Decision expected Thursday on skate park |

Decision expected Thursday on skate park

by Merrie Leininger

In an effort to build a skatepark that has so long been a priority of the parks and recreation commission, the board will meet with the county commission Thursday in the multi-purpose room of the Carson Valley Middle School at 6 p.m.

The meeting, brought about by County Manager Dan Holler and Parks and Recreation Director Scott Morgan, will hopefully put an end to years of searching for a location for the skatepark.

The commissions plan to make a decision where to build the skatepark: Lampe, Stodick or Aspen.

“All the (parks and recreation) commissioners are in agreement that a skatepark has been at the top of the priority list for many years. It seems like whenever we go in a direction, we hit bureaucratic red tape or neighbors, or we hit some reason not to do the project. We decided to make some decisions because these kids need a skatepark as soon as possible,” said parks and recreation commissioner Lawrence Howell.

County Commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen said he will wait to hear what the staff recommends before deciding on which site he prefers for the skatepark. He said the key would be which park has the least impact on neighbors.

Although Etchegoyhen said he hasn’t received a lot of comments from the public on the issue, some people have wondered aloud to him, ‘Why do we need this?’

“A lot of folks I grew up with don’t understand there are not the opportunities for recreation we had. Things are different from when there were only a couple of hundred kids in the Carson Valley. It is incumbent upon us to provide a place,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll let folks leave the room until there’s a decision. It is needed.”

Parks and recreation commission Chairman Robin Reedy said the park is a long time coming and she hopes to have a final decision Thursday night.

“It’s been a couple of years I’ve been on parks and commission that we’ve been talking about this. I’m hoping people are calling the county commission. They need to put their input in now,” she said.

Reedy said she thinks Lampe park is the best site for the skatepark.

“At one of our meetings, we discussed where things should go as far as existing parks, and I was leaning toward Lampe Park. Barring someone coming in and saying something we never thought of, I like Lampe,” she said. “It is centrally located and very visible, so it will give people a good idea of what a skatepark is and isn’t.”

Reedy said she also likes the idea of Lampe Park because it has been there the longest of the three.

“The park’s been there forever so the people who chose to build near the parks had that choice, and others didn’t necessarily have the choice,”she said.

According to the public hearing notice that was sent out to residents within 600 feet of the three parks and users of the three parks, the proposed site for the skatepark in Lampe, near the tennis courts, is 450 feet from the nearest neighbor, which is much further than either one of the other sites. The park also has restrooms and drinking fountains, as does Aspen. Stodick does not have drinking fountains.

David Brady, a member of the parks and recreation board, who is appointed by the school board, also prefers Lampe.

“I don’t have information as to staff reports, but my personal preference is Lampe has the best access and the least cost impact to the county,” he said.

Brady also said the skatepark is overdue. He said he was surprised at how well-behaved skaters at the skatepark in South Lake Tahoe were during a recent visit. He said he is open to hearing public comment at the meeting, and believes a site needs to be chosen.