Changes Could Be Rolling Into OP Skateboard Park | News

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Changes Could Be Rolling Into OP Skateboard Park
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ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- A new not-for-profit skateboard group could take some of the responsibility and cost away from Orange Park, and get some pro-skateboarders on the concrete.

The park is public, with no admission fee, and is the responsibility of the town.

"We (have) an opportunity to bring in a concession here, and also a pro shop," said Scott Green, a parent who is with Orange Park Patrons, the not-for-profit group trying to help. 

While the potential plans sound small scale, the Orange Park Patrons said money raised from concessions and a skate store could save the city from spending more funds on the park.

Town officials said just last year $400,000 was spent on renovations and maintenance. That money came from town funds and a grant.

"It is more than we want to take on right now," said Town Councilman JB Renninger. 

Renninger said an agreement between the town and non-profit is still being finalized, and could take several more weeks to work out.

Ask the skaters about the potential partnership and you could get a few blank stares--most said don't know what a "public-private partnership" means. 

While the skaters aren't worried about politics, town officials said the skaters would be the biggest winners. Renninger said profits from a new store on property could potentially bring in enough money to fund competitions, skate clinics, maybe even demos from professional skaters.

"That would be awesome! What if like Tony Hawk, what if they got Tony Hawk to come out here? That would be so cool to have like an actual pro-skaters come out and teach us how to skate!" Said 11-year old Andy Estep.

It is that kind of involvement the town said it just can't provide on its own.

"We provide the physical facility, but we haven't been able to provide an expanded capability of helping skaters improve their skills," said Renninger. 

Town officials said even with a partnership between Orange Park and the skateboard non-profit, the town and taxpayers would still have some cost associated with funding the public park. It could take a year or more to see any savings.

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