City officially opens new skate park 0
Lacombe mayor Steve Christie, with the help of Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Rod Fox and Lacombe County Reeve Ken Wigmore, officially cut the ribbon at the Lacombe Skate Park June 16, much to the excitement of kids and youth.
"It's been a long time in the making," said Christie. "It's huge for the kids here, and not only the kids in Lacombe but (those) in surrounding areas."
The skate park has been open to users since last October but the committee waited until June to make sure everything was in place for the big celebration. The big day featured lessons for young skaters in the morning and a trick competition and BMX competition in the afternoon.
The atmosphere at the park was one of excitement June 16. Everyone patiently waited for a turn on the different skate elements.
This type of cooperative experience is one of the most important facets of the park, as it provides a non-competitive environment for all kids, said Susan Young, president of the skate park committee.
In regards to the numerous years it took for the park to be built, Fox said that difficulties mastered are opportunities won. The province, as well as the county and various sponsors all gave money to help make the park a reality.
It's important we support local projects in the communities where we work, said Don Letwinetz, of Encana.
"It was a very special opportunity to be a part of this project."
The park itself has become a source of pride for the city, especially seeing it bring kids from the region into Lacombe.
"When you come down (to the park) any day of the week there's kids from all over central Alberta here, so it's huge for our community," said Christie.
He's not the only one who's pleased to see the park completed. Lacombe police chief Gary Leslie was there June 16 checking out the festivities. He hopes that the community will see this as a benefit for the kids.
"This is a great opportunity for these kids to come and spend some time, use their skills, meet some good people, meet some friends, and it's a great place for them to hang out and have fun," said Leslie.
But there are still a few pieces remaining unfinished at the park. There is an absence of lights. So it looks like there's still a ways to go for the skate park committee when it comes to fundraising.
A good quality set of lights can range up to $60,000, said Young. They would give kids a safe space to ride during the evening hours.
On top of the costs for the lights, the committee is working hard to pay back the loan they received from the city's capital reserve fund back in June of 2011. The committee borrowed $215,000 from the city in order to speed up completion of the park, said Young.
They haven't figure out the exact amount remaining on their bill, but Young said they owe Lacombe about $20,000 to $30,000.
The committee is still looking for a sponsor to name the park, so that could be where they get the money for lights.