By Trevor Busch
Barnwell village council is moving ahead with plans to replace Willow Park’s skateboard facility with a multi-purpose structure for recreational purposes.
At council’s May 17 regular meeting, Barnwell CAO Wendy Bateman opened debate over the issue, suggesting the village consider consulting the public before settling on any one idea.
“People were taking about pickle ball there,” said Coun. Robin Hansen. “With a roof on it, you’re going to get a lot more use out of it than not. It’s one of the fastest growing sports there is for seniors, and for a lot of others, too. You could probably put six courts over there.”
Council discussion focused on the erection of a multi-use structure with open sides and a roof, at a budgeted cost — including both materials and labour — of around $70,000.
Some concern was raised over the elimination of an existing recreational option for the community in favour of another, but it was noted that most skateboarders in Barnwell prefer to use the Taber facility, or utilize long boards ill-suited to the park’s existing design. Other options brought up included the possibility of a small-scale water park. Coun. Deb Hansen inquired about a timeline for the project, suggesting it would be ideal to be completed prior to Barnwell’s 2018 Pioneer Days slated for July 20-21.
“It would be kind of nice to have something new and exciting for Barnwell days (Pioneer Days) to use it at.”
Following discussion, council voted unanimously to move forward with the project.