Skate Park On The Move

January 17, 2005--Posted at 6:30 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR--Destroyed, rebuilt, and relocated? That is now the plan for the makeshift skateboarding park that is located in a parking lot in downtown Jonesboro. Skateboarding and a revitalized downtown....two things that just don't go together.

"It doesn't fit the image we are trying to create in downtown," said Nancy Chrisman of the Jonesboro Central Planning Association.

That's why Chrisman spoke out at last night's city council meeting against rebuilding the makeshift skate park that was destroyed by a local businessman.

"Downtown is a business district you don't typically have a park in the middle of a business district," said Chrisman.

Chrisman voiced many of the other downtown businesses concerns over safety for skateboarders and pedestrians.

"The consensus is the majority feel like downtown is not the appropriate place for a skate park," said Chrisman.

For the last couple years skateboarders have used this lot to practice their newest tricks however the city says with the way the downtown is growing they are going to need the lot for its intended purpose.....parking.

"We feel it is inappropriate for a skate park to be in the center part of a really vibrant business district," said Chrisman.

Other locations like the Earl Bell Community Center and the lot behind the City Teen Ministries building in downtown have also met roadblocks.

"Each location that has been mentioned or offered up there has been some sort of opposition to putting it there," said Jonesboro Mayor Doug Forman.

As it stands now the city has money for new skateboarding equipment just no where to put it.

"It may be necessary to have some kind of a town hall meeting or public meeting and let the residents come in and lets try to find a good location to put the skateboard park in," said Forman.

For now plans are on hold for a new skate park. Also at the city council meeting alderman approved a resolution to replace the brick crosswalks in downtown Jonesboro with a concrete surface that has the appearance of brick.