Columbiana considers skate park

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Skateboarders who have made use of sidewalks, steps and curbs could soon have a facility all their own in


Mayor Allan Lowe said recently, &8220;Not all kids want to participate in league sports.&8221;

During a recent city council work session, Lowe proposed that the city look into providing a skateboard park that would be largely paid for through fund-raisers and grants.

Lowe said he would cap the city&8217;s investment at $35,000. He suggested that the park be located next to the Columbiana Fire Department.

He proposed those interested in skateboarding and their parents raise up to $35,000, which the city would match. The remainder of the cost, he said, could come from a Shelby County Parks and Recreation Grant among other grants.

Lowe said he also planned to have parents of local skateboarders attend the next meeting of the Columbiana City Council set for March 21 to show their willingness in helping to fund the facility.

According to a draft of a skateboard park resolution, the city has deemed it necessary to prohibit skateboarders from existing parks and recreational facilities to reduce &8220;risk of injury to skateboarders and the damage to public and private property that has occurred prior to this date.&8221;

As a result, according to the resolution, the city would agree to pursue the creation of a park &8220;designed specifically to encourage the safe and responsible use of skateboards.&8221;

As part of the resolution, the city agrees to:

uEstablish a resident-operated committee to raise funds.

uMatch cash contributions up to $35,000 (cash and in-kind services). The city would have eight months to make up the difference from the time the committee raised

its first $10,000.

uOnce $10,000 is raised by the committee, the council would authorize the mayor to apply to the Shelby County Commission for a park grant.

uOnce $70,000 has been received, the city would begin construction.

Lowe said there would be no increase in the city&8217;s insurance fees provided

there is no watchman and no requirements are placed as conditions for use of the park, the park is not lighted and a pea gravel surrounding is provided to prevent skateboarders from going into traffic.

The park proposed by Lowe would include a 100-by-60 or 100-by-70-foot slab of concrete