Treasure Fulton Parks Medallion Hunt begins Wednesday

Valley News Treasure Our Parks Medallion Hunt 2014 Map(1)
Find the medallion: See the Medallion Hunt page of The Valley News on June 24 for the first clue. If the medallion is not found in the first 48 hours, a second clue will appear in the June 27 editions of The Valley News and Oswego County Advertiser. Whoever finds the medallion first will win the grand prize, a $250 local shopping spree courtesy of The Valley News. Find the medallion: See the Medallion Hunt page of The Valley News on June 24 for the first clue. If the medallion is not found in the first 48 hours, a second clue will appear in the June 27 editions of The Valley News and Oswego County Advertiser. Whoever finds the medallion first will win the grand prize, a $250 local shopping spree courtesy of The Valley News.

 

Find these stones: These stones will be hidden in a different park each day. A clue will be given daily at valleynewsonline.com. Go to that park and find the stone for that day. Try to collect a stone from each of the 10 parks. Each collection will be awarded a playground prize. (One per household)
Find these stones: These stones will be hidden in a different park each day. A clue will be given daily at valleynewsonline.com. Go to that park and find the stone for that day. Try to collect a stone from each of the 10 parks. Each collection will be awarded a playground prize. (One per household)
Find one of these four letter tiles: There are no clues for this challenge, but the tiles will be hidden randomly in the parks on the map. Each tile can be redeemed for a $25 gift card. (One per household)
Find one of these four letter tiles: There are no clues for this challenge, but the tiles will be hidden randomly in the parks on the map. Each tile can be redeemed for a $25 gift card. (One per household)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know where all your city parks are located?
On Wednesday, Friends of Fulton Parks’ 2015 Teasure Fulton Parks Medallion Hunt will begin with a clue inside The Valley News.
The contest, which is designed to get everyone more acquainted with the 14 beautiful parks the city offers, consists of a medallion being hidden somewhere in one of those parks.
To find the medallion, residents must first read The Valley News. Readers will find the first clue on a special page that spotlights the contest and participating sponsors.
On Saturday, June 27, a second clue will appear in both The Valley News and the Oswego County Advertiser.
A photograph of the medallion appears above. To help out, there also is a map above showing where all the city parks are located.
The first person to find the medallion and return it FOFP will be rewarded with a $250 shopping spree courtesy of the Valley News and the participating businesses. The winner will be awarded five $50 gift certificates from their choice of five different businesses who are sponsoring this year’s event.
The first person to find the medallion and return it FOFP will be rewarded with a $250 shopping spree courtesy of the Valley News and the participating businesses. The winner will be awarded five $50 gift certificates from their choice of five different businesses who are sponsoring this year’s event.
Members of Friends of Fulton Parks came up with the idea for the contest last year when thinking about all the beauty and fun the parks have to offer. Kelley Weaver, board president, thought an event like this might help some residents get to know parks they otherwise might not explore.
“People usually know their one park — the one they like or the one in their neighborhood,” she said. “But what about the others?”
In addition to the medallion, some other items will be hidden during the event that can also be redeemed for prizes. Each day, a separate clue will appear on www.valleynewsonline.com regarding the locations of some stones (see photos) hidden by FOFP members. These stones will be hidden in a different park each day. Go to that park and find the stone for that day. Try to collect a stone from each of the 10 parks. Each collection will be awarded a playground prize through FOFP. The group will also hide four letter tiles (see photos) throughout the parks. There will be no clues for this search, but anyone who finds a tile will get to redeem it through FOFP for a $25 gift card. Several small
The Fulton parks are scattered throughout the city. Three – Bullhead Point, Recreation Park and Indian Point – are on the water. Ten have playgrounds. One is simply a serene place to sit on a bench and gaze at the garden. One honors our veterans.

Rules for the treasure hunt:
1. The Treasure Hunt begins at sunrise on Wednesday, June 24, and ends at sunset on Saturday, June 27.
2. The medallion, tiles and stones are all hidden in the ten parks listed on the map. Search during daylight hours only.
3. Be safe. The items are not hidden near the road or water bodies. Keep your feet on the ground. There is no need to climb or dig. Search at your own risk.
4. The contest is open to all ages. Board members of Friends of Fulton Parks, employees of the Valley News and prior year grand prize winners are not eligible for prizes.
5. The person who finds the medallion or tiles must notify Friends of Fulton Parks as soon as possible, by calling 402-7431. Once verified, the winner will be posted on valleynewsonline.com
6. The grand prize, awarded to whoever finds to medallion, is a $250 shopping spree that includes five $50 gift cards for our participating sponsors, courtesy of the Valley News.
7. Only one prize awarded per household. Winners are responsible for taxes on their winnings.
8. The Valley News, Friends of Fulton Parks, and the City of Fulton are not responsible for any perceived loss or damage related to this contest.

