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Flournoy Park preferred site for skate facility
by Gary Kent
Jan 15, 2009 | 2754 views | 15 15 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Soccer mom Doris Sutherland speaks to members of the Beeville Parks and Recreation Commission during a meeting Monday evening as fellow soccer parents listen in the background. Soccer parents objected to the city building a skate park at the Martin Luther King Recreational Park where popular soccer fields are located.
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A discussion to rescind an earlier decision to build a skate park at Flournoy Park ended when the five-member Beeville Parks and Recreation Commission failed to even entertain a motion Monday evening.

As many as 15 soccer moms and dads were in the audience when City Councilman David Carabajal brought the subject to the floor. Carabajal has supported the effort to build a skate park somewhere in the city but he has often suggested building it south of the Bernardo Sandoval, Sr. Municipal Swimming Pool in an area used by youth soccer teams.

This is one of the city’s most attractive park areas with large oak trees and a small playground area located between some soccer fields and the pool compound.

However, the Beeville Soccer League leases property where Carabajal wanted to build the skate park and its members do not want to part with any of that space.

By Monday night’s meeting, it appeared that the councilman had decided against taking any of the BSL fields. Still, he opposed the Flournoy Park location.

He said that building a skating facility between two of the city’s most heavily traveled thoroughfares, North Washington and North St. Mary’s streets, could be dangerous because of “rubberneckers” watching activities in the park, instead of watching where they were going.

“There are other parks in the city,” Carabajal said. As he spoke, two fellow council members, Mayor Pro Tem John Fulghum and Councilman Mike Scotten, sat near him in the audience. Neither of them spoke.

“We’re for a skate park,” said BSL member John Fish. But he said the loss of a soccer field was one of his main concerns. He said the organization has invested a lot in the property because the city has not had the money to make improvements there.

Soccer mom Doris Sutherland agreed with Fish, saying three of her soccer-playing boys also are skaters.

“Skaters are all over town,” she said. Having a central location for a skate facility is not as important as some might think, she said. She said she has seen skaters as far away from the center of town as the Coastal Bend College campus.

“I like the park across from the Dollar General (Flournoy Park),” Mrs. Sutherland said. “I’ve rarely seen anybody utilize that park.”

“There is no way, in good conscience, that I’d recommend the soccer area,” said parks commissioner Gilbert Herrera. He said he also liked the idea of putting the facility at Flournoy Park. Herrera mentioned two alternative parks where the facility could be located, including Poesta Creek Park on South Tyler Street or Veterans Memorial Park.

“The plan we have in place right now is probably the best place,” Herrera said.

Carabajal said he did not like the current plan of building an 80-by-100-foot slab with metal ramps installed on it. He said he wanted the city to build a more expensive skating facility with stronger concrete and built-in ramps and structures for the skaters.

“If it takes another year to build it, it takes another year,” Carabajal said. “But in business you don’t rush things.”

However, parks commission member Richard Rodriguez spoke out against any further delays.

“It’s going to take a long time and we need to get these kids off the street right now,” Rodriguez said.

He said skateboarders are being harassed by police who are asked to keep them from skating on private property. He acknowledged that a number of skaters have been using the depot pavilion slab recently built in the parking lot west of the 300 block of North Washington Street.

He said he encouraged some of them recently to use that slab because it is city property and skaters have nowhere else to go.

Rodriguez then defended using metal ramps and other skating structures. He said the metal structures could be moved if the facility became boring and the current design for the slab would provide enough room to add new structures in the future.

Rodriguez said he saw about 20 skaters using the pavilion slab recently and he encouraged them to call him if they were bothered by the police.

“If we do it your way, it’s going to be a long time before we have something,” Rodriguez told Carabajal.

“It’s all going to come down to money,” Herrera said. “I don’t agree with spending $750,000 for a skate park,” he said. He cited the need for many more recreational projects that would outweigh the need for a skate park.

