Ludington, Scottville and Hart all have skate parks in their plans, but these popular structures cost big bucks.
The City of Ludington hosted a groundbreaking ceremony in June of this year for its already designed skate park located at Stearns Park. The plan is ready to go, $229,000 dollars have been raised. Bids were accepted for the construction. But last week when the bids were opened, there was a $120,000 surprise, and not a good one. The actual cost will be more like $352,000. Ludington Mayor John Henderson says that this is a bump in the road, but that the skate plaza will be built. However, the kids with their boards might not be lining up in 2007 to ride. The construction committee will meet soon to discuss some options. There may be places where reasonable changes can be made to the plans.
The funds for this project have come primarily from local efforts. The Mayor's Youth Advisory Committee kicked the project off by raising $6000. Other local donations both corporate and from individuals have followed. One grant of $75,000 was received. Now, more money will have to be raised.
In Oceana County, the small city of Hart has also been dreaming of a modest skate park. The City Council matched a $5000 Tony Hawk grant on July 23, to keep the dream alive. The Tony Hawk Foundation was created by skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. Hart purchased about $7000 worth of skate park equipment from the city of Saline a few years ago. These assets are gathering dust in storage. The city is waiting to hear from the skate park committee, and hopes to revitalize the plan. Their estimate of cost is about $100,000.
Scottville, Ludington's neighbor to the east, has also been dreaming of a skate park since 2005, although it has not been addressed in a meeting of the Parks and Recreation Committee recently. Mayor Leon Begue says, "We still want to do it; it's all about the money." A new playground was installed in June at McPhail Field, and the committee may now turn its fundraising efforts toward the skate park.
by Joan H. Young
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Ludington Holds Groundbreaking for Stearns Skateboard Park
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