FWB City Council says “No” to Contract Renewal of Local Skate Park

FORT WALTON BEACH For years Fort Walton Beach and the Dirt and Vert Skate Park’s contractor have been battling back and forth on how the park should be kept up.

Well, that scuffle won't matter anymore because beginning January 1st, the skate park will be converted into a new facility under the city.

"If someone were to look at the vote 5 to 2, they would think the majority is in favor of closing it down, and that is not what transpired, what transpired was they voted not to renew the current contract that is between myself and the city,” said Bill Madden, of Dirt and Vert.

That's what the City Council decided Monday night after recreation officials deemed the skate park as a safety concern and asked for the contract not to be renewed.

And recreation officials already have plans for that property.

"Those last two acres are something we want to develop to incorporate the whole facility. So when people have a membership to the facility they will have other amenities to participate in,” said Jeff Peters, Recreation Director.

At this point city officials don't know if the property will become a concrete skate park affiliated with the rec. Center.

The city is also looking into other properties to build a separate skate facility.

"It can be managed and the programs can be run by an individual but the park itself has to be maintained by the city. So that is the problem, the contract is too limiting, to keep it open on my own dime isn't possible,” said Madden.

The city sent two violations to Madden in 2009 and 2013 because of several safety issues they found in the park.

City officials say in the next six months they'll make up some plans on how to use the two acres of property.


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