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Bingen Races To Fund Skatepark

Leaders stepping up to help

The city of Bingen is racing to get plans for its proposed new Daubenspeck Park "skatepark" off the drawing board, and community leaders are stepping up to help.

Bingen City Council members had originally anticipated funding only "phase one" of the project this year, with two other phases to follow in a year. Now, however, the council is moving to complete the entire project all at once.

The original phases were described as follows: 1) construct the lower portion of the loop; 2) construct the upper portion of the loop; and 3) construct the bowl.

Combining phase one and phase two would result in a 3,850 square feet structure, with an estimated cost of approximately $130,000.

Doing all three phases at once would see a 7,350 square feet skateboard park, with a price tag pegged at $249,040.

With the contributions and the funds the city has previously set aside for the skatepark, Brending estimated that the city is about $89,000 short of paying for the entire project.

Mayor Betty Barnes suggested a possible compromise.

"Could we do just two phases?" asked Barnes.

"We could do two phases instead of all three. Possibly do phase one and phase two and drop phase three for now," Brending responded.

In that scenario, phase one would be the loop portion, but not the bowl. The bowl would come in phase two.

"If we split the project into two phases, we would hope to do the second phase next year, but it would be contingent upon funding," explained Bingen City Administrator Jan Brending.

During the council's May 4 meeting, Brending said SDS Lumber Co. had agreed to donate all the lumber required for the project, and Matt Riley, owner of Rapid Ready Mix in Bingen, offered to supply concrete at a discounted rate.

"Currently, we have no other designated donations," Brending added. "However, Ryan's Juice has donated funds to the park which would be used for this project."

Council member Laura Mann said she was concerned about stretching the city's resources too far.

"I'd really like to do the whole thing, but we're looking at almost $100,000," Mann said.

Brending pointed out that August is the preferred month for construction of the skatepark, taking advantage of the normally warm and dry weather during the summer.

With more work needed before construction can begin, Brending noted that time was beginning to run short.

"If we're going to go to bid on this, we need to reach a decision by the next council meeting (on May 18)," Brending said.

Barnes agreed.

"We want to put this on a fast track. I'd like to get the skatepark done this year," said Barnes.

Catherine Kiewit said she would work on a plan to structure sponsorships for the skatepark to allow people to support the project with monetary donations or through donations of labor or materials.

"It's actually a good thing to not have the funding done, so we can have people help finish the project," Kiewit reasoned.

"It's fun to have the plan in hand," Mann added.

Riley said he was enthusiastic about being able to help out with the skatepark construction.

"It's a neat thing, and it will be good for the community," said Riley. "We've never done a skateboard park before."

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