The Merrill Park and Recreation Commission has selected a site for a proposed new skatepark in the city. The commission decided Wednesday that an under-utilized parking area off River Street, just west of the Center Avenue bridge, would be the best location for a skatepark.
A number of other proposed locations were stricken at Wednesday’s meeting. Removed from the list of possibilities were Stange’s Park, Streeter Square, the Merrill Festival Grounds, the American Legion site adjacent to Kitchenette Park and the ice rink site adjacent to Pine Crest Nursing Home.
Mayor Bill Bialecki said Stange’s Park would be better used for reservations, similar to Kitchenette Park. Streeter Square was removed due to a lack of parking and the proximity to a residential neighborhood. Lincoln County was not interested in the skatepark being located on their property at the ice rink. And, City Administrator Dave Johnson said there wouldn’t be room for the skatepark at the Festival Grounds. He added that it will be at least two years before anything can be done at the American Legion site.
The commission then settled unanimously on the River Street municipal parking lot site.
Merrill resident Heather O’Neill has filed for non-profit status for the Merrill Skatepark Initiative and plans to begin fundraising for the project once she receives a non-profit number.