Herrera mentioned a skate facility built in Ingleside and said that project “came out way over budget.”

“Everything we do should be done first class,” said commission president Bill Hooten. He said he understood Rodriguez’s wish to speed up the process because Rodriguez has a grandson who has been ticketed by the police for skating on private property.

“We’re not going to get anything done for a few months anyway,” Hooten said, noting that it would be impossible for the city to get its application to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department by the Jan. 31 deadline for the next round of grants.

Hooten then asked City Manager Ford Patton how long it would take to prepare an application for a TPWD grant.

Patton said it would take two to three years for the larger grant offer because the city would be required to hire consultants and prepare a master plan for city parks to qualify.

Hooten recommended rescinding the original project plans and having the police leave skaters alone until something can be built for them.

Patton said he did not want to encourage skaters to use the pavilion slab downtown because the facility is not designed for that purpose.

Board member Greg Traylor said he was in favor of rescinding the original plan and looking at it again but he may end up voting in favor of it later. He said the final decision of what to do is up to the City Council anyway.

Patton reminded the commissioners that the council has taken no action on the project but that the final decision would be made by councilmen.

Rodriguez said he would be concerned about putting a skate park at VMP because it is not in a central part of the city.

Commissioner Luis “Tiny” Longoria Jr. reminded all at the meeting that “somebody feels Flournoy Park is the best place for it.”

When Hooten called for a motion, not one member of the commission offered one. At that point, Herrera said the matter had died because no one would offer a motion. Hererra then made a motion to adjourn the meeting without the commission taking any action and it passed without opposition.
Comments
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JCK
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March 05, 2009
Yet another closed minded, negative citizen that wants to complain about what these kids are doing yet not provide a means to fix the situation.

Skateparks across the country are funded by GRANTS, donations, and hard work - not just public dollars. The Tony Hawk Foundation and Junior Service League of Corpus are just 2 of the organizations that helped Corpus build their skatepark. Yes, some help from the tax payers would be needed, but the majority could come from grants, if the city is supportive.

I have yet to see a skatepark that is supervised 24/7. Corpus has managed just fine without any supervision. That's a null point.

'The proposed skateboard park has a good potential of becoming a hangout for gang members as well as the sale/use of illegal drugs."

That's about as brainless as it comes. ANY park could be a place for drugs and other illegal activity. For that matter, any PLACE could be a hangout for gang members and drugs.

WYATES - I advise you to research other skateparks in the areas before you quickly jump to post such an ignorant comment. It's simply a lack of knowledge that you have but that can be rectified. Start with Google :)

xtreamgrindzsk8shop
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March 05, 2009
WOW, MR.WYATES THOSE ARE SOME DISTURBING THOUGHTS. I AM SORRY YOU FEEL THAT WAY. NEVER THE LESS I AM GLAD YOU EXPRESSED YOUR THOUGHTS. BUT I ENCOURAGE YOU TO STOP BY THE SKATEBOARD SHOP ON SATURDAY ABOUT 11 AM. WE ARE TAKING A FIELD TRIP TO THE VICTORIA TEXAS SKATEPARK. WE HAVE TO CAUSE THERE IS NO FACILITY YET. PLEASE ALSO COME TO THE TOWN HALL MEETING NEXT WEEK. ALL THE DETAILS ARE IN THE PAPER. BUT REALLY IF YOU HAVE TIME I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO ACUALLY TALK TO SOME OF THESE KIDS, WATCH THEM PRACTICE THERE TRICKS. THEY ARE ATHLETES. THERE ARE MANY MANY SKATERS HERE IN BEEVILLE. AND THEY ARE NOT BAD KIDS.
Katryna
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March 05, 2009
"Wyates" believes a skate park will only serve a "small" number of special interest children/teens/adults. Obviously you haven't seen that the number of skaters is growing and growing, not to mention the number of adult skaters who are wishing for their dream to finally come true. I don't believe the skatepark in a central location such as Florunoy Park will become a hangout for gangmembers and drug dealers as you put it. In plain site and in the middle of numerous businesses just seconds away from more money being spent in our town. That's what Beeville needs, attractions that will bring more business to Beeville. This will be a prime location for families to come together. Why are you calling our kids bad and/or irresponsible or us bad parents? All of that is filled with pure ignorance. And how much are taxpayers going to put in to building this project? Hopefully with the right grant, possibly nothing at all. I'm sure our skaters would take pride in keeping the skatepark clean too. Wow does that sound like a group of irresponsible kids? Or how about when they clear an area of trash and bottles just so they can skate in an area where no one will ask them to leave? Is that irresponsible? Wouldn't you rather have them in a central location anyway instead of on the sidewalks, in the street, or in business parking lots? And "wyates", it's NOT a small number, it is NOT just special interest, they are NOT bad or irresponsible, and we are NOT bad parents.
wyates
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March 05, 2009
I believe a skate park in Beeville is a gross waste and misudse of public taxpayer dollars. The idea should be scapped immediately. The park will only serve a small number of special interest children/teens/adults and not the majority of the citizen's of Beeville. The proposed skateboard park has a good potential of becoming a hangout for gang members as well as the sale/use of illegal drugs.

