NANTICOKE – Building a skateboarding park may take some time, but the enthusiasts who believe it will happen one day are still trying to raise funds for the project.
James Gidosh of the North East Skateboard Pennsylvania Skate Park Alliance said Monday a skateboarding video will be premiered at Movies 14 in Wilkes-Barre on Dec. 20 at 7 p.m.
The event, sponsored by the North East Skateboard Crew, will request a $5 donation, and proceeds will go to the construction of a skate park in Nanticoke as park of the Lower Broadway Recreational Area project.
We are having the event to try to get some steam to get the ball really rolling on the skate park project and show how much of an interest there is for skateboarding in the area, Gidosh said.
Gidosh said Trevor Harding and John Borthwick of Dallas have been putting together footage all summer long from local skaters.
Gidosh said the Skate Park Alliance has applied for grant funding from the Mericle funds from the kids for cash scandal and the Tony Hawk Skate Park Grant, but hasn't had any approvals to date.
Pam Heard, Nanticoke city manager, said the Lower Broadway Recreational Area is split into two projects on opposite sides of the street.
On one side of the road, soccer fields are being renovated and walking trails installed through a state grant. The project cost is $120,000 and the city was required to match the state funding.
Heard said the city has title to most of the property on the other side of the street and all legal issues have been resolved. What is needed now is more state funding to build the skate park and other facilities.
A skate park is still in the plans, but right now we are concentrating on the soccer fields and trails, Heard said. If someone gave the city the money today, we would put a skate park there. It is something we are working on, but there are no plans to break ground or announce funding.
State Sen. John Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township, said that several years ago his office helped secure a $100,000 state grant for the city to study and plan a regional park in the Lower Broadway section of Nanticoke between the West Nanticoke Bridge and the Weis Grocery Store.
A citizens committee helped plan the park that we hoped would add new recreational amenities to the city, including a skate park, Yudichak said. Early into the project we faced many legal issues regarding the landowners in the proposed park area. The legal issues slowed us down considerably, but they had to be resolved before we could proceed.
Gidosh said the Skate Park Alliance has raised a little more than $5,000 with various concerts, skateboard contests and other events over the years to help contribute to the project.