Frustrated skateboard volunteers bare all in an Open Letter to Council


By David F. Rooney

The people leading the drive to build a new skateboard facility are pleading with Council to officially designate Kovach Park as the site of proposed youth/skateboard park.

In an open letter to Mayor David Raven and City Council released on Thursday evening Karl Jost, president of the Columbia Valley Skateboard Association, expressed his “serious concern” about the city-run process that has only led to confusion and frustration.

“The skate park site selection process has been convoluted,” he said in the letter, which was sent to all news media in Revelstoke. “Over the past four years, city staff have proposed Kovach Park, a baseball field at Centennial Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, the parking lot at Centennial Park, again at Kovach Park and now once more we’re leaning towards the parking lot at Centennial Park.

“This lack of clear process has taken its toll on our volunteer group. It’s our belief that Kovach Park is the best location, and we feel that the city’s plan to explore a geotechnical survey of all of Centennial Park will be a costly waste of taxpayers’ money.”

The CVSA has been seeking a new skateboard park since 2011. They want to pay for it themselves and say they can raise the monty to do it, but the city’s ‘process’ is not helping. In fac t it is so confucting and contradictory that it has created a lot of divisions within the community.

“From the CVSA’s perspective, once again a convoluted city process meant creating needless controversy and inflicting unnecessary divisions in our community,” he wrote. “The CVSA executive are adult volunteers united by a belief that skateboarding has been a positive influence to our lives, and that a skate park will be another positive recreation opportunity for youth in our community.

“We do notice the derisive, unfortunate comments directed at us, including those published on the Oct. 8 Revelstoke City Council agenda. Creating rifts and strained relations with friends, acquaintances and fellow community members is not why we volunteer.”

“The latest twist in the unnecessary saga of the skate park is a November 14 recommendation from the development services committee that the City hire more consultants “for an expensive, year-long geotechnical study of the entire (Centennial) park. This will not get us any closer to our goal. In our view, it will have very limited benefit (for) future development plans in the park, as localized geotechnical studies will still be needed if new bleachers, washrooms, buildings or other permanent facilities are built.

“The CVSA executive feels all of this extra cost, staff time and more volunteer frustration can be avoided: we urge council to make a political decision now that will put the location question to rest.”

Jost said it is clear to the Columbia Valley Skateboard Association that Kovach Park is the best location for the skateboard park.

“Four years of study has shown there is no perfect location, and more years of study will bear out the same conclusion, he wrote.

Please click here to read the complete open letter.

Please click here to read the October 14 story about the park. This story includes ratings assigned to all possible skateboard pask locations.