BY CAROL HICKS
Kellie Bree Ferrell of Hoopeston approached city council members Tuesday with a design for a $25,000 skate park. The design did not include the fencing or pad that would be required.
"You have places for younger kids," said Ferrell, "but not a place for older kids to go."
The kids referred to by Ferrell are the boys and girls who ride and perform on skateboards around town on make-shift ramps in parking lots, on sidewalks and in the streets. She and others thought there was a need for a skateboard arena to practice and compete against each other, to learn safety and a place off the streets and sidewalks of Hoopeston into a safer environment.
In 2005 -2006, Ferrell was one of the students who helped raise funds with Alderman Carl Ankenbrand for a skate park to be located in the Northside Park, also known as the Cheese Park, and, although the money is still in a fund for the skate park, there has been no activity to bring it to reality until now.
Ferrell said she has already collected 220 signatures in favor of the skate park and has the support of the Hoopeston Jaycees to help with fundraising. She also has looked into the Tony Hawk Foundation Skate Park Grants program, the Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports Grant program and Community Beautification grants.
Ankenbrand mentioned that park superintendent Eugene Warner suggested the annex as a possible place for a skate park.
Mayor Bill Crusinberry praised Ferrell and her committee on their research on skate parks and suggested more research on funding and grants should be done.
In other council business:
The newly elected Mayor, Bill Crusinberry, city clerk Gail Lane and aldermen Larry Baughn, Joe Fell, Carl Ankenbrand and Bill McElhaney were sworn in by the city attorney.
A public hearing was conducted before the regular council meeting on the electric aggregation to answer any questions the public might have.
A unanimous vote was given at the council meeting to authorize Crusinberry to execute a contract for the lowest responsible bidder for the supply of Hoopeston’s electricity. Ameren would still service, supply and bill residents and the city for their electricity.
Council members unanimously accepted the Perpetual Care for John and Millie Sullivan in the amount of $1,500. Also approved the State Comptroller’s Local Debt Recovery program for the city. There would be no cost to the city.
Learned the city slab is being abused. The City slab is for yard waste only, said Alderman Randy Carter. He added that cameras are being installed and people who dump anything other than yard waste will be cited, have to come out and clean up what they dumped. If the abuse continues, the slab will be closed.
Hoopeston City Council members will at 7 p.m. May 21 in City Hall, 301 W. Main St.