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Proposed skateboard park site changes

by Canda HarbaughWestern News
| November 9, 2009 11:00 PM

Organizers proposed at Monday’s Libby City Council meeting a new location for an over 12,000-square-foot skateboard park that councilmembers said last month won’t fit in the initial site between Lee Gehring Field and Highway 37. 

Trent Oelberg, who is leading the effort to bring the cement playground to Libby, said that outside City Hall near the tennis courts would be an ideal location.

“It has higher visibility and is a much better location for the space requirement,” Oelberg told the council.

Oelberg said he had considered a few other areas, but that outside city hall provided the easiest and safest access for kids and was the most visible since it would be near tennis courts, a fitness center that’s open seven days a week and city hall. Because the site is hooked up to water and sewer, he suggested that eventually bathrooms and a shelter could be built for the skateboard park and tennis courts to share.

“The only concern I have is the tennis courts,” Mayor Doug Roll said. “I’m a little worried about the two mixing.”

To prevent skateboarders from destroying the courts, Oelberg suggested a barrier between the two.

“There’s enough space that we could have a large buffer zone,” Oelberg said. “We could plant some large spruce trees there.” 

Councilmember Peggy Williams commented that the location may be too close to neighboring houses.  

At the prior council meeting, Williams and councilmember Ron Carter told Oelberg that the skateboard park would either have to downsize or find a location other than east of Lee Gehring Field since the current plan, they said, would leave no space for restrooms or parking.

Roll said at Monday’s meeting that he was still unable to track down the funds the city received from the sale of the former skateboard park property, money that Oelberg said amounted to $7,000 and was supposed to be set aside for a future park.

In other news at Monday’s meeting:

• In a 5-0 vote, with Lee Bothman absent, the council chose to restore roads affected in the Cabinet Heights sewer project with a double-shot chip seal instead of just patching.

• The council and mayor plan to meet for a work session concerning the former export plant site on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at city hall. The meeting will help solidify future plans for the site to present to the Environmental Protection Agency later in the month.

• The council passed a motion to allow a redeveloped disc golf course at Libby Middle School to spill out onto city property. Williams asked that Brad Dodson, one of the organizers, be sure to clear paths in the area so that children won’t trip while they play.