DeFuniak Springs Moving Forward with New Skate Park

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It's taken five years, but DeFuniak Springs city officials have once again approved a skate park.
City officials say they want to give teens a place to go, besides the streets, to use their skateboards.

They say they've learned some lessons from the first park at Hurley Field, which was closed because of vandalisn.

DeFuniak Springs business owners have complained about skateboarders for years.

Cory Godwin is the Deputy Tax Collector for the county and on the Executive Board for the Boys & Girls Club. He says the problem isn't going away.
"They're not going to quit skateboarding, and what happens is, they hit the parking lots, they hit the courthouses and they end up doing it and they're not going to stop. I'd like to tell you that you can put up signs that say 'don't do it' or you will be prosecuted but they're still going to do it. So if we can fundamentally agree on that then there only becomes one goal; To do it in a way that's managed and as safe as we can make it."

That goal came to fruition Monday when city council members agreed to building a new skate park.
They want to build the new skate park at the tennis courts behind the community center at 10th and Government Streets. A project that will cost the city nearly $10,000.

Ed Joyner is with the city's Building and Planning Department. He says the plans can finally move forward thanks to donations.
"These dollars were specifically donated for this cause. It was from some entities inside the city that saw the need."

The city did away with the first skate park at Hurley Field due to aiport expansion, but also vandalism.
Because of that, city officials will lock-up the skate park each night--and they're installing security cameras.

"It's exciting now, for our community that it's going to be in a very controlled, visible and safe environment", Godwin says.

the park is still in the planning stages.

The city will hold a community meeting to get input on how to customize the facility.

"We don't have an exact design, but we do have an idea of what kind of ramps we want to build. There will be some quartere pikes,half pikes; some pyramids and different things the kids always like to use" Joyner says.

City officials hope to open the new skate park in about four months.

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