Future of Pekin skate park hangs in the balance - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Future of Pekin skate park hangs in the balance

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sign Placed on skate park gates sign Placed on skate park gates

Don't expect to come to the park to learn any new kick flips, ollies or any other gnarly skateboard tricks because Mineral Springs Skate Park in Pekin is closed for the entire season. Typically on a Spring or summer day, Pekin's skate park looks busy, but not this year. 

Cameron Beettin, Director of Pekin Park District said, "After last fall, and you know over the winter and getting into  the spring, we can't open right now." 

After recently repairing the 17 year old ramps, which have withstood harsh winter weather and the usual wear and tear, the Pekin Park District has decided the equipment is not up to par for this upcoming season. 

"We need to make sure the things are screwed down and the condition of it's in good shape for our users." Beettin said. 

Kristina Funk, a Pekin resident, "The kids that skate, they need a place to go so that way they're no destroying property or not riding in the street where they get hit by cars," said. 

The entire park is built of wood.  The Executive Director for the Pekin Park District says the decision not to open the facility has muck to do with it's crumbling infrastructure, as it does with the cost of running it. 

"The surface they skate on is called 'skate lite,'" Beettin said. "That's about 200 dollars a sheet.  Kind of like a piece of plywood and we estimate we need about 10 pieces, so theirs 2,000 dollars."

If the skate area has to stay closed, Pekin residents say it won't be a total loss.  "There's Dragon Land, and mini golf, it is a really beautiful park," Funk said. 

The Park Director says it is the opinion of the public that matters most, so  he is having a public meeting Thursday to hear how they feel. 

"Get their feedback on what they like, what they would maybe like to see out there," Beettin said.

How long the skate park stays empty will be up to those who attend the public meeting in Pekin. 

The meeting will be Thursday, June 7 at 7 P.M. at the Miller Senior Center in Pekin.

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