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Foundation Floats Skate Park Plan
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With the first goal of getting work started on a skate park for Escalon, a new Escalon Parks Foundation has been formed and plans to offer a couple of sites for Escalon City Council consideration.

The Foundation representatives are scheduled to be on hand for the Monday, Nov. 7 council meeting to outline a pair of possible locations for a future skateboard park. Sites under consideration are on Main Street, adjacent to the city's Main Street Park and off Escalon Avenue, at the Hogan Park and Community Center complex.

"They've got a couple of locations they want us to look at," explained City Manager Henry Hesling.

The Foundation, seated recently, includes president Mike Roark, secretary Nicole Harp, treasurer Gracie Marx and members Irene Laugero, Jeff Bond, Alicia Rockwell and Tom Murphy.

"This is very preliminary," added Hesling, "but we want to see what kind of infrastructure is needed, look at the location of the sites, the traffic flow, the parking."

Long range goals of the foundation are to provide adequate parks and recreational space for the community and the skateboard park, long a dormant project, is being brushed off and brought back to the table.

Hesling said the council is eager to hear more and wants to work cooperatively with the new Foundation to provide opportunities for youth and adults alike.

Once the council is presented with sites and a decision is made regarding placement of the skate park, the council would then enter into an agreement with the Foundation, said Hesling, to help get the project started.

Grants would be sought and it's likely that some local fundraising would be done as well.

Hesling said the skate park - and any future Foundation projects - would also have to go through the proper city channels including a site review by the Planning Commission prior to it being considered by the council.

Hesling said paperwork has also been started for the Foundation to operate as a non-profit 501c3 organization so it can collect money that will be tax-deductible for the donors.

"The focus of the Foundation right now is the skateboard park but they can do other things," Hesling noted. "Right now it's just the park because they're not cheap."

The Monday night council meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Ekholm Meeting Room at the Escalon Library.