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Council muses site for proposed skateboard park - May. 21, 2014


Vern Faulkner/Courier
This vacant lot on King Street in St. Stephen has been suggested as an ideal site for a skateboard park. St. Stephen councillors have asked town staff to investigate ownership of the land - which is believed to be held by the province - as the first step in determining the land’s feasibility for that purpose.

Vern Faulkner
St. Stephen
Jennifer Urquhart came to Wednesday night’s St. Stephen council meeting with a problem: she left with, perhaps, a stunning solution.
Urquhart, the Kiwanian spearheading efforts to construct a skateboard and BMX park to serve the town and outlying regions, told council she had evaluated seven locations for the park suggested by staff, comparing them to the desires of the skateboarding community.
None emerged as a clear-cut choice.
“Some of the locations are great, some of them are secluded, which we feel is not great for the little ones.”
Potential users of the proposed facility need something that they can easily access – which generally means a centralized location – and has access to washrooms and potable water, Urquhart said, noting she had consulted with other skateboarders, and most, she said, want the facility downtown.
She estimated about 90 youth within St. Stephen itself would be potential users, and stated that a facility need not be of greater area than 735 square metres (8,000 square feet). The facility in Sussex, she noted, is about 550 square meters (6,000 square feet.)
Suggested locations included land near the Milltown Pool, the old lagoon, the now-decommissioned pool next to St. Stephen Middle School, and elsewhere.
“We’re just waiting on a location to get started,” stated Urquhart, noting that contact had been made with a suitable designer to develop a plan.
That’s when councillors started to discuss the use of land near the corner of King and Prince William streets, left vacant last year after demolition of a derelict property.
Standard town building lots are about 550 metres in size.
The location – near a convenience store and the civic centre – gives the centralized location ready access to refreshment and washroom facilities, noted Deputy Mayor John Ames.
Mayor John Quartermain instructed property manager Kingsley Bailey to confirm the property is currently owned by the Province of New Brunswick.
Councillors, by consensus, agreed the location may be ideal for the skateboard park, and urged further investigation on the feasibility.

editor@stcroixcourier.ca