Ritzville Considers A Skate Park

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Ritzville Considers A Skate Park

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Joined: August 21st, 2010, 8:15 am

October 29th, 2010, 5:01 am #1

~ This Is A Three In One News Clip:
01 - Ritzville Considers A Skate Park
02 - Ritzville Gets Skate Park Land
03 - The Ritzville Skate Park Update

*** Ritzville Considers A Skate Park ***

Ritzville, Washington -- 09/18/2009
City Council Considers Skateboard Park Idea.

Mayor Linda Kadlec and 12-year-old Erik Shanaman have created
an unexpected alliance. The pair are working together to bring a
skateboard park to Ritzville.

Shanaman is campaigning on behalf of himself and several youth
who consider skateboarding to be their primary sport or outdoor
activity of choice.

Kadlec is working to provide the youth of the community with a
new recreation facility that will improve the city’s quality of life
and expand the options for children of the community.

During the Tuesday, Sept. 1, city council meeting the panel
opened the meeting and adjourned into executive session to
consider a possible land purchase, which would provide the
city with the ground necessary to construct a skateboard park.

John Marshall has offered to sell the land to the city. The offer
has yet to be approved by the city council, following more
discussion on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

The mayor has made it her goal to provide funding for the
construction of a skateboard park in the city’s 2010 budget.
She is modeling her effort after the City of Davenport, which
recently constructed a skateboard park for $41,000.

While there are a number of grants available for such projects,
Davenport officials advised that the process is very competitive
and that the city should fund the initial project and then seek
grant funding for expansion and future park upgrades.

Shanaman made his case for a skateboard
park during the Sept. 1 meeting.

“These days extreme sports such as skateboarding and
BMX bicycling are rising to an all-time high,” he said.

“Skateboarding is a $3 billion a year industry and figures
are continuing to rise. Kids are now finding more to do
than just sit in front of the TV all day or play video games.”

Shanaman, a seventh grade student at Ritzville Middle School,
is an avid skateboarder. He said about four years ago he started
to land tricks and has been hooked ever since.

“It’s fun and it’s an ongoing event that could turn into a career,”
he said during an interview at The Journal office on Monday, Sept.
7. “It passes time and it’s just entertaining.”

Shanaman acknowledges that many adults have a preconceived
notion about skateboarders that isn’t very positive. He told the
council that the skateboard park would address that.

“Since we do not have a skate park, we are forced to skateboard
in the streets, stairs and even on sidewalks,” he said. “These areas
are often illegal to skate on. People complain we are ruining property,
but we are not doing it to be harmful. The only reason we are jumping
off these stairs, grinding these handrails and waxing these ledges are
because we have nothing else to skateboard on.

“Having a skate park in town helps to solve these problems.
It provides a safe haven for the skaters,” he continued. “Kids
learn to be responsible and are in a positive atmosphere where
they are encouraged to be the best in everything they do.”

Shanaman noted that the rural city is located a long way away
from the closest skateboard park. He said the nearest park is 47
miles away, too far for kids to reach without transportation.

While Shanaman was the first local youth to respond to an invitation
from the mayor to have input on the potential skateboard park, he
said that others are becoming involved. Initially, he said, his peers
didn’t believe that the city would move forward with the concept.

As discussion continues, Shanaman said other students are willing
to come forward and help the city design the park and then maintain
it once it is constructed.

“Skateboarding is a growing sport all around the country,” he said.
“It is almost as popular as sports like football, baseball and soccer.
In California, they even have a skateboarding league. This shows
how fast and wide skateboarding has spread throughout the country
and world.”

According to Shanaman’s research, 14 million teenagers are
skateboarding and it has become the third largest sport in the
nation among those ages eight to 18.

Tuesday night the council heard from Jeremy Cupp, a representative
of American Ramp Company, who told the council that the city, if it
used his firm, could apply for a company grant that would provide a
25 percent discount in the equipment for a skate park.

He also noted that if the city successfully sought a Tony Hawk
Foundation grant, which ranges between $5,000 and $25,000,
the American Ramp Company would match the foundation’s

According to its Web site, the Tony Hawk Foundation has awarded
more than $2.7 million, which has partially funded 427 skate park
projects across the United States.

“We believe that every city deserves a skate park,” Cupp said.

Shanaman believes a skate park would make the city a better
place for kids. “With a skate park in town, the area youth are
brought together in support of each other and they have a good
time,” he said. “Watching the action that goes on in a park is
almost equally as thrilling.”

He said the park would bring a positive outcome. It would increase
public safety and skater safety, reduce property damage and crime
and build a stronger community, he said.

“You would catch kids being good,” he said.

CC - The Ritzville Journal.


*** Ritzville Gets Skate Park Land ***

Ritzville, Washington -- 03/06/2010
City of Ritzville buys land for skate park.

Following a brief executive session Tuesday the Ritzville City
Council voted to spend $10,000 to purchase property at 505
N. Columbia Street from John Marshall for a future skate park.

Ann Olson made the motion to approve the purchase, supported
by a second to the motion from Barney Streeter. Council members
Gary Cook, Darrel Koss and Mike Schrag voted to support the measure.
Kelly Olson and Scott Yaeger opposed the purchase.

The city council, at the urging of the mayor, approved $41,000
for land acquisition and construction of the skateboard park in
the 2010 city budget.


*** The Ritzville Skate Park Update ***

Ritzville, Washington -- 05/06/2010
Youth and city council continue skate park efforts.

The Ritzville City Council spent a considerable portion of the
April 20 meeting discussing the skate park public forum the
week before and the next steps.

According to Clerk/Treasurer Kris Hansen, two ramp companies
and one concrete contractor provided information at the skate
park meeting.

About 20 Ritzville residents ranging in age from junior high students
to grandparents as well as council members Darrel Koss, Gary Cook
and Ann Olson, Mayor Linda Kadlec and Public Works Superintendent
Larry Swift spent the evening of April 15 at the Washington Wheat
Foundation building as three companies presented information on
their proposals for a skate park.

“The purpose was to see what was within city’s budget and to provide
a chance for entities to explain the benefit of their company as well as
let kids know what $30,000 can get and what the city will get in turn,”
Hansen said. “(The kids) stepped up. They are willing to volunteer.
They are willing to form an organization. They want to sell t-shirts
as fundraisers. They’re really gung ho.”

Hansen recommended a group or entity be formed to work together
with the interested citizens, youth and city and keep the project moving
forward rather than do it all within the council.

This group would involve the people interested in the project, develop
criteria, research the products involved, research possible funding
sources and report to the council, Hansen added.

She also noted that she was approached by three youth after the
meeting. They informed her they are ready to move forward through
volunteering, fundraising, garnering community support, etc.

The council agreed by consensus to form a committee. Councilman
Scott Yaeger and Mayor Kadlec volunteered to serve on the committee.

“There are pros and cons of all of it. I think it’s really important to
get the kids involved. I can say one thing. If you go with the ramps,
you will have it immediately. If you go with concrete, it will take some
time,” Hansen said, adding that other municipalities with skate park
facilities have a separate entity.

The mayor noted that she hopes to see a facility completed by this fall.

The city recently purchased property across from the Little League
field at 505 West Columbia to site the facility. Preliminary plans are
for the fire department to utilize the structure for training purposes.

ACC - http://www.genesbmx.com/Eastern-Washington-Skate-Parks.html
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