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Skatepark location still in question
"KINGSTON-A discussion regarding the location of a proposed skatepark Wednesday night produced many ideas from the standing-room-only audience but little action from the Kingston Citizen's Advisory Committee (KCAC). Ten of the 15 advisory committee members attended the meeting and opted to gather more information before making a recommendation on where to put the skatepark. They plan to meet with Kitsap County Commissioner Chris Endresen, and county park officials before next month's meeting to answer questions. These kids have been working hard promoting this and they would like to see this finished in their lifetime, said Nick Jewett, KCAC co-chairman. The remark was met by applause from the crowd-the majority of it teens and skatepark supporters. The KCAC site recommendation is the last hurdle before the skatepark plan reaches county commissioners for a vote. Among the committee's concerns is how long the $150,000 in county funds will be available to build the 10,000-12,000-square-foot-park. In 1990, the county-appointed KCAC received $500,000 to fund projects in Kingston. Since then about $350,000 has been spent, KCAC co-chairman Dave Hildebrand told audience members. County officials have urged the KCAC to spend the rest of the money by the end of the year because the county cannot let the money collect interest. The county earmarked the money for the Kingston skatepark earlier this year. Four sites have been suggested for the park. Two of the locations are at Kole Kola Park, the third is at the gravel pit on Norman Road and the fourth is near the current site of the sewage treatment plant. According to information presented by Kitsap County parks and recreation officials, all four sites are imperfect, but viable construction sites. The two Kole Kola sites meet most of the criteria each of the sites were measured against. They are centrally located, have existing utilities and the land is available now because it is already owned by the county. But the Kole Kola sites have been criticized because they could interfere with the playground in the park's southeast corner or the Ed Moon baseball field, if placed in the northwest corner. We support a skatepark. We don't support it going where the basketball courts are, said Scott Green, owner of the Kingston Cooperative Pre-school. The skaters, if the park was located in the southeast corner, would interfere with the pre-school students, he said. Green added he would help in any way to get the Kingston skatepark rolling. We want our kids to have a place to go. We want our kids' kids to have a place to go, Green said. Adding a skatepark to Kole Kola would also interfere with the master plan for the park, which calls for Kola Kole to become a village green similar to Mike Wallace park at the marina. Under the master plan, the area used for the sewage treatment plant would become an activities area with sports fields (including Ed Moon Field which would be moved there), a community center, etc. It is, however, unclear whether the sewage treatment plant will move and when. The Norman Road site does not have utilities available and is more than a mile from the most populated part of Kingston. To muddy the waters further, discussions brought forth two more possible sites for the skatepark, making a total of six potential locations. An area next to the tennis courts at Kole Kola park and an area near Lindvog Road and the sewage treatment plant were also suggested. An audience member suggested building a temporary skatepark in Kole Kola similar to the skatepark in Poulsbo's Raab Park. Committee members and the community had a lukewarm response to the idea and opted to stick with a permanent park. "