate park will be planned.