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St. Albans skateboard park to be in Ordnance Park

By Kristin Ledford
ST. ALBANS, W.Va. -- The future location of a skateboard park in St. Albans is finally settled.By a vote of 6-5, City Council voted to house the park in Ordnance Park. Councilman Robert Keiffer was absent.The vote came after nearly an hour of spirited debate at the council meeting Monday night.Councilman Stephen Donelson distributed a feasibility analysis for housing the park at Ordnance Park.He said the park is anticipated to cost between $70,000 and $100,000. Currently the park has raised $9,000.Two years ago, when the idea for a skateboard park was introduced, it was to be located at Ordnance Park. The Parks and Recreation Committee voted to move it to City Park at the request of the mayor in early 2011.Donelson made a motion to move the park location back to Ordnance Park. He brought the same feasibility study to the parks and recreation committee meeting last week.Councilwoman Loretta Griffith chairs the committee and reiterated its concerns.The parks and recreation committee has not "had the time to go through and digest the proposal that [Donelson] has made," Griffith said. "And now he is wanting to take a vote tonight."Councilman Kevin Pennington also expressed concerns about locating the skate park at Ordnance Park.
"If we move this thing to Ordnance Park, the first thing we need to do is build a parking lot," he said. "That's just something else we'd have to wait on with funding...and with the bridge closing, we're kind of nervous about any extra expenditures coming out of [the] finance [committee].Donelson said the feasibility study does include three parking areas at Ordnance Park."We need to represent what the people want," Donelson said. He had a petition signed by 145 citizens supporting the skate park at Ordnance Park. "It's not what parks wants, it's not what Loretta [Griffith] wants, it's what the people want, and that's why we're here I thought."Councilman J.D. Adkins supported moving the skate park to Ordnance Park because it would bring new life to areas other than Olde Main Plaza and City Park."Is it a big risk? Yeah. But I'm willing to take the gamble as City Council to try to start revitalizing other parts of St. Albans," Adkins said.
"I'm hoping that we can come to a mutual agreement, get this over with and build a skateboard park. I am not personally against it," Griffith added.Council members Cheryl Thomas, Helen Warren, Dan Cain and Ron Colby joined Donelson and Adkins in voting to move the skateboard park to Ordnance Park.Jerry Cogar, John Boles, and Desper Lemon joined Pennington and Griffith in voting to keep the skateboard park at City Park.  
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