More than 30 skateboarders turned out for a public meeting with the Rome-Floyd Parks & Recreation Department about the Etowah skate park redesign to impart this message — they’d like a world class skate park.
At this point, $150,000 in special purpose local option sales tax funds are allocated for the redesign but those funds won’t cover the options suggested during the meeting.
Several people in attendance said they’d be willing to work to help generate additional revenue to add to the SPLOST funds. Afterward Parks & Recreation Director Todd Wofford said they’ll get as much as $150,000 can get them.
Several attendees suggested the county should go ahead and pay a premium price to have it designed by a company that specializes in skate parks.
Local architect Mark Cochran stepped up and has volunteered his design services. He went through a mini-design session with the group during the session Thursday night.
A modern design could lead to Rome hosting major contests, skateboarder Leo Hackett said. That could lead to the potential to bring in some professional riders and help generate revenue for the community.
Michael Ward, a Rome resident who is currently working in California, said he flew all the way back to Rome to try to convince county officials how important it was to get the design right. Another skater said the overall quality of the park itself was more important than trying to jam in as many elements as could be fitted into the rink.
Skaters who turned out for the meeting were asked to get any additional input to Cochran as quickly as possible, Wofford hopes to be able to put the project out for bid by mid-August.
“Our goal is to have it completed by mid-October,” Wofford said.