Citizens express support for skate park

Commerce – Supporters of a future skate park in Commerce were out in large numbers Tuesday, to present options to the City and seek approval for creating such a venue.

Barbara Lenington, and her 15-year-old son Hunter, presented to council a petition supporting the idea with 745 signatures.

"We're hoping to raise enough money to build an 8,000-10,000 square foot all-cement skate park," said Leington. "It would accommodate not only skateboarders but rollerbladers, BMX bikes; a multiuse facility. We're a small town and we need to bring in as many kids as we possibly can to participate."

Lenington referenced the skate park in Sulphur Springs at Buford Park, and that she and her son have met several individuals from out-of-town willing to travel to the park for the experience.

"The skate park is beneficial to the community in many ways. It provides a safe and healthy environment for teens and kids to hang out and practice the sport," said Hunter Lenington. "It will bring people from surrounding cities, which will also spend money here."

Barbara Lenington puts the price tag at around $200,000, with hopes of obtaining a majority of those funds through grants. She's also requested a portion of the hotel/motel sales tax, but the city indicates they can't provide such funds in the current budget year.

During Tuesday's meeting, officials stated the best way to move forward would be to become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to which the group is already working to become. That would enable the organization to apply for certain grants to go toward construction of the skate park.

As the skate park agenda item on Tuesday was merely a discussion item and not an action item, Lenington plans to return for December's meeting where the council may pass a resolution of support for the group.