I feel a real sense of déjà vu when it comes to the skate park.
A feeling of familiarity came over me Thursday evening at the Park Theater when officials were discussing the skate park. What was told to me would be an unveiling of the skate park plans and its location at McMinnville Civic Center was actually another round of “let’s put it here” with a plethora of locations being thrown into consideration.
I’ve definitely been witness to something like this before. Back a few years ago, consideration was given to relocation of McMinnville Police Department from Red Road. Every meeting someone had a new idea. The discussions seemed endless. There were probably a dozen ideas of buildings that could be renovated or properties where a new department could be constructed.
Much like then, and the skate park now, everyone had an idea – some had more than one idea – and everyone had reasons why someone else’s idea wouldn’t work or why they just didn’t like it. Are we really going to have a dozen locations under consideration for a skate park before it’s all said and done?
Hopefully, the skate park won’t follow the same route as the Police Department. Finally, after several months of discussion on where to relocate the department, the chaos ended. As you know, the department is still located on Red Road. All that discussion and nothing happened. No building was renovated, no property built upon.
I shook my head then and I’m shaking it now. However, McMinnville officials are putting way too much (way too much) thought into this. It’s a skate park. It isn’t a $2 million building to house our fine officers of McMinnville Police Department. A skate park needs lighting, security and to be in a location where it’s easily accessed by its users because most of them will be on skateboards to get there.
Stop overthinking this and put the skate park at the Civic Center.
I’ve heard some neighbors do not want it. Parks and Recreation has been located there since 1975. Unless you moved into the area more than 42 years ago, you moved in knowing the heart of the city’s recreational services was located in your neighborhood.
Some people are concerned for skateboarding on the walkway behind the Civic Center. I’ve been on the walkway and skateboarders have passed me. I have yet to have a problem. They are doing what’s I’m doing and that’s using the sidewalk for exercise. If children are enjoying the day on a skateboard, I think we should encourage that. They are outside and getting exercise, rather than playing video games or texting. Kudos to them.
Open the walkway up to skateboarders. I don’t see any reason why it cannot be shared. Place some rules of etiquette, some codes of conduct, which really should encompass everyone using the walkway.
It’s almost June and the grant expires Jan. 1. Let’s not beat this thing to death.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.