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Nov. 16 Steering Committee Meeting & Skateboard Park Forum Minutes

Submitted by Editor on November 16, 2014 – 11:20 pm | Print or Email »No Comment

On the evening of Thursday, Nov. 16th, 2014, the Eastside Hill Steering Committee met at Our Saviors Lutheran Church.

Members in Attendance:  Mark R., Shannon P., Lynn G., Tim L., Jen W., Mark W. Gina K. Sally B., Jason D.

Members Absent:  William K., Mike P., Laura M.

A brief business meeting was held in advance of the Skateboard Park Forum.  These notes reflect the spirit and substance of that meeting.

Tim moved to approve the October Minutes.  Shannon was the second, and the vote carried.

Shannon reported that we currently have $141.48 in checking, and $158.47 in petty cash for a total of $299.95.  We anticipate expenses of $17.91 payable to Mark R.  Sally is due reimbursement for picnic expenses.

Mark R. proposed that Ryan Grilley attend meetings as an informal liaison between the Steering Committee and ECSA.  Shannon asked for clarification.  Mark W. moved to accept Ryan as our liaison.  Gina was the second and the vote carried.

Sally moved for adjournment of the Steering Committee Meeting.  Tim was the second.

Skateboard Park Forum

Guests: Dave Bollinger, Eau Claire City Parks & Rec

Chris Johnson, owner, Passion Board Shop

Gabe Brummond, ECSA

Approximately 25 people were in attendance.

Chris Johnson opened the forum and presented the concept of building at Boyd Park.  He showed graphics of possible size and locations.

**The current basketball court and playground area together constitute approximately 4050 Sq. Ft.

A guest asked where in the approval process the project is, and Shannon gave some background as to the details of the proposal from ECSA.  Another guest inquired about the potential success of a park and whether or not it would  be used?  It was reported that there are kids skating at the Lakeshore park every day.  Concern was expressed about graffiti, and it was stated that there have only been two instances at Lakeshore and it was skaters who cleaned it up.  A guest worried that police patrols could not get close enough to control behavior at the park, but location has not been designated.

Fairway residents that have moved from Chippewa Falls indicated that there are significant issues with the skate park there – many of them drug related.   Gabe B. said that the CF park is tucked away and very loud – an great example of everything bad about a skate park.

Steve, a neighbor who resides on E. Grand expressed concern about current drug problems in Boyd Park, and reported having suffered 2 break-ins in 2 years.

Dave Bollinger from Parks and Rec clarified that he was there to listen to a proposal for a skate park and hear input from the neighborhood.  He shared that the Lakeshore property had been challenging before the skate park was built and that the park has caused no new problems.

Mark W. spoke to the safety and improved condition of Boyd Park.  More people coming to use the park have changed the park.  The more people that come, the better in his view.

A guest (Kyle?) skates Lakeshore everyday.  ”Skaters go there to ride”, he said.  Jenna, who rides and grew up near the CF park agreed that it wasn’t a good place.  Gina asked whether the CF park is organized.  Zach commented that Menomonie’s park is great and attracts good people.

When the question of “Why Boyd?” arose, Chris told us that it was chosen for the following reasons:

- good visibility

- easy to skate to

- on the bike path

- on the opposite side of downtown from Lakeshore

- it is a stop on the bus route

Discussion followed, and included:

- how the ice rink would be affected

- safety, hours & lighting.  Chris allowed that skating can only occurs in natural light, and if there’s no light, people don’t skate.  Concern was expressed that the park be quality construction and not a structure that would be abandoned.  Shannon suggested that Gabe and Chris share how the Lakeshore park came to be.

Mark W. offered that a location nearer the river would take out the invasive Siberian Elm, have better drainage and not impinge on anything currently in the park.

Jason mentioned that more activity in the park will draw more activity.  Skate parks are an attraction to folks in neighborhoods.  Dave who grew up in Chicago and had to drive an hour and a half to ride appreciates having a park closer.  A guest agreed that the more diversity of users in the park, the better.  He went on to ask whether or not the plan had to be square.  Chris and Gabe reassured everyone that a park can be built to use a variety of configurations.

A neighbor asked whether sponsors would be allowed signage at the park, and they would not.

Since ECSA is fundraising for the project, Dave Bollinger said that the role of Parks & Rec would be to landscape and assist with grants and partnerships.  When all questions were answered and the discussion ended, the Steering Committee briefly reconvened to determine the next steps to take.  Shannon moved and Sally seconded that we draft a letter of support that could be given to ECSA to take through the proposal process.  With a unanimous vote it was agreed.  Sally moved for adjournment.

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