Skatepark could be operational in 30 days

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By The Staff

Staff Report

American Ramp of Joplin, Mo., has won the $92,000 contract to outfit the new skateboard park at Delma Locke Park.

The decision to take the recommendation of the city’s skateboarders and the city Recreation Committee came at Monday evening’s regular Chiefland City Commission meeting.

The park is being financed as part of a $200,000 state recreation grant to the city. The grant is also funding a basketball court at Strickland Park.

The Recreation Advisory Committee hosted presentations by the top three modular skate court providers on Jan. 26 and got input from parents and skateboarders in choosing the court design and materials.

The committee recommended that the city accept American Ramp’s design and have the components made of steel in order to get the longest warranty — 20 years. The committee’s report noted that American Ramp is the largest company providing skate parks in the world and have furnished over 1,000 parks.

In addition, the committee asked that three components of the Rampage company design be incorporated into the court: the curved radius rail, another square tube grind rail and a skate bench. The additions will be done within the $92,000 budget.

The steel components will have a powder coated finish, which will keep the metal cool in hot months.

Vice Mayor Teresa Barron said the components can be installed and the court up and running in 30 days.

Commissioner Rollin Hudson voiced a concern that the money is being spent with an out-of-town company and asked if the contract was offered to a Levy County vendor. But Laurie Copeland, who is project manager for the grant, said there are no Levy County vendors who are qualified.

“There’s some steel construction folks that could have done that,” he said. “I just hate to have dollars leave Levy County.”

Copeland said the contractor needed to be someone certified in designing skateboard courts in order to protect the city from liability.

“The bulk of the money is going outside,” Hudson said.

The bulk of the money came from outside,” Mayor Teal Pomeroy said.

This is such a specialized thing,” Barron said.

Copeland said the company’s owner Nathan Bemo is a skateboarder who turned his hobby into a living and is a good role model for Chiefland’s youth. She said he was a skateboarder who was urged to stay in school and finish his education, so he went to college to get an architecture degree and started designing skate courts.

Copeland said he has agreed to come to the court’s opening and talk to the skateboarders about staying in school.