SIKESTON -- Sikeston Park Board members voted unanimously to recommend the Sikeston Sports Complex as the location for a proposed skatepark.
Board members came to their decision during a Monday evening meeting attended by skateboard park supporters and residents of the the Central Park neighborhood.
"If they want a skatepark, wonderful -- build one in the Sports Complex," said one resident of the Central Park neighborhood.
He said they went through a similar thing with baseball 40 years ago before the Sport Complex solved problems with its fields.
All of the Central Park area residents -- just over a dozen including one who said he spoke for several residents on his street -- raised their hands to indicate their opposition to locating the skatepark in Central Park during an informal poll by the board of those in attendance.
During follow-up questions, those same residents said they have no opposition to a skatepark at the Sports Complex.
Cindy Taylor, president of the Sikeston Skate Committee, explained she became involved due to her 12-year-old son's interest in skateboarding.
While Bonnie Dyer, a member of the Park Board, said skaters have indicated they would prefer Central Park, Taylor said she doesn't care where a city skatepark would be located as long as the kids get one.
"For day-to-day recreational skating, I think Central Park would be fine," said Jiggs Moore, parks division director. But if skating is as popular as its supporters claim, Central Park would not have the facilities to handle the larger crowds skating events would bring, he said.
Also, "Central Park is not going to work if those who live near it don't support it," Moore said.
The Sports Complex, on the other hand, has ample parking, restrooms and concession stands.
Residents of the Central Park neighborhood said Central Park is a "residential park" better suited to walking trails, benches and playground equipment for small children.
Whether the facility should be fenced or not is a different issue altogether, Moore said.
City Council members will receive during the next regular City Council meeting Sept. 4 the Park Board's recommendation to locate the proposed skatepark at the Sports Complex.