Nathan Bemo is surrounded by interested youths who had plenty to say during a gathering of ideas session on a potential Imperial skatepark. Bemo is president of American Ramp Company of Joplin, Mo., who was hired to provide a skatepark design for the community to consider. (Johnson Publications photo)

Youths turn out for skatepark meeting

    If the turnout at last Thursday’s meeting on a potential skatepark for Imperial is any indication, there is some interest in the community.
    About 25 of the estimated 65 attending were youths, who came to listen with their parents and other adults to a presentation from Nathan Bemo, president of American Ramp Company (ARC), the firm the city hired to design the facility.
    Bemo showed two specific skatepark drawings, took a written survey and asked one-on-one for specific design features suggested by several in the crowd. Then, with a large group of youths around a table, they zeroed in on more specifics.    
    He then answered questions.
    “The goal is to get input from you on how you want it built,” Bemo told the crowd.
    One of the drawings shown was an all-concrete skatepark. The other was what Bemo called a hybrid, with half of it made of concrete and the other half of galvanized seven-gauge steel.
    Several who spoke emphasized the skatepark should be usable by youths and adults of all skill levels.
    Bemo said a skatepark would not be limited to only skateboarders, but those on scooters, roller blades, bicycles and “anything on wheels” would be able to utilize it, too.
    While a $100,000 skatepark budget had been discussed by city officials, Bemo’s presentation on potential park sizes last week was apparently based on a $150,000 budget.
    For that amount, he said an all-concrete park would include about 3,500 square feet of area, while the concrete/steel park would encompass 6,000 square feet.
    He said if cost becomes an issue, it could be built at those sizes with options to add features later when additional funds are acquired.

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