 

 

Hannibal water service project slated to begin in mid-July

By Matthew Reitz

Hannibal officials announced Wednesday that construction on the town’s water service project is slated to begin in mid-July.

Town Supervisor Ron Greenleaf said officials recently held a pre-construction meeting regarding the water service area with representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development, the engineering firm C2AE, and Highlander Construction. The tentative start date was set for July 13. Greenleaf said the project should take three to four months to complete.

“It should be done this year unless we get some terrible weather in the fall,” Greenleaf said.

Greenleaf said the project will provide water service to roughly 70 residences. It will cover the balance of Stock Road that was not previously provided water, Fowler Road, and Sixty Six Road from Durbin Road to the other side of Dunham Road. Greenleaf said the project is set to begin on Sixty Six Road because that area has the greatest need for water.

“From what I’ve been told they’re going to start on Sixty Six Road,” he said. “They seem to have the worst wells.”

The entire project is expected to cost $1.457 million. A $682,000 grant is expected to come from the USDA Office of Rural Development, and the town will receive a low interest loan for the remaining $775,000, according to Greenleaf.  The project will bring water service to town properties, but the cost and responsibility for hooking up to the service will fall on the property owners.

Town officials also discussed the possibility of utilizing solar power at the municipal building.

A representative of CNY Solar, Rich Champion, addressed residents and board members about a preliminary plan to bring solar power to the town. The plan is in the initial stages and nothing has been agreed to, but Greenleaf has been working with CNY Solar to find a solution that will save the town money and provide the municipal building with a source of renewable energy.

The plan calls for the town to enter into a power purchase agreement. Through the 20-year agreement, solar panels would be installed behind the municipal building, and the town would purchase the power produced by the panels from a third party owner at a significantly reduced rate.

“With a power purchase agreement you actually only purchase the power that is produced by the solar panels,” Champion said. “Any power that the system produces would be sold to the town at a rate lower than the utility company charges.”

The town currently pays about $0.135 per kilowatt hour, and the proposal in its current state would charge the town about $0.095 per kilowatt-hour. The town uses over 100,000 kilowatt hours each year, officials said.

Gary Thompson, a candidate for town council, asked Champion if the town would still be responsible for delivery charges from utility companies.

“They will not get charged delivery charges,” Champion said. “The power will be produced on site, and they can’t charge you for power that you’ve produced on site.”

Thompson also asked who was responsible for any maintenance that might need to be done on the system. Champion said the third-party owner is responsible, but there are also production guarantees that ensure the owner has incentive to fix a broken or underperforming system. He said at the end of the 20-year contract, the system would become the property of the town. Greenleaf said he would pass the proposal on to the town’s attorney to look at before proceeding.

Other news

The board unanimously approved Joe Burgdorf as a new member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Greenleaf said Burgdorf was the only resident to send in a letter stating interest in the appointment. The board also unanimously approved a motion to purchase a new computer for the town supervisor’s office. Greenleaf said the computer in his office was at least 12 years old.

Green Team looking to change people’s outlook on littering

Bob Green, chairman of the Green Team, talks about his group’s anti-littering campaign at a community forum in Fulton earlier this year.
Bob Green, chairman of the Green Team, talks about his group’s anti-littering campaign at a community forum in Fulton earlier this year.

By Matthew Reitz

A group of volunteers has established an anti-littering movement that they hope will take hold throughout Oswego County.

The Green Team, led by Chairman Robert Green, is a subcommittee of the Oswego County Tourism Advisory Council that was formed in October 2014 to spread an anti-littering message across the county. Green said there are many positive efforts by groups to pick up litter, but the Green Team is also trying to stop the littering before it happens.

“Nobody is trying to stop the litter,” Green said. “All the efforts of public awareness are gone.”

Members of the Green Team recently met to discuss ways to promote their campaign. The team is looking for ways to bolster public awareness and educate the community on both the effects of littering and what they can do to help combat the problem.

“We want a clean area for tourists and the community,” Green said.

Green said he would like to see more “no littering” signs put up around the county and have better enforcement on violations. The group is currently working with state Sen. Patty Ritchie’s office to put anti-littering signs up on roadways and in parks across the county. Green said a lack of signage and commendable efforts to clean up roadways and parks sends a message to the public that there will always be someone to pick up their trash.

