Benny Puente, owner of a local skate shop, repeated his request for a delay as City Council members held the second of two town hall meetings at the school.
The third such meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2, at Beeville’s Community Center, 111 E. Corpus Christi St.
Puente said he had visited a skate park in San Marcos earlier and he urged council members to meet with representatives of the company which had built the facility there.
Grindline Skate Parks Inc. of Seattle, Wash., designed and built the San Marcos facility, Puente said, and he described the park as exactly what the skaters in Beeville want.
Grindline also designed and built a skate facility in Cole Park in Corpus Christi.
Puente said an all-concrete, 17,000-square foot skate facility could be built for about $350,000.
“We’re talking about double the size of the park (originally considered by the city) for the same amount of money,” Puente said.
“We have a safe place for the kids to skate and there are not as many kids on the street,” Puente assured the council. He said that takes the pressure off the city to look for a quick fix to the problem of skaters looking for a place to go.
He reminded the council that local skaters are committed to raising money here to help the city finance a more elaborate park.
At the council’s first town hall meeting on Thursday, June 18, citizens had suggested that the council consider building a large and elaborate skate park because they thought it could become an attraction that could bring visitors from out of town.
The council has decided to build the facility at Flournoy Park where it will be more visible and easier for police and citizens to monitor activities there.
Three of the teenagers in the crowd spoke to the council about the kind of facility they would prefer to have built here.
“The city would like to give you guys a top-of-the-line, half million dollar skate park,” Mayor Santiago “Jimbo” Martinez said. “But we’ve got to be realistic right now.”
Councilman David Carabajal, who has been in charge of studying the project and making recommendations, said he would consider the possibility of building the park in a two-stage effort, providing the “street” portion of the park first and later adding a “bowl” section to it.
Puente has expressed a preference to build the entire park at one time using locally raised funds to assist in paying for the project.
Beeville resident Longie Berdan suggested that the council consider another recreational facility for people who are not involved in skateboarding.
She said she recently had taken up bicycling and she asked if the city might consider providing a bike trail so people could have a safe place to ride.
One man in the audience brought up a subject covered in the first town hall meeting by asking what the council could do to encourage the opening of another restaurant.
The man suggested that the council see about bringing something like an International House of Pancakes or a Denny’s to Beeville.
Sports writer Bruce Harper asked what the council was doing to have a master plan developed for Beeville’s parks and recommended that the city provide more funding for the renovation of the Rialto Theater in downtown Beeville.
City Manager Ford Patton said the city recently had provided $150,000 in 4B sales tax funds for the theater project and the organization overseeing the renovation was expected to open the building for use when that part of the project was completed.
Attendance at Thursday’s meeting was better than it had been at the first meeting with about 25 people present before the skaters arrived.
Martinez said he would like to make the town hall meetings a regular event.