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Fort Macleod council undecided on skate park location

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A new location for Fort Macleod’s skate park remains undetermined.

Council decided last week to refer those discussions to its committee of the whole meeting in June.

The skate park built in 2003 was displaced with the $3.5-million expansion and upgrading of the outdoor pool.

Town of Fort Macleod director of operations Adrian Pedro was at the May 25 meeting looking for direction from council.

During its meeting at the G.R. Davis Administration Building council viewed the results of a community survey on the skate park location and other issues.

The survey indicated there is support from younger members of the community for a skate park, with Centennial Park emerging as the preferred location.

Pedro indicated that staff would prefer a location other than Centennial park.

“We wouldn’t be supportive of the Centennial Park location necessarily,” Pedro said.

Pedro explained putting the skate park in Centennial Park would be at the cost of removing its already limited green space.

There is also concern about locating the skate park so close to the playground and splash park at Centennial Park.

“Centennial Park is a perfect location but I too have some concerns about the safety aspect unless you’re prepared to fence off the skateboard park,” chief administrative officer Sue Keenan said.

“In other jurisdictions skateboard parks are typically located on bigger areas, where there’s lots of open space,” Keenan added, using Westwinds Stadium and Fort Macleod Volunteer Park as an example.

Safety issues include people skateboarding on the park pathway or skateboards sailing into the playground area after a failed trick.

“The safety aspect is something I’d like council to really think about,” Keenan said.

Coun. David Orr asked for more information about where the skate park would be in Centennial Park.

Orr asked for a site plan of Centennial park, with the skate park included.

“So we can see where it would integrate, or not integrate, in Centennial park,” Orr added.

Centennial Park was the preferred location of survey respondents, followed by the green space on the west side of Fort Macleod Health Centre.

Another possibility, which only came into consideration after the survey was closed, is the green space west of the former Town Office on Red Crow Blvd.

“We can bring site plans to the committee of the whole meeting,” Keenan said. “We can have further discussions.”

Council also has to determine the future of the outdoor arena and tennis courts.

The former Rotary Rink next to W.A. Day school was torn down, and the tennis courts were displaced by the outdoor pool project.

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