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A public meeting on how to raise money for construction of a skateboard facility in Outwater Park and what it should look like is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Lockport Public Library, 23 East Ave.

City Youth and Recreation Director Paul G. Foster said he envisions the skateboard park where the lawn bowling courts are now.

"Lawn bowling is pretty much defunct now," Foster said. He estimated the site is about 150 square feet.

Foster said he wants to gauge interest and hear from potential users about what they want to see.

"It's important we have youth attend this," Foster said. "Is Outwater Park the best spot? I don't know."

He said Outwater, in the city's northwest corner, may be too remote, even though it's the city's largest park and has the greatest number of recreational facilities. He said his second choice is Kibler Park on Elmwood Avenue.

Foster said he believes it would be easier to obtain grant funding if Outwater were the site, because it also has the city's public swimming pool, ball diamonds, bocce courts, horseshoe pits, a football field and volleyball courts.

He said the park can be portrayed as a "recreational complex," which he thinks would be more interesting to grant writers than seeking money for a skateboard park separate from mention of any other facilities.

No one knows how much a skateboard park would cost. Mayor Michael W. Tucker said Foster "is trying to generate some interest and have some type of fund-raiser, but I don't think he has a figure."

Foster said the cost will depend on whether Lockport builds its own facility or buys ready-made ramps, chutes, rails and other skateboarding surfaces.

The Common Council promised it would do something about offering a skateboarding facility when it defeated a proposed ordinance July 7 that would have banned skateboarding on all city streets.

Foster said he has contacted officials in Lewiston, Medina and Albion about how their skateboard parks were built and how they've worked out.

Tuesday's meeting will also include discussion of continuous fund-raising efforts for the swimming pool. Contributions totaling $38,000 enabled the city to open the 39-year-old pool this summer after it was cut out of the 2004 budget.

Foster said about $13,000 of that amount won't be spent this year. He said it's seed money for a new tile floor in the pool, a new concrete deck and other repairs and improvements.


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