New Innisfail skate park stalls on location

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
March 5, 2018 - 1:20pm

Skateboarders in Innisfail may have to say ‘see ya later’ to the original site proposed for a new skate park.

For the last two years, the Innisfail Kinsmen and Kinettes have been raising funds to build a new skate park at 51 Avenue and 42 Street, just west of the hospital.

To date, $25,000 has been raised, with some other funds set aside by the Town. However, the total is still far short of the estimated $650,000 needed to build.

At its most recent meeting, town council heard the proposed site is not shovel ready, and therefore other sites would need to be considered.

Town CAO Todd Becker says the new council is keen on getting this project done sooner than later, but wants to see it done right.

“Basically what they’re saying is whatever location is determined for the skateboard park, let’s look at the bigger picture and parcel of land around that amenity to see how it will be developed over the longer term,” he says.

When the first site was proposed, there was some backlash from users of the neighbouring horseshoe pits who said a skate park would impede on their events.

Kinsmen Director Russ Klemmer says no matter where it goes, a new skate park will be a game changer for Innisfail.

“If you take a look at the existing skate park, it looks like a bunch of metal ramps set up on an old tennis court and it just wasn’t meeting the needs of our youth,” he says. “If we want to bring in families, we need to have additional amenities for when those families get here.”

Klemmer adds communities like Olds and Blackfalds have been able to draw people in with their new facilities, creating positive economic spinoff.

“The biggest thing I’m happy to see is new council's motivation to move this forward in a more timely manner,” Klemmer says. “It’s going to be fantastic for the community if we can get it done faster rather than waiting three or four years for the funds to be available.”

According to the town council agenda, construction could still begin in fall 2018 with completion in spring 2019. It also says there will be further public consultations to determine other locations. 

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