The Region gave the Queens County Skatepark Association land adjacent to Queens Place Emera Centre at a special council meeting on Jan. 31. The land is worth $35,000. The Region has also donated $200,000 from a capital reserve fund from Queens Place Emera Centre.
The money was donated under the stipulation that at least 90 per-cent of the money required to create the skatepark is secured before construction starts.
The money must also be used before July 1, 2016 to prevent the next elected council from having to deal with the issue of a skatepark says Mayor Christopher Clarke.
A group of students from South Queens Junior High School gathered to watch the special council meeting and cheered as the motion passed unanimously through Council.
Ian Kent and Dr. David Gunn head up the Queens County Skatepark Association. They were at Queens Place for the announcement and council meeting.
“I think the location is great, I think the financial commitment was exactly what we needed,” says Gunn.
The association presented to Council twice, once on June 16, 2012 and once on Nov. 19, 2012. They also had a public meeting on Nov. 24 where they showed examples of skateparks across Canada and answered some questions from the general public.
The association proposed a 15,000 foot park at a cost of about $750,000. The association has had a few small fundraisers so far and will be having another at Lane’s Privateer Inn on Feb. 9. The Valentine’s day themed fundraiser will include live music and a silent auction with proceeds from the event going to the Skatepark.
The association will be looking for federal and provincial grants and will be doing a significant amount of fundraising. They will be fundraising around $115,000 themselves.
“We’re very excited to secure the partnership with the Region but we have lots more things to do and lots more money to raise,” says Kent.
The Region will own maintain the skatepark at a cost of around $1,000 a year (around the same as maintaining a baseball diamond).
The association had requested the Region make their decision quickly so they could put in grant and funding requests when other levels of government do their fiscal budgets. The project will take six months which means the skatepark could possibly be a reality by the end of next summer.
The idea for a skatepark in Queens County is not a new one. Different groups over the years have requested a skatepark since around 1997.