Skate park design

Above is the design of a likely 3,000-square foot skate park project for Mansfield's Maple Lake Park, prepared by Spohn Ranch Skateparks in California. The final design will include suggested tweaks from local skate park supporters.

MANSFIELD -- Mansfield City Council is expected to vote Tuesday night on a proposed $200,000 project to build a new skate park and replace playground equipment at Maple Lake Park.

The idea was proposed on June 4 by Mansfield Parks & Recreation Manager Mark Abrams. The 3,000-square foot skate park would be built on an unused baseball field at the park on the city's west side.

"We trying to make improvements and give the youth of the community more opportunities," Mansfield Mayor Tim Theaker said.

Funds for the project will come from the PRIDE tax, first approved by voters in 2014 and renewed in 2017.

The PRIDE tax generates about $3.7 million annually, with 50 percent going to the police and fire departments, 22 percent to parks and recreation, 20 percent to building demolition and eight percent to lighting.

Council, which approved $25,000 for engineering and design of the park at its June 4 meeting, is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a proposal to appropriate the remaining $175,000.

Council is then also expected to vote on a contract with Spohn Ranch Skateparks to have the work done.

The company was founded by Aaron Spohn, who helped launch skate parks into the mainstream when he partnered with ESPN to develop the X-Games.

The proposal calls for spending $135,000 to $150,000 on the skate park and $50,000 to $65,000 on new playground equipment at Maple Lake Park, located on the city's west side.

Several residents spoke in favor of the project during council's meetings in June. No one has attended to speak against the idea.

Organizers have created an online petition for those who support the idea of the skate park. Click here to view the petition.

Resident Gary Smith urged council to approve the plan, which they said would provide greater opportunities for young people in the community.

"I would like to encourage you to vote for this," Smith told council. "Not every kid plays baseball. Not every kid plays basketball or football. A lot of kids like individual sports, kind of like I did."

Three committee meetings are planned before council begins its caucus session at 7 p.m., including safety at 6:30, public utilities at 6:35 and claims at 6:45.

Also on Tuesday, council is expected to:

-- conduct a second reading on a bill to appropriate $32,300 from the general fund to human resources for ID badge software update ($800), network ID card printer ($4,000), and union contract negotiations consultants ($27,500).

-- discuss during caucus a transfer of  $25,000 from the general fund to the IT fund for contractual services.

-- vote on proceeding with improvement of Glenwood Boulevard and Parkwood Boulevard by sprinkling, mowing, sweeping, cleaning, etc., the lawn strips in the middle of the two boulevards.

-- discuss during the caucus the acceptance of $230,949.37 from the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services for  METRICH operations.

-- vote on a proposal to vacate a portion of an unnamed alley between Rowland Avenue and Helen Avenue.

This is city council's only scheduled meeting during July. The next meeting is planned for Aug. 6 at 7 p.m.

City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"

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