“People always think someone else will pick it up,” Green said.

According to the group, the efforts to clean up trash are not worthless, but they don’t correct the problem. He said fast food packaging, beer cans and cigarette butts are the most frequent items littered.

The group is working with schools to send an anti-littering message to children. A recycling campaign will generate funds to put drinking fountains in schools that can easily fill up individual water bottles and help cut back on the growing use of plastic bottles.

“The idea is working with the kids to educate them,” Green said.

He added that the kids he’s working with are doing a terrific job recycling.

The campaign is also focused on litter from motor vehicles that ends up scattered across roadways throughout the county. Green said this an area of major concern in Oswego County. He feels auto manufacturers should build trash receptacles into vehicles. In an effort the confront that issue, the group is purchasing litter bags for vehicles and distributing them to school children.

By involving children in the process, Green feels anti-littering sentiment can grow from the bottom up.

“The goal is for the children to take and give them to parents and educate the parents to help build awareness,” Green said. “The goal is that children will educate parents and create public awareness from the bottom up.”

Pratt House holds grand re-opening following destructive winter

Friends of History in Fulton on Friday celebrated the grand re-opening of the John Wells Pratt House after the building faced several repairs through the winter. Pictured in the front, from left, are Sue Lane, Paula Rohn, Mayor Ron Woodward Sr., Sarah Conley and Lilly Holsopple. In the middle, from left, are Ralph Waldron, Carol Dexter, Elma Smith, Jean Lewis, Cindy Bickford and Sue Brown. In the top row, from left, are Sue Ebert, John Finocchiaro and Fred Sumner. Colin Hogan photo
Friends of History in Fulton on Friday celebrated the grand re-opening of the John Wells Pratt House after the building faced several repairs through the winter. Pictured in the front, from left, are Sue Lane, Paula Rohn, Mayor Ron Woodward Sr., Sarah Conley and Lilly Holsopple. In the middle, from left, are Ralph Waldron, Carol Dexter, Elma Smith, Jean Lewis, Cindy Bickford and Sue Brown. In the top row, from left, are Sue Ebert, John Finocchiaro and Fred Sumner.
Colin Hogan photo

By Colin Hogan

It was a tough winter for the John Wells Pratt House with two separate disasters leaving the building in need of dire repairs. Despite its setbacks though, Fulton’s museum is fully restored in time for its summer events.

Members of Friends of History in Fulton, along with local dignitaries, celebrated the museum’s recovery Friday with a Grand Re-opening Celebration held in place of the annual summer Porch Party.

The inside of the museum was ravaged with water back in November when a burst radiator pipe flooded parts of both the first and second floors. The flooding left extensive damage throughout the building and impacted a slew of local artifacts.

Several rooms were in need of serious restoration. Walls, ceilings and floors throughout the museum, including those in the exhibit rooms, needed to be completely removed, cleaned inside and replaced, all while taking into account the historic integrity of the building.

Among the hundreds of items damaged were relics from Fulton’s old factories, antiquated newspaper clippings, photographs and volumes of historic documents, to name only some. The water also damaged an entire room full of historic clothing items, which FOH has worked with a dry cleaner to have restored.

Local contractor Ralph Waldron and his crew worked throughout the winter to get the interior restored, wrapping up the project in February, but then a new problem emerged.

As the months-old ice that had collected on top of the building began to thaw in late March, a large ice chunk fell, causing serious damage the building’s side porch, including breaking every rafter in its roof.

Pratt House Director Sue Lane explained: “It almost took the whole porch down. It was so heavy it broke the rafters and crushed the bottom of the steps and the banister. The entire underside of the porch was cracked. We’re very lucky and thankful no one got hurt.”

Waldron and his crew were again called in to make the repairs. Lane thanked Waldron and the others who worked on the building throughout the winter, including Raponi Plumbing and Heating, EM Electric and Dave Morrell.

“There are so many people who gave their time and didn’t charge us what they might have charged someone else,” Lane said. “In addition to the contractors, lots of board members and Friends of History members came and helped with the cleaning and dusting.”

Other Friends of History events scheduled for this year include:

• L.C. Smith Homecoming Weekend, Aug. 21 and 22 at various locations in the Fulton area

•Garage sale, Sept. 12 at Pratt House

• Ghost tours, Sept. 25 at Pratt House. (This is a new event!)

