By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Independent
The proposed Stettler Skate Park expansion is one more step closer to fruition.
Town of Stettler council members voted on proceeding with the project during their Jan. 21st council meeting, with an estimated cost to the Town of $160,000, out of an estimated $223,000 total cost.
Of this, $63,000 worth of project funds have already been raised by the Skate Park Volunteer Association and have been passed on to the Town to go towards the project.
Originally planned as a three-phase project, thanks to fundraising efforts at the outset, the first two phases of the skateboard park were constructed in tandem by Newline Skateparks in 2013.
The Skate Park Association continued their fundraising efforts, raising $63,000 towards getting the final phase built, which was turned over to the Town for the project in 2019.
The third phase of the skateboard park will see a concrete “bowl” added to the edge of the existing skatepark.
The bowl will be over five ft. deep in one end, four ft. at the other, and feature a five-ft. quarter pipe in the shallow end.
The project came back to council in 2019 for a 2020 build, however due to the emergence of the pandemic plans for construction had to be put on hold.
Funds were allocated for the project in 2020, which are being carried over into 2021, and Newline Skateparks has already been contracted to build the addition in mid-summer, slotting in the Stettler build between two other larger projects.
“We’re fortunate to get it done during this term of council, and prior to the election,” said Stettler Chief Administrative Officer Greg Switenky.
When asked why the community is proceeding with the expense of the skatepark at a time that budgets are getting ever tighter, Mayor Sean Nolls had this to say: “We’d already budgeted for it, so this is something we knew was coming. It came in below budget, and if we waited any longer it would have cost a lot more.”
In general, Nolls believes that the addition will be a net positive to the community by being able to add further value to the free recreation activities available in the community.
“With a lot of people being laid off, I think it’s really important to provide free recreation for people,” said Nolls.
“This is something we always planned. I think it comes down to providing for the community at the time that they need it.”