By Stephen Dafoe
Legal – Council opened its doors to the public Monday night for input on the approved sake park Legal recently received funding for. Five Legal residents attended the public hearing and were unanimous in their approval for the preferred location on 51st Avenue between the community’s curling club and basketball courts.
Council voted unanimously to build the skate park at that location during the regular meeting later that evening.
The chosen location for the skate park is a largely an unused hill. Preparation will include straightening out the hill, removing an abandoned pool and redoing the area with a retaining wall.
Previous suggestions included the town’s pond area or the RV Park; however, RCMP advised keeping the skate park close to the road and in a visible area. RCMP also recommended making sure the skate park was well lit so it would be easy for the RCMP to see in and easy for people in park to see the RCMP.
During the hearing councillors said the prominent location would provide some security to the community and the youth themselves while having minimum impact on residents.
“We’d be talking a very small handful of homes that could hear it,” said Legal Mayor Albert St. Jean of any potential noise from the skate park. “No matter where we put it, somebody would hear it.”
Additionally, the mayor said the curling club location would allow Legal’s youth the opportunity to put on skateboarding competitions and demonstrations during the annual Fête au Village.
Councillor Lisa Magera said prominent placement of the skate park would also allow residents to watch Legal’s youth demonstrate their skateboarding skills at other times as well.
Beyond the display of talent, Acting Town manager Robert Proulx said the finished product would visually enhance the area. “I think it will actually beautify the site,” he said. “It’ll clean it up.”
But the site will be further beautified by at least two murals; one which would be painted by a professional artist, the other by the youth themselves. Ernie Chauvet with the Centralta Tourism Society said a local abstract artist was being considered for one possible mural, while another would likely be done by youth.
That mural may carry a graffiti theme, something commonplace to skate culture.
But while the Town’s youth will be sought for input on that mural, they will also be consulted on the design of the skatepark overall.
Now that the location has been approved, the next step for council will be to meet with Legal’s youth prior to the conclusion of the school year in an open house meeting.
No date has been set for a start, but it is anticipated the concrete pad would be installed this year. The project must be completed by April, 2012 due to beign funded with grant money.
The total value of the project is $210,000, including a $105,000 Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) grant applied for by the Centralta Tourism Society. The grant will be matched by the community with Legal providing $75,000 in cash and another $25,000 in kind. Legal’s youth have raised the remaining $5,000.