By ABBEY KUNKLE
Special to the PRESS
This month’s Parks, Recreation, and Beautification Committee meeting heated up when open discussion began regarding the inclusion of a skate park at the new John. L. Tompkins Park on South Padre Island.
The new City park has been in the works for many years, with a comprehensive park plan completed nearly 20 years ago. Plans for the park have evolved quickly over the past couple years with the location of the park selected and the acquisition of a $400,000 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).
Current Parks committee members have publicly discussed and supported the addition of a skate park — similar to the one in Los Fresnos — at the new city park, which also includes plans for a basketball court, two playground facilities, a walking trail and green space. A splash pad was considered by the committee as well as a subcommittee but was deemed unfeasible due to the cost of construction and maintenance.
At a recent SPI Economic Development Corporation (EDC) meeting, the Parks committee requested funding support for the skate park in the amount of $100,000, but when Island resident and former State Rep. Tara Rios spoke out against the skate park, the EDC tabled the item until it was properly vetted within the community.
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