• Chicken barbecue, Oct. 4 at Bullhead Point

• Autumn event, Nov. 6 at The Tavern on the Lock

• Parade of Trees, Nov. 3-Dec. 11 at the Pratt House

• Educational presentations throughout the year

Hannibal planning board tables vote on gravel mine

By Matthew Reitz

The Town of Hannibal Planning Board on Thursday tabled its vote on a special use permit for the proposed gravel mine on Harris Hill Road, allowing itself more time to reach a decision on the contested proposal.

A standing-room-only crowd gathered at the Hannibal Town Hall and voiced concerns with the proposed site, and on gravel mining in Hannibal, in general. In addition to the Harris Hill Road mine, the board also held a public hearing on a permit modification for the existing Wheats Pit on Engles Road.

The hearing drew so many speakers that residents were allotted only one minute to address the board and the hearings were limited to 30 minutes each. Residents used the time mostly to express concerns about safety, wear and tear on town roads, and the effects of mining on the town.

Dan Hoffman, permit applicant for the Harris Hill Road mine, was given a chance to make a statement at the beginning of the public session. He told the board the project followed all the rules.

“The permits are done,” Hoffman said in reference to a DEC permit.

Town of Granby Supervisor Ed Williamson attended the meeting and expressed concern about the mine’s potential to cause traffic issues on Granby roads. Williamson asked the planning board to stipulate that the trucks leaving the mine do not travel on the section of Harris Hill Road that runs through Granby.

Williamson said the intersection at Harris Hill Road and county Route 8 is a “death trap” coming over the hill and that “many accidents and some deaths” had occurred at that spot in the past. Williamson also requested the planning board amend the hours of operation at the mine to avoid school bus traffic.

“I think you should maybe look at your hours of operation and maybe change the times,” Williamson said.

Granby Town Councilor Lori Blackburn, who also attended the hearing, reiterated Williamson’s interest in keeping truck traffic away from the intersection.

There were several Hannibal residents who also expressed concern about bus traffic and the intersection of Harris Hill Road and county Route 8.

Kelly LaRock, the owner of a neighboring property and a vocal opponent of the mine, said the planning board needed to follow Hannibal zoning laws.

“The Town of Hannibal has enacted zoning laws,” LaRock said. “We are here tonight to make sure these laws are followed.”

LaRock said the planning board did not have to approve a special use permit just because the project was approved by the DEC.

“The special use permit can only be issued after all the standards and conditions have been met,” LaRock said. “We have spent six months providing documentation to this planning board that supports the fact that those conditions have not been met.”

Hannibal resident Tim Harmon said the mine would go against the town’s comprehensive plan. He urged the board to pay attention to that. Harmon also said a mine would hurt the town’s chances of attracting new residents.

“We have an amazing little community here,” Harmon said. “People don’t want to live next to a mine.”

Highway Superintendent Dan Mahaney cautioned the planning board to consider the routes the trucks would be allowed to travel.

“The planning board should be very conscious about where these trucks can go,” Mahaney said.

Mahaney said the town could put restrictions on the permit to direct traffic toward more suitable county roads. He said the town roads weren’t made for the heavy truck traffic.

The planning board discussed how the town would enforce any restrictions the board put on the mine. Hannibal Town Board member George Ritchie said the town’s code enforcement officer would follow up on complaints against the mine, but he couldn’t drive up and down the road to police the mine.

The planning board could not get the four-person majority it needed to bring the matter to a vote Thursday. Planning Board Chairman G. Robert Dilts said the board has 62 days to take action on the permit. It can use that time to review new information and consider the public comments.

The board could take action on the permit at its next meeting on July 2, or again delay a vote until August 6. However, town officials said there will not be any more public comments taken concerning the Harris Hill Road mine.

A public hearing regarding Wheats Pit on Engles Road was much quieter, although some residents still spoke out against mining in the town. The Wheats Pit application was a modification of an existing permit. Dilts explained that it was “an odd situation” where one gravel pit backed up against another. The application calls to mine out the area between the mines.

The planning board unanimously approved the Wheat’s Pit modification. The board placed a restriction on the mine to operate 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week, and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The applicant also agreed to meet with the town highway superintendent once per month, and to install a stop sign at the end of the haul road where it enters Engles Road. The permit will expire in October.

Barclay honors local cancer survivors with proclamation

BarclayCancerSurvivors

By Matthew Reitz

Assemblyman Will Barclay, R-Pulaski, toured the Oswego County Cancer Services Program facilities in Fulton on Friday as part of an effort to recognize cancer survivors.

