Helper Skate Park Discussion Continues

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Ryan Bromberek once again visited the Helper City Council during a meeting on Thursday evening to continue the discussion of bringing a skate park to the city.

He started off by stating that the park was not his idea, but was actually something presented to him by Thomas Elmo Williams. While Bromberek said he was only able to chat with Williams a handful of times, the park was always brought up. Bromberek told the council he had reached out to Williams’ partner, asking for his blessing to create the park in memory of Williams.

Bromberek told the council that if the park was approved to move forward, he would like it to be dedicated to Williams. He then stated that when he last spoke with the council, there were questions regarding the cost associated with the skate park.

He informed the council that for most skate parks, development takes a long time. Through fundraising, municipal funding, grant writing and more, the creation of the park can look like a multi-year process, though sometimes it does happen faster. Right now, Bromberek said they are looking at about $55 per square foot.

Previously, he had mentioned the existing concrete at the park on Locust Street, which is 3,600 square feet. When reviewing portfolios of skate park developers, it’s quite a process to take a slab that already exists and have cut-in elements, though it helps keep costs down.

Bromberek has identified a couple of skate park developers that are willing to work with in-kind donations, discussing three different possibilities with the council. He stated that those three developers have a good product and have been building parks for a long time.

He continued, explaining that the skate park will make it safer for wheeled sports and will lower the possibility of city property damage. “If your town doesn’t have a skate park, your town is the skate park,” said Bromberek.

He also informed the council that the number of skateboarding injuries per active skateboarder is around 8.9 per 1,000 participants, while basketball had over 20. By the numbers, it tends to be a lot safer.

Councilwoman Michelle Goldsmith stated that she fully supports things that will keep the youth both occupied and active. Mayor Lenise Peterman acknowledged that they are approaching a new budget year, starting over in July. While there are grants to pursue, the mayor said that she does not know if they are matching grants or not.

It was decided that, on a future agenda, they will need to approve the location, discuss funding and more. Councilman Gary Harwood stated that he thinks that it is a wonderful project to move forward with.

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