Categories: government

Council Members Show Skatepark Some Love, Kick In Discretionary Funds

by Jeremy Morrison

In addition to approving a skatepark for a city-owned square block, several members of the Pensacola City Council have also kicked in some of their discretionary funding toward the privately-funded park.

Councilmen Larry B. Johnson and Brian Spencer have each contributed $1,000 toward the skatepark. Councilwoman Sherri Myers, who initially appeared somewhat skeptical of the project, contributed $2,000. The money comes out of the council members’ $10,000-discretionary funds.

“I believe this will be a great addition to downtown,” said Johnson, describing the project as “important and worthy.”

Earlier this month, the city council approved the use of a city block located underneath Interstate 110, across the street from the police station, for the development of a vision conceived by local skateboarder Jon Shell: a public skatepark complimented by amenities like a walking trail, exercise stations, an amphitheater and a cafe. The venture will be privately funded — Shell is currently raising the money — but then absorbed by the city and publicly maintained.

“I just think this is a great project — to see citizens take initiative,” said Johnson, who’s business, the Azalea Cocktail Lounge, also contributed an undisclosed amount toward the skatepark.

The planned skatepark will be located underneath I-110, across the street from the Pensacola Police Station. (image/City of Pensacola)

The project is planned for an area currently unused, with the exception of a small community garden, which will remain. It will also tie into the Hollice T. Williams Greenway Framework plan, a city initiative which calls for improvements along a 1.3-mile stretch underneath I-110; a skatepark was included in that plan. Once finished — an effort that’s expected to cost $1.5 million — the park will cost the city an estimated $40,000 to $50,000 annually to maintain.

For more about the skatepark, read “Half(pipe) Dreams, How a Skatepark Could Play in Pensacola” and “Skatepark Approved for Pensacola.”

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