Barclay was one of several state Assembly members to sponsor a resolution proclaiming June 7 “Cancer Survivors Day” in New York state.

Barclay toured the facility with several employees, discussing funding efforts and services provided to help combat cancer in Oswego County. While presenting a copy of the resolution to the program’s coordinators, Barclay stressed the importance of recognizing cancer survivors and keeping the disease in the spotlight in order to eradicate it.

“We all want to recognize cancer survivors,” Barclay said. “Cancer, as you all know, is a huge illness and the leading cause of death in the United States. I think the more recognition you can give to it will help save lives.”

Barclay thanked the program’s coordinators and offered his continuing support.

The Cancer Services Program of Oswego County provides free cancer screenings for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer for people that are uninsured and meet certain age requirements.

Group looking to finally make skate park a reality in Fulton

By Diana Cook

It wasn’t that many years ago that Joe Arnold — now a young adult — learned what it was like to want active opportunities for fun. He grew up in a time when riding skateboards and BMX bikes bolstered interest for outdoor recreation in a big way. It could be a challenge to find practice venues for such activities but, also true to teen form, he and his friends just rode wherever they could. They also started looking for a chance to bring a skate park to Fulton but like in any proposed construction project, there were hurdles to jump, and a process that required more than just hopes and dreams.

Now that Arnold is an adult, working as part of a drop-in program for youth in Fulton, while facing the challenge of keeping community youth engaged, he also found a revitalization of interest and support for that skate park idea.

Recognizing that there were just not a lot of places to go for structured safe activity near neighborhoods where they live, it was when kids started talking about what they’d love to be doing, and included the possibility of a skate park for bikes, skateboards and scooter recreation, that Arnold rediscovered and renewed a project he could get behind – hoping somehow to help make it happen. After all, he knew himself that, with some of the closest skate parks being dozens of miles away, getting there for the fun was hard.

“When you have to drive to get places, it can really limit the possibilities,” Arnold says.

After revisiting the idea through Fulton’s parks department, responsible for the care and maintenance of infrastructure around town, a connection was formed with the group that really takes on the burden of making recreation happen in Fulton — Friends of Fulton Parks, and Kelly Weaver, it’s current president.

Friends of Fulton Parks, a 501c3 non-profit organization, has one basic mission, says Weaver, when asked about their role in trying to move thing forward for the community. The mission is “to bring play back to the parks and to collaborate with community groups and city parks to make that happen,” she explains.

The fact is that their existence really fills an essential function for any project in the local parks. To explain, Barry Ostrander of the Parks and Recreation department in Fulton is very clear on both reality and appreciation. The fact is that when finances get tough, “the first thing that goes is recreation,” Ostrander says. The city has to focus priorities on water, fire, police, roads, basic grounds maintenance and other necessary infrastructure.

“It doesn’t leave much leftover for recreational investment and we just don’t have any funding available to sustain or develop park infrastructure,” he said.

That reality can make for an ongoing challenge, “especially since providing those recreational activities can be the most important part of a community,” said Ostrander. “It deals with quality of life.”

It’s for that reason that, whenever possible, the parks department partners with FOFP to support possible projects and work to support funding.

“Friends of Fulton Parks has done a lot for my department,” Ostrander says, “Securing money or getting people involved has been instrumental for areas that sorely lack.”

It was the FOFP connection that began the process of help for reinvigorating a focus on the skate park idea in the Van Buren Park, which was planned to be placed behind the tennis courts. It was a project that had begun a number of years prior and then stalled with economic downturn after the installation of a 100-foot cement slab – a foundation put down with intention of building a skate park so many years before.

“So we are now helping this group get through the process,” said Weaver, pointing out that all projects have to get approvals, seek funding and develop plans, along with meeting any other city or grant requirements before construction occurs.

They found out, “it was already zoned for a skate park,” said Weaver. “We got some of those same people involved from before and got permission to go forward.”

Citing that it was a space once used for Youth Soccer, Ostrander confirmed that the park had fallen by the wayside and it became no longer usable for field sports. When approached those multiple years ago, the skate park idea was on track with hopes to acquire skateboard equipment needed, but it never got that far.

“We’d been kicking the idea around for a while,” says Ostrander. So when this new group of youth and young adults came forward looking to jumpstart a journey towards completion, “we didn’t come across any resistance,” he said. “It has the blessing of the council”.

After running the renewed concept by the Recreation committee, Weaver and FOFP began to search to seek out appropriate grants and Weaver found some possible avenues for funding through the Tony Hawk Foundation. As with any grant, however, there are steps to be taken in preparation for application. Most basically, they “have to show interest and need … they must show that it is in fact a need,” Ostrander added.

