Patterson votes to cover skate park construction

PATTERSON -- Sometimes you've just got to do it yourself.

Patterson leaders, unable to attract grants for construction of a long-awaited skate park, gave up after years of trying and will pay for it with city money.

City Council members previously paid a consultant $15,000 to design a skate park, sank $6,000 into construction documents and set aside $250,000 to attract grants.

But none came, so the council voted 4-0 last week to cover the entire cost.

Councilman Sam Cuellar was hospitalized after a heart attack March 12 and did not vote.

The skate park could come to $727,400, though city officials hope competition from builders will produce lower bids.

Patterson has more than enough money to pay for the project after collecting development fees for a community complex near the Patterson Aquatic Center.

"To say we have 100 kids skating all over town is probably an understatement," said Councilwoman Annette Smith, who for years has chauffeured her son to skate parks in other cities.

"They're everywhere, skating behind buildings, in alleys and parking lots and in the roundabouts, because we just don't have a facility here," Smith said.