Village considers bids to knock down Chalker Park hill

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – Among the challenges standing in the way of a new, proposed skate park in Kalkaska might be a dirt hill, a popular area for sledding in the winter, at Chalker Park on Laurel Street.

Now, supporters of the new skate park want to remove the obstacle – literally – by reducing the man-made hill to a flat, level piece of ground that would also serve as the home of the skating facility.

Chalker Park is already the home to a small concrete pad that was supposed to be developed as a skate park, with the village previously purchasing a small amount of skate rails and other equipment. Later, however, organizers of the effort admitted the pad fell short of what’s needed by skateboard enthusiasts.

In April, trustee Damien White, chairman of the village’s Parks and Recreation Committee, informed the other members of the Kalkaska Village Council that the citizen committee formed to raise funds for the project would work with the village manager’s office to get bids to remove the hill which was itself built using construction debris, including concrete pieces, that was then covered with dirt.

And, the topic could soon be back before the village council, possibly even as early as its regular monthly meeting on Monday, June 10.

“We’ve gotten one bid so far and we will have a Parks and Rec meeting, I think, Friday (June 7) at 4:30 p.m. where we will discuss and decide if it goes to council,” White said.

“The village won’t be paying for the removal,” he added. “It’s up to the kids to raise the money.”

According to supporters, cost of the proposed skate park could vary from $150,000 to $300,000 depending on the size and scope of the project. The citizen committee plans on paying for the park through donations, fundraising efforts and grants.

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