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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Slow start, but skatepark committee beginning to roll

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

There is still time to volunteer for a new committee that will work to realize a skatepark in Storm Lake, according to the parent/businessperson who is leading the effort.

According to Dan Berglund, work commitments have slowed the efforts slightly, but he plans to organize the initial organizational and information meetings for the project within the next month.

"Quite a few people have expressed an interest, and there is certainly room for anyone who wants to help, of any age, to be a part of this committee."

No fundraising has yet been done, but Berglund said that a couple of people have come forward and said they would donate if the project gets off the ground.

"The response has been pretty good, at least based on what I'm hearing. People have been pretty supportive so far, and I haven't heard people coming out and saying it's a bad idea."

City officials have not yet made any comment on the volunteer effort, but Berglund has not yet approached the city council to express the plan formally.

"It would be nice to be a far enough along to have a real plan to put in front of them, and then to be able to give them updates as we go. As far as I'm concerned, the city has already made a commitment, and now it is time for the public to do our part of it."

Berglund said that earlier, city officials said the city would be prepared to fund a third of the cost of a skatepark, estimated at $150,000 in 2010 when the city had a plan drawn up by a California firm specializing in such parks.

Berglund says he hopes that grants or a corporate donation could cover a third, and that the committee could raise the final third.

Nothing has been finalized, but he says he is working with the assumption that the city will still provide the site it had picked out for the plan, Seneca Park, behind the police station, as at least an option.

"That site was chosen based on quite a few factors; everything from accessibility to visibility to access for lights and public restrooms. It seems to be an underused public area, and unless some other site comes along and is offered for the park, I feel like that is our number one option at this time."

Storm Lake has been discussion a skatepark from the beginning of Project AWAYSIS, but plans have always been twice drawn and then pushed to the back burner as attention and funding have gone to other efforts, resulting in some frustration among the youth population.

Berglund had hoped to have the planning and fundraising complete by the end of the year, but there is currently no specific timetable, he says.

"People should be patient, and look for more in the next 30 days."

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