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Our Opinion: Serving skating residents

May 22, 2001

The city of Brawley deserves kudos for how it has moved forward its the skate park project. Two phases have been completed — the design of the park and the awarding of funds. While there is more to be done before ground breaks on the project, we are confident that can happen in the coming fiscal year.

The city has tackled this project in a manner that shows city officials are concerned about meeting the needs of the community. The City Council and city staff could have talked this project to death. Instead, city officials listened to the community, saw a need and are moving forward to address the need.

As far as the city has come with the project, we can only hope problems do not arise with the remaining phases. The city has a site in mind just west of the Lions Center gymnasium. That field is the property of the Brawley Union High School District. The city must negotiate with the school district on an agreement that would give the city use of the field for a skate park.

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We think this can be a team project, which is what one city official pointed out in a recent article. Together, the city and the school district could make this skate park an important project, one that creates both a fun and safe environment for the city's youth.

The park will be 12,000 square feet, roughly the size of the inside surface area of the Lions Center gymnasium. That will be a decent-sized facility; one we are sure will prove an attraction for the city just as the much smaller skate park in Calipatria has become an attraction there.

Brawley deserves credit for trying to reach a group of youth not always serviced by city recreation services — teens. The skate park is one sign of this. The building of a teen center in the Lions Center gymnasium is another. Any time a city can recognize there is a group of youths being underserved and tries to deal with that situation, that city is doing its job.

Calexico seems to be trudging forward with its plans for a skate park while El Centro's skate park plans seem to be on hold, no longer blown forward on the hot air of political ambitions of certain city leaders. We hope to see some positive movement on that front soon.

Time and time again, Brawley has proven to be a city with the fine recreation services. Karin Morgan, director of parks and recreation for Brawley, has proven to be a person willing to fight for the recreation needs of the city. The skate park is just one more example.

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