Town considers shining light on new skate park

Since opening last year, Stettler’s skate park is getting used more than organizers ever thought it would.

“After school it is packed,” said Mike Lawlor, president of the Skateboard Association. “Kids are there from the moment school is out until the sun goes down.”

He said a big request from parents, skateboarders and police has been for lights.

“RCMP say it’s hard to see and monitor the park at night,” said Lawlor.

The Skateboard Association would like to install two solar powered lights, one on each end of the park, for $3,060 each.

“We wanted to stay eco-friendly.”

The association has the funds to pay for both lights. After the two are installed, Lawlor said they would monitor the brightness and decide if more will be needed.

Lawlor brought the idea to council last week for feedback and also to discuss how long the lights should be left on if they were to be installed.

“If it’s solar-powered, leave them on as long as the battery lasts,” said Coun. Darcy Bachman. “It’s phenomenal to see the usage.”

Coun. Karen Sernecky said she went to the skate park often with her kids and saw how much it gets used.

“I think lights are a fantastic idea and I think it would help,” she said.

Coun. Malcolm Fisher agreed that lights should be installed at the park, but he said having them on until around midnight is late enough.

Mayor Dick Richards was the only one at the table who expressed initial concern about installing lights at the park.

“I have some reservations about lights, [but] I will continue on with an open mind,” he said.

Council will take the request to staff to formulate a recommendation, which will be discussed at the next council meeting.

In addition to discussing the lights, Lawlor also presented council with a cheque for $34,859.42 to cover the final instalment the town paid to cover the Skateboard Association’s portion of the cost of the skate park.

“Without their support, this project wouldn’t’ have gotten off the ground,” said Lawlor.

Besides the funds that were given as a loan, which has now been repaid, the Town of Stettler contributed $175,000 to the park. The total cost of the park so far has been $392,000.

At the council meeting, council also approved the construction of a cold storage four-bay shed in the town shop yard, which will include a bay for the parade float. The expected cost is $47,000. Council also approved to increase 2015 capital funding by $12,000 from general reserves.

“That is one heck of a price,” said Bachman. “There’s no doubt about it that this is a go.”

The structure will be 12 feet high with a 10-foot high overhead door to accommodate the parade float. The shed will also store barricades, Christmas decorations, the crack filling machine and more.

The Town of Stettler will be purchasing a new Toro 3280-D six-foot mower from Oak Creek Golf and Turf in Calgary, under the recommendation of staff for $29,230. Funding is to come from the 2015 capital budget.

There was discussion surrounding which brand of mower to choose. The choice was between the Toro, a John Deere and a Kubota.

Parks operators preferred the Toro and felt it would have faster cutting speeds because of its manoeuvrability and ground clearance.