Arnold has been keyed into that community interest for quite a while, and now sees even more interest and need from his vantage point with kids after school. He points out that there is a bike shop in Fulton, but little place for kids to ride bikes and scooters. And there are always kids on skateboards.

“It would definitely be a benefit to the businesses and other locations where kids spontaneously go. This would be a lot better. It would help them to not have kids skating around their places, and be safer for kids, too,” Arnold says. “A lot of people want to support it. Not just friends of the parks but tons of kids.”

To show the interest and need required to move things forward again, the loosely organized group of young people — with Arnold at the lead — are working on collecting as many signatures of support as possible on a petition.

“We are polling community support through a petition to apply for the grant,” Weaver said. “A proposal for the design is being worked on. Some people will be against it, but there are many people willing to support it and put out the effort to make it happen.”

She explained that, for some reason, “there is a bad perception of skateboards.” Because of that, Weaver says, “they may need to prove themselves a little, not only get out there and tell people about it and why they want it, but show that they are willing to work for it.”

With a youth group involved, it’s a real opportunity to engage their commitment in truly active ways. Weaver suggested they do an event to support the parks, and through the parks department they happened to have a vehicle for that as well. “Sparkle-a-Park” is something organized for Earth Month and encourages community residents, organizations for youth to get involved, to come out to the parks, pick up leaves, sticks, litter, and beautify the parks in preparation for the emerging summer season.

“It’s a perfect opportunity,” Weaver said, for the kids to “ help do the work that’s needed”.

It also provides a chance to make “Sparkle-a-Park” even more of an event in this case, drawing in support for the skate park and doing good work in the process. To further their cause, the skate park group got permission from the parks department to bring a couple of ramps out to the Van Buren Park site on the weekend of May 16 and May 17, for demonstration and to show how their ““Sparkle-a-Park” service enhances the experience and shows their true commitment to providing something for the community.

“Help for this initiative – cleaning up the parks – is a great benefit for my small crew,” Ostrander said, explaining “Sparkle-a-Park” focuses on a different Fulton park each week this time of year. With community, social service and other groups pitching in to rake leaves and get litter out of the way, he is thrilled that the parks department can focus on their schedule to start to maintain mowing and prepping the parks throughout.

In addition to helping out with Van Buren Park clean-up, as the group of youth and skate park supporters tried to come up with specific design plans. Their group was also encouraged to investigate possible skate park structure options. Some of them visited a skate park in Liverpool at Onondaga Lake park, and “they gained a benefit from the experience,” Weaver said. “It gets them to think about it … what do they like, what don’t they like, what would they do different?”

With several years of thought behind his interest, Arnold has pretty specific ideas – one being that the skate park “needs to have the capability to accommodate skateboards, scooters and bikes,” he said. He feels leaving one group out might lead to problems or controversy.

“And we really want it to be a solution for everyone’s interest,” he added.

He also pointed out that there are choices to be made. A concrete skate park “is more expensive, but it wouldn’t deteriorate so quick,” he explained. They could also focus on a design using a wooden structure.

“That’s easier to build and work on, but they definitely deteriorate quicker and the long term costs are higher,” Arnold said.

“Ultimately, we want it to be safe,” said Weaver. “We’re still at the beginning stages, but we want to achieve what was intended.”

From an overall perspective, Weaver finds herself just as delighted as those at the grass roots of the skate park concept.

“It’s a positive thing they are trying to do,” Weaver said, reinforcing the group’s ideals. “Joe Arnold is in it for the right reasons. It’s about the fact that the kids need something – he’s thinking, ‘I used to be a skater. I can help with this’ — and he’s there trying to get it going again,” she said.

Citing that about 99 percent of those who hear about it are behind it, Weaver wants to support those efforts, and be among those helping to provide one more recreational opportunity for Fulton.

“That’s what Friends of Fulton Parks is here to do … raising funds, putting in new things, and encouraging people to come to the parks,” said Weaver. “People like it once they are there, but they don’t always think of it, so they need things to do to encourage them to get out there and go. Our role is to open those doors for the opportunity to do things people like to do anyway. We do our best to build bridges.”

As for Arnold, he knows there is still work to be done, but is happy that things are moving along, mostly for the kids. Almost every day now, when he meets with kids after school, “they ask about it. They ask ‘are we going to have a place?’ It’s good to see them excited about something – and willing to do what they can to make it happen,” he said.

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