The commute may continue for local skaters.
The City Council on Tuesday night effectively killed any hope that a teen park - featuring basketball and volleyball courts, picnic areas and a hotly contested skate park - will be created anytime during the current administration.Those facilities, however, still may come to fruition, although the skate park continues to slip further down the council's list of priorities.
The indications of a possible slow demise for the skate park came during discussions about a five-year parks improvements plan, which includes everything from new facilities, additional parking lots and upkeep on current facilities.
The primary problem facing the council was the $1.1 million price tag the plan would impose. That kind of funding would tap most of the city's capital improvement money, placing an almost overwhelming strain on the city's budget, said Gary Uresk, Woods Cross city manager.
Despite those cost estimates, Uresk urged the council to adopt the plan as a way to provide direction.
"At least you will have a blueprint of where you want to go and what you want accomplished," Uresk said.
He pointed out that the council would have to revisit the parks plan each year during budget hearings and decide exactly what to fund. More than likely, that would mean the postponement of some projects.
Throughout the hearing, council members noted the city's two current parks have a number of shortcomings, such as inadequate parking and deteriorated facilities.
The adoption of the plan also stopped a proposal for a teen park at the former Bountiful Salvage Yard, 850 W. 1500 South. Signs of that halting, however, had started showing since the city received notice that the salvage yard was a redevelopment agency project and commercial options needed examination first as a means to provide tax money for future RDA projects.
Uresk noted that the city had been approached by three possible commercial ventures.
Initially, the skate park was scheduled in the parks plan for fiscal year 1999, which begins July 1, 1998. The council tabled the facility until fiscal year 2000, which will allow time for possible fund raising through local businesses for the $100,000 skate park.
The council will most likely revisit the skate park issue, although no council members wanted to return to the raucous debates that have characterized the past three months since the park was initially proposed. The council agreed the salvage yard property should be designated for commercial first, then residential development, with no teen park plans existing as an option.
Some council members feared that scrapping the park idea would send the wrong message.
"My only concern is that the teenagers will think we have forgotten about them again," said Councilwoman Eva Webster.
Others disagreed, including an initial supporter of the teen park.
"It's hard to look at this (parks plan), and think that we have forgotten about them," said Councilman Darin Hicks.
The council, much like Woods Cross residents, remains divided about the possibility of a skate park. For the moment, however, the issue will rest, and the skaters will continue to travel to Farmington, home of the only northern Utah public skate park.