Numerous businesses and other entities in the city of Beeville have posted signs banning skateboarding in their parking lots and on their properties. Many of these skaters undoubtedly can't read very well nor behave very well as they still insist on skating on these properties despite the warning signs that have been posted on the properties. I also see many skaters skating on the city/county streets and on public sidewalks creating a danger not for automobile traffic on the streets, pedesdtrian walking on the sidewalks.

why should bad and/or irresponsible behavior b e rewarded with taxpayer dollars? Naturally, a skate park would have to be supervised 24 x 7. Whose going to pay for the supervision and upkeep of the park? The taxpayers of course would.

A skate park should be a private business venture - not publicly funded venture. A taxpayer funded skate park is not the answer nor the solution for a few kids who say that they have nothing to do, who don't or can't behave responsibly, and/or for poor parenting of children.
JCK
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March 04, 2009
AND....

in the mentioning of 'rubber-necking' - let's consider the fact that Corpus built their skatepark on Ocean drive - a very busy street full of all sorts of attractions to 'rubber-neck'.

Wherever the location - bottom line is it needs to be built.
JCK
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March 04, 2009
I spend a lot of 'quality' time watching my kids skate. We have driven to Corpus, Ingleside, Victoria and Port Aransas numerous times to let our kids skate the skateparks. We ate, shopped and spent plenty of money. We have enjoyed visiting all the skateparks in the area, as I'm sure other famililes would enjoy visiting our skatepark, should we ever get one.

These kids truly have no place to go and the city should help in providing a place, instead of just complaining and harassing. This skatepark would benefit more than just the skaters.
corigirl73
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March 04, 2009
Hey skaters...Beeville will never build a skate park for you! Get your parents to bring you to Corpus Christi and spend all their cash here in our businesses because God knows, the City Council doesn't want anyone to have a good time in Beeville! The park equipment has been the same since I was a kid...look at Veterans Memorial Park! That equipment has been there since the stone age!
Katryna
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January 21, 2009
And here's another thing Beeville needs to realize. Skaters aren't just teenagers anymore. Pre teens and younger are getting in to the sport, yes I called it a sport. What I'm trying to say is Skating isn't going away. If anything it's gaining popularity everyday. Give them a place to go.
BeeBuzz
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January 21, 2009
One member said that he was hesitant to build a skate park in Flournoy Park because of rubber-neckers. Why not build the park partly closed-in in order to avoid that situation? It doesn't seem like they want anybodies opinion anyway. Lets get this done and fast before the BPD starts arresting all the kids for skating downtown. One comment posted said that her kid was a talented and dedicated kid and not a trouble maker. I feel the same way about my son.
Katryna
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January 21, 2009
As the mom of a skater, I also don't understand what the hold up is for the skate park. I've had to show up when cops have been called to ask them to leave where they are skating. Can someone please tell me, where are they supposed to go? I feel bad everytime my son leaves to skate because I have no idea where he'll be kicked out of next. Or if I'll get a call telling me my son has lost his board or received a ticket. Believe it or not I'm more worried about that than getting a call that he's been hurt. They have the image that they are worthless and trouble makers. They aren't. They are respectful, Ex: letter to the editor just a couple of weeks ago. Worthless, losers, trouble makers: how about talented, dedicated to getting that trick just right, athletic. I've seen my son sweat while trying to land a trick. They need a place to go and they aren't bad kids. In the article it said there was no way they would meet a grants application deadline for Jauary, 31st. Well it didn't take me long to find two grants online with deadlines of March 2009. Give these kids a chance to showcase and perfect this talent they have. Give them a place to burn off some steam. I'll be reading the papers and going to meetings and I'd like to see some sort of progress. Don't let these kids down Beeville.
lwinstead
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January 20, 2009
I prefer the all caps as my eyes aren't what they used to be it fact the small text gives me a headache. Beeville thinks that is shouting then stop reading it or cover your ears...duh!

