Wyoming City Council voted 4-1 last week to allocate $150,000 towards a skatepark project in Goodview City Park. The action allows staff to enter into a contract with Spohn Ranch skatepark consultants and designers to draw up plans and specs. The next step will be a meeting of skate boosters with Spohn Ranch designers, a company that specializes in concrete parks that’s based in California. Spohn Ranch has done parks in Michigan and Minnesota and is versed on cold climate materials, council was told.
Spohn Ranch will be involved with the City of Richfield early this summer with a skatepark development. The maximum funding allocation should allow for at least a 6,000 square foot, cement-layout facility. Council was told the boosters now can begin serious fundraising and find partnerships with area construction materials providers, in an effort to get the city its best bang for the buck. Skatepark group spokesperson Lois Janke said the kids have raised about $2,000 and have another few thousand in pledges, but with this council action they’ll have a more firm project plan to present.
Council member Linda Nanko-Yeager argued against the motion, saying, “I like the idea of a project, I don’t like the price.” She added that Chisago City and North Branch have built skatepark facilities for far less. Nanko-Yeager said just because Wyoming’s dedicated parks development fund has enough to cover this project doesn’t mean the city has to spend it. City Parks Liaison Council member Roger Elmore said the fund is built from revenues the city has collected from plats. In lieu of setting aside land for recreational uses, sometimes the city will accept payment from developers.
He said the fund was created in the first place to help pay for parks needs, and the park board feels “this is an appropriate project.” According to the city council information from staff, there’s about $167,000 in the parks capital improvement fund and $100,598 in a second parks fund that are available. The city is also holding about $80,000 total in two funds designated for “trails” and for land acquisition only. Park Board member Jeff Allen added that the kids “should be commended” for coming to meetings and lobbying for the project and being willing to work towards its completion.
He said a nice facility of the caliber the park board proposes will demonstrate the city “supports families” and will be a plus when people consider moving into Wyoming. In other business the council adopted the city as one-precinct. Previously the old city and the incoming township area were separate. All Wyoming residents now vote at Maranatha Church, Hwy. 61 on the south end of the city. The primary election is Aug. 14 and general is Nov. 6.
City Attorney Mark Vierling told the Press the Peterson Companies annexation hearing was started and closed April 3. The matter is under review by the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings. Wyoming has contested a property owner orderly annexation petition to move about seven acres into Chisago City; as part of the commercial redevelopment of a new Peterson headquarters on Wyoming Trail. The parcel now straddles the two cities’ border. Council went into closed session with the city attorney to review contracts with law enforcement sergeants and to consider a two-year administrative assistant contract. Action on the LELS contracts (police union) also was tabled.