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Eau Claire city council dedicates funds to new skate park

Nicole Withers, photos by Andrea Paulseth

JUMPING FOR JOY? Lakeshore Skatepark, shown here, is currently the only skatepark in Eau Claire.
JUMPING FOR JOY? Lakeshore Skatepark, shown here, is currently the only skatepark in Eau Claire.

The Eau Claire City Council voted July 23 to allocate $20,000 for the construction of a new skate park in Boyd Park. This money will be added to $50,000 raised by the Eau Claire Skateboarders Association, bringing the total funds to $70,000. This will allow potential for the skate park to be built, said Andrew Werthmann, a member of the Eau Claire City Council. Werthmann and Councilmember Kate Beaton made the motion to add the funding to the city’s 2020-2024 capital improvement plan, which outlines $209 million over five years period for everything from library remodeling to street  projects.

Gabe Brummett, a leader of the Eau Claire Skateboarders Association, says the goal is to raise $100,000 to pay for park construction, but the more funding the organization is able to secure, the greater the possibilities.

Gabe Brummett, a leader of the skateboarding group, says the goal is to raise $100,000 to pay for park construction, but the more funding the organization is able to secure, the greater the possibilities.

“We’re applying for a couple more grants – and of course still fundraising,” Brummett said. “We have a GoFundMe that’s been pretty successful. We’ll meet our goal and hopefully go beyond.” The Eau Claire Skateboarders Association has been working to create a new skatepark for years. Currently, the only public skatepark in town is at Lakeshore Park. Brummett is hoping that once they meet their goal, they will work with the city to figure out the design and send out requests for proposals from skate park contractors. 

“Before that happens we’ll be holding public meetings so the local skaters can talk about what they want at their park,” Brummett said. “We’ll include all the input the skater community gives us in our bid requests. We could still really benefit from in-kind donations for this project. A concrete donation could save $30,000, not to mention all the rebar and fill the park will need. We could even save some money if the park contractors stay at a hotel in Eau Claire (that) was donated.”

The link for the GoFundMe is https://bit.ly/2OsSd0l. The Skateboarding Association of Eau Claire also accepts direct donations. You can find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EauClaireSkateboarders.