Eight-year-old Tim O’Connor of Kentville and 14-year-old Calum Shaw of Port Williams are two proponents of a skate park for Kentville. – Jennifer Hoegg, www.kingscountynews.ca
By Kirk Starratt
A group that hopes to see a skatepark facility constructed in Kentville wants to get county council on board with the idea.
Matthew MacLeod of the Kentville Skatepark Association made a presentation to the county Nov. 26 aimed towards raising awareness about the group’s proposal.
“Concrete is the current standard for skateparks,” MacLeod said. “These are one-of-a-kind structures.”
MacLeod, who has been skateboarding for 27 years, said modular parks are outdated. He said concrete skateparks are no more expensive for municipalities to insure than baseball diamonds. The association wants to partner with the Town of Kentville, the County of Kings and the provincial and federal governments, as well as undertaking community fundraising, to make the skatepark a reality.
Kentville has committed a piece of land for the project near the KCA School. The association already has $23,000 in the bank to put toward the development of a 15,000 square-foot park, the same size as the skatepark in Chester. It’s expected to cost $750,000 in total.
MacLeod said the association hopes that both Kentville and the county can contribute one-sixth of the cost so that local municipalities cover one-third.
Warden Diana Brothers said a proposal for the Kentville skatepark and one for a skatepark in Greenwood would be coming back to council in time for 2014-2015 budget deliberations.
Coun. Kim MacQuarrie said she wants information on whether or not there would be a cost to the user when the matter comes back to the committee of the whole.
Coun. Pauline Raven said perhaps an extraordinary skatepark could be built in Kentville to draw users in. She said it could be great for recreation, since skateboarding is an affordable sport for kids, and act as an economic driver.
The association hopes the skatepark would become a recreational hub for young people not engaged in conventional team sports. Skateboarders, scooter enthusiasts and BMX bikers would be among those using the facility.