Skate park backers upset with plans |

Skate park backers upset with plans

by Christy Chalmers, staff writer

Vicki Bates hopes what she’s heard about the possibility of relocating the skate park isn’t so.

“I’m really hoping that I’m just taking this too seriously, and maybe they were just thinking off the tops of their heads and it’s not something they would seriously consider,” she said. “I couldn’t believe they would even consider such a thing after we put out the design and money for that spot.”

Bates is a founding member of the Carson Valley Skaters, a group that has lobbied since 1997 for a Douglas County skate park. Group members were ecstatic in November 1999 when the county commission unanimously voted to build one on the south side of Lampe Park, between the tennis courts, a parking lot and a playground.

Bates was dismayed to learn the commissioners might relocate the park to a 22-acre site across Waterloo Lane if the county can acquire the property.

“They don’t even know if they will get the property, and even if they do, how long will it take to plan everything out?” she asked. “We needed the skate park five years ago, not two years from now.”

The commissioners say the skate park plans are alive and well, and they don’t think moving the park would mean a major delay.

The park’s location will depend on what happens with the 22 acres. The owner, Herbig Properties Ltd., offered the land to the county a year ago as part of a project that included seven acres of commercial development at the corner of Highway 395 and Waterloo Lane.

The county initially rejected a master plan change to accommodate the proposal, but a Nevada Supreme Court decision granted the change. County Manager Dan Holler said the Herbig acquisition looks promising and the company is pondering issues like the tax ramifications of a donation.

The commissioners say waiting to see if the donation proceeds is worth what they say will be an extra month or two for the skate park. Already, the construction bid process has been delayed and a contract isn’t expected until September.

“We can do a better facility, with better parking and less impact on (Lampe) park,” said Commissioner Kelly Kite. “I don’t think it will delay the building of the skate park all that much.”

“I’d hate to do the expeditious thing and have it haunt us,” said Commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen. “If it is a better location, I want someone to make that case and if not, I also want that information.”

Commissioners Don Miner and Bernie Curtis agreed.

“I can understand (Bates’) point and it is a frustrating thing to get it to that level, but if the Herbig property comes through, that’s a better spot for it,” said Curtis.

Holler said the issue will probably be discussed Sept. 7, so the commissioners will know what the Herbigs’ plans are and how long a transfer might take.