Ishpeming skate park a worthy goal for council to pursue

The Ishpeming City Council unanimously voted its support this week for the construction of a skate park in that city.

The project, discussed on and off for the past three decades or so, enjoys the broad support of young people, a fair number of whom attended the meeting when the council took action.

“I think the council needs to show support,” Ishpeming Councilman Karl Lehmann said for a Mining Journal story on the issue. “So any groups that decide to pursue this know that it is not a waste of their time.”

The council also formed a subcommittee made up of council members Justin Koski and Mike Tonkin charged with creating a list of possible sites for the proposed park.

On the previous occasions when the talk in Ishpeming was most serious regarding construction of the skate park, two related stumbling blocks negatively impacted the entire process.

Not surprisingly, the first was money. Planners — in especially the early efforts– consistently low-balled the potential cost for such a facility. In this latest discussion, the sum of $100,000 has been discussed. We think it’s not unreasonable to assume it’s going to be more — perhaps much more — once things are up and running.

In addition, the skate park in Marquette, according to a 2014 Journal story, ran double that amount.

The second issue was consistent leadership, especially in the area of fundraising. Put another way, Ishpeming needs a community treasure like Nheena Weyer Ittner, the head of the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum who oversaw much of that activity in Marquette. The establishment of the subcommittee is a good first step in that regard.

We wish them well on this project. If it get’s built, it will, in all likelihood, be a kid magnet, much like the one in the Lakeview Arena parking lot in Marquette.