BUILDER SELECTED FOR CITY SKATE PARK

June 22, 2001 11:00 pm

The Brookings Skate Park Committee on Wednesday decided to hire Dreamland Skate Park Design Team to build the citys first skate park.

However, the committee will have an uphill battle when it takes the proposal before the citys Parks and Recreation Committee next week, and finally the city council.

The committee voted unanimously on Wednesday to propose that Dreamland build the park, despite issues that may make the idea a tough sale later on.

City Manager Leroy Blodgett wrote a list of advantages and disadvantages to hiring Dreamland over one of the other contractors the city has been in contact with.

The primary arguments in favor of Dreamland were that the cost is far less and the company is renowned for its parks throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Mark Scott, head of Dreamland, has appeared twice on the cover of Thrasher Magazine for parks in Lincoln City and Newburg. The group was awarded the magazines Nations gnarliest skate park for its work in Lincoln City. Shortly after that, the group earned the magazines award for Worlds gnarliest skateboard park for its work in Newburg.

Very simply put, we get a better product, said committee chairman Russ Johnson of the primary advantage to using Dreamland.

Brookings deserves a good, quality, maybe world class skate park, he said.

Dreamland has been building skate parks for about 11 years.

I think these guys actions have spoken loud enough, Johnson said.

As far as the price is concerned, by avoiding some of the bonding, insurance and reporting requirements, money can be saved on the construction of the park.

I think thats a significant advantage, Blodgett said.

Blodgett suggested those savings could be used to expand the size of the park or to add features to it such as parking, landscaping or fencing.

The primary risk associated with Dreamland is uncertainty, Blodgett said, because rather than bidding for a contract with the city, the company would be hired as city employees.

The first concern Blodgett addressed was that as city employees, the group could file for unemployment against the city if weather or other conditions cause delays that prevent them from working.

Another concern was over insurance, because the citys insurance would be liable if someone is injured on the job.

As city employees, Blodgett also pointed out there is no 100-percent guarantee the park would be completed if any complications arise.

Even if we did have a contract, theres no recourse, Blodgett said.

If a situation arose where there was a disagreement, the only recourse the city would have would be to fire Dreamland with an incomplete park. Dreamland would also have the freedom to quit if it wanted to.

Blodgett said those were issues that needed to be taken into consideration, even though they were unlikely.

In all likelihood, none of those things with Dreamland will happen, Blodgett said to the committee. Being the city manager, I have to warn you of the risks.

Rotary Club representative and engineer Buzz Hansen said Dreamland fits the bill for the type of job being done.

This is a highly specialized type of structure, Hansen said. You cant just get any guy to come in and finish it. If you want the best, go for these guys.

When the vote was taken and the committee was sold, Blodgett said he would take it before the Parks and Recreation Committee at its 7 p.m. meeting Thursday.

Ill support your decision, Blodgett told the committee. I respect it, and hopefully, weve made the right decision.

The committee then discussed the proposed site for the skate park. The primary site considered was the triangular chunk of land behind the outfield fence at Bud Cross Little League Field.

The other spot is the flat, cleared piece of land adjacent to the field, which would provide a bigger, flatter park.

The committee discovered that the fence around the field will be moved forward 50 feet, creating more room at the initial site behind the field, and a drainage ditch located there will be moved, creating even more room and making it easier to construct the park.

That might change it. Maybe it will become a better site because of that, Blodgett said.

The committee ultimately voted that if the drain is removed and the fence is moved, the park should be built behind the field.

The group discussed using the bank behind the field that the park will be built on as sound mitigation so that neighbors are not disturbed.