Now on the subject, I think xstreamgrindzsk8shop made some very good points its a shame the powers that Bee... aren't considering them.
Beeville
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January 19, 2009
PLEASE STOP SHOUTING.

YOU ARE GIVING ME A HEADACHE!

ADMIN
Trombosis
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January 19, 2009
CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL
xtreamgrindzsk8shop
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January 16, 2009
THIS IS SAD NEWS FOR ALL THE LOCAL SKATERS. YOU KNOW I ATTENDED TWO OF THE MEETING THE PARKS COMMISSION HELD AND I ALSO SUBMITTED SOME IDEAS TO THEM, SHARED SOME THOUGHTS WITH THEM. IT SEEMS THEY JUST THREW ALL THOSE IDEAS OUT THE DOOR. YOU KNOW I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY FOR ONE THEY HAVE NOT CALLED A TOWN HALL STYLE MEETING AND CALL OUT TO ALL LOCAL SKATERS, AND GET GENERAL IDEAS OF WHAT THEY "THE SKATERS" ARE WANTING AND NEEDING. I MEAN THE PARK IS FOR THEM RIGHT. IN MY OPINION THEY HAVE NO CLUE ON WHAT TO BUILD. YEA THEY CANT PLEASE EVERYONE, AND WE KNOW THEY DONT GET PAID FOR THERE TIME AND EFFORT BUT COME ON, HOW HARD IS IT TO TALK TO SOME LOCALS, PICK A SITE AND SUBMIT APPLICATIONS FOR GRANTS. YOU GUYS HAVE HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO MOVE ON THIS. IT IS A PRIORITY, SO DONT SAY IT IS NOT. THESE KIDS HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT FOR TOO LONG AND YOU GUYS ARE NOT MOVING FAST ENOUGH. STOP PUTTING IT OFF AND GET SOMETHING DONE. THESE KIDS NEED YOU MORE THAN ANYTHING RIGHT NOW. IF YOU ALL NEED MY HELP PLEASE CALL YOU ALL KNOW WHERE TO FIND ME. I CAN ORGANIZE A TOWN HALL STYLE MEETING THE KIDS CAN SHARE THERE IDEAS WITH YOU AND YOU CAN USE IT HOW YOU WISH.
chilidog
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January 15, 2009
Take a look at the skate park recently built here in Houston. It's a state of the art facility that attracts large crowds from all over the country. It's been a blessing for this city AND for myself!

http://www.houstonparksboard.org/projects/lee_joe_jamail_skatepark.php

A skate park gives not only children, but adults as well, the opportunity to have a place to skate, for free. I encourage the City of Beeville to build a permanent, in ground, concrete park in a location that will attract not only it's citizens, but everyone from around the world!