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Published: Thursday, 10/25/2007

Forum set on need for skateboard park in Sylvania

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

In response to inquiries about a possible skateboard park, the Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District has scheduled an open forum to give community members a chance to offer their views.

Sylvania City Council as well as the recreation district's officials have fielded questions from local residents about the potential construction of a skateboard park, said George France, chairman of the recreation district.

The meeting, slated for 7 p.m. Monday in Sylvania City Council chambers, is being held "to determine whether there is a need in our community" for a skateboard park, he said.

Students as well as parents have made inquiries about the development of a park, he said.

As the recreation district considers possible capital improvements, officials want to find out "how much of an interest there truly is" for the development of a skateboard park, Mr. France said.

The recreation district has investigated various types of facilities, and has looked into estimated costs associated with the different concepts, Mr. France said.

Sylvania community members are being encouraged to attend the public meeting to offer their opinions.

Based on inquiries received about a skateboard park in the Sylvania community, there are a number of interested groups, Mr. France said.

In order to facilitate the meeting, groups are being asked to designate a spokesman who can address the recreation district's board during the meeting.

A year ago Sylvania City Council discussed the possible development of a skateboard park after three Sylvania boys presented a petition to city officials in support of such a facility.

At that time, some city officials said development of a skateboard park calls for a regional approach that would bring in several entities. A key reason for the interest in a regional approach: an estimated $100,000 cost for a skateboard park. A $20,000 contribution for each entity might make the project more attractive, officials noted then.

When they presented the petitions to city officials, Sylvania teens Nick Hosinski and Ben Miller said there are skate parks in area communities, including Oregon, Maumee, Toledo, Port Clinton, Delta, and Bedford Township.

The petition, signed by 120 registered voters, stated that "building a skate park is a positive way to keep kids out of trouble and a good way to stay physically active.

"Many local businesses have become aggravated because skateboarders are damaging their property. This petition is designed to keep skateboarders off of company property, and in our own designated area away from public traffic."

The boys, who estimated that it could cost $60,000 for a skate park, were interested in the development of a skate facility at the city's Veterans Memorial Field.

Contact Janet Romaker at: jromaker@theblade.com or 419-724-6006.



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