Just because the town’s proposed $112.9 million 2019-20 fiscal year operating budget doesn’t currently include funding for a renovation of the town skate park doesn’t it mean it won’t later in the fiscal year.
That’s according to Mooresville Fire-Rescue Chief Curt Deaton who said Friday finding funding for a possible three-phased skate park renovation is on the town’s “to do list.”
Deaton is serving as an assistant town manager over the parks and recreation department since the departure of former Deputy Town Manager Angel Wright-Lanier who left in mid-April to work for the city of Fayetteville.
Deaton and Parks & Recreation Department Director Pam Reidy are now researching the cost of adding a concrete fun or mini bowl to the grassy area beside the approximate 16,000 square-foot skate park next to the Mooresville Police Department on West Iredell Avenue.
Skate park renovation funding was not included in the town’s proposed 2019-20 fiscal year operating budget, presented last Monday to the Mooresville Board of Commissioners by Interim Town Manger Ryan Rase.
The board is scheduled to vote on the budget at its June 3 meeting.A fun bowl or mini bowl costs about $75,000, Reidy said at a budget workshop meeting held May 13. The cost to add one to the skate park could be covered by cuts elsewhere in the budget but more likely would be found by the town being more efficient in other areas and having money left over to make improvements, Deaton said.
“I do know that if we’re efficient with the funds approved by the town board and we have some opportunity to make something happen, we can go back to the board,” Deaton said.
The board can vote on budget amendments that can change the budget later in the fiscal year. But before that is done, Deaton said he wants to make sure he knows the exact cost of a total skate park renovation.
Any renovations could come in a three-phased project, he said.
The project’s phase one could include the mini or fun bowl, phase two the design of an urban skate plaza or street course and phase three the design’s actual construction, he said. That will take patience and input from the skate community, he said.
“Our goal is to have a great rec facility for skaters in the future,” said Deaton.
The topic of renovating the skate park has been an issue since the park was closed for yet another temporary repair in March.
The town spent around $436,000 to build the park’s phase one in 2008 and never completed phase two - an urban street course with two concrete bowls priced at an additional $400,000 - when the recession hit. The pre-owned, metal ramps still in use today for phase one, were donated in 2008 and have been repaired numerous times over the years. The equipment is now past its life cycle, officials have said.
Earlier this spring, Reidy hired skate park consultant Terry Grimble to help with the design of a new skate park. A new course with railing, concrete bowls and street course would cost total between $200,000-$300,000, Grimble has said.
Reidy has also petitioned the skate community and Steve Davis, former owner of the downtown Embassy Skateboard Shop, on improvements they would like to see.
“One thing we might want to do is build the bowl this year if we can find funding and then consider the new skate plaza in next year’s CIP (capital improvement plan) funding when we can plan for it,” said Reidy during the workshop.
Requests for funding from each town department, including parks and recreation, had already been submitted to the town manager’s office prior to skate park renovation plans gaining momentum, said Reidy.
That’s why skate park renovation plans weren’t included in the proposed 2019-20 fiscal year budget, she said.
“I think we need to do something this year,” said Mayor Pro Tem Thurman Houston, at the May 13 budget workshop. He said the town should build the fun bowl now and look at the skate park plaza renovations for the 2020-21 fiscal year budget.
After all, the Board of Commissioners promised a proper skate park for the kids in the community a decade ago and they need to fulfill that promise, Houston said. “We promised this thing when we designed it and now it’s coming back to haunt us,” Houston said.