Oct 17, 2013 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff WriterThe Central Wyoming Skateboarding Association received financial backing from the mayor during the Riverton City Council meeting Tuesday.
Mayor Ron Warpness showed his support for the group's hard work by surprising the association with a $500 personal check. The organization has been busy developing preliminary plans for the skate park's design.
"I see this as a public facility that all our children can benefit from," he said.
He also commended the members on their determination to generate their own funds.
CWSA president Chris McNeil and co-chairman Matt Wright presented to the council their design plans for a new skate park to be built in Riverton City Park. The design included an open bowl, a flat surface covering more area, ramps for beginners or smaller children, stairs, rails, pipes and a separate section that would add names of sponsors.
McNeil said the group paid $5,000 to the American Ramp Company from Joplin, Mo., to help members of the association implement their ideas. He said they couldn't raise funds without having design plans.
"This is a beautiful facility you've described here this evening," Warpness said. "I think you've put together a wonderful plan here."
CWSA opted for the poured-in-place design as opposed to a precast park that would have to be delivered in pieces to Riverton. Wright said a poured-in-place design would also last longer.
"I'm really delighted that you're going with the poured-in-place (design)," Warpness said.
The association researched its best options for the skate park and looked at other cities and their skate parks. They looked into Lander's new skate park and took advice from the organizers of that project and others in the state.
McNeil reiterated to the council that his group would continue pursuing donations and welcome any funds from the city.
City administrator Steven Weaver reminded the council that $40,000 in the capital budget is available for park improvements. Council member Eric Heiser told the association to bring its presentation to the Fremont County School District 25 Recreation Board meeting in January.
"Now that things are conceptualized better than they were last year, I think you'll certainly have a chance to get a shot (at that) money there too," Heiser said. "You've got a lot of support there."
CWSA member and BMX rider Josh Ballard told the council that the $5,000 Tony Hawk Foundation grant the group secured would go toward construction costs.
"That gives us a first step to apply for more grants," Ballard said. "It's good to know that Tony Hawk is backing up what we're doing here."
An organization can only apply to that grant once, and if it is not used within a given time, it would have to be returned to the foundation, Wright said.
McNeil said that association members have met in several meetings to develop their design and looked forward to seeing it being built soon.
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