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OLM Freshman Appeals to City Council

November 17th, 2010

Tyrone boy asks council to OK  skateboard park
By Adrienne Leon, Fayette Daily News

The Tyrone Town Council was noticeably tickled, but more so impressed with the amount of research a 14-year-old resident offered in his presentation, which proposed the construction of a skateboard park in the town.

Liam Devlin fielded a slew of seemingly tough questions for a boy his age at the Thursday night meeting. However, the Our Lady of Mercy freshman eloquently answered each one, addressing topics ranging from liability terms, funding sources as well as a good location, which he shared would be somewhere in Shamrock Park.

Liam began with a slide show, explaining he explained to the council how the skateboard park would benefit kids in Tyrone and throughout Fayette County. “Skateboarding offers an alternative for all kids who aren’t attracted to team-oriented sports in a healthy and enjoyable way,” he told the council. He said the convenience of a skateboard park would also offer kids a productive outlet, contrary to video games and gadgets.

Liam, an avid skateboarder, said he has been skateboarding for four years. He helped build ramps and 28-foot kickers at his home, since the nearest skateboard park is more than one hour away in Canton, Ga., he said.  He shared that a growing interest in the sport has piqued the interest of his peers, as well as eight children in his cul de sac of ten homes.

“Skateboarding has grown to be a popular sport with over 18 million participants of which 11 million live in the United States,” Liam said. “The first park costs $300,000 while the second park costs $50,000,” Liam said, showing various estimates for designs.

Outside funding sources can be advantageous for the endeavor due to the economic times, he told the council. He recommended the Tony Hawk Foundation as one of the options, saying the foundation, formed in the world-renowned skateboarder’s namesake, gives hundreds of thousands of dollars to skateboard parks every year. “We are applicable for all the criteria to receive a grant up to $25,000 if the park is open to the public year round, has no existing skate parks or in use parks within the area, and is non-for-profit.”

Liam also encouraged the council to consider the American Ramp Company to build the skateboard park, particularly because all of its parks come with a 20-year insurance policy for the ramps. Therefore, the ramps will be taken care of by the company at full cost, if any issues should arise.Liam was commended by Post 1 Councilman Tracy Young, along with his fellow councilmembers and Tyrone Mayor Don Rehwaldt.

(picture by Tim Wojcik)

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