City debates location of future skatepark

HOUGHTON — The City of Houghton will be getting a new skatepark, but its location has been the subject of debate. ABC 10’s Keweenaw Bureau Reporter Rick Allen has the story.

As early as next summer, the city of Houghton may have a 3,200 square foot skatepark on the waterfront. But where on the waterfront?

Houghton, MI Skatepark has been pushing for the family–friendly and more popular Kestner Waterfront Park on the west end of town.

Aho said, “In my mind, Kestner Park is a no–brainer. I brought up all the points I had in the presentation and I think that, overall, it’s absolutely the superior location as far as building a skatepark goes.

There certainly are a lot of reasons why this park would make a good choice, but those opposed to it point out its close proximity to nearby homes and the concern of having children and teenagers playing in the same area.

Instead, the city council opted to go with the original proposed location, the East Houghton Waterfront Park. It’s somewhat more secluded and doesn’t have as much potential for expansion, but it’s still a prime waterfront location, and the city is willing to dedicate much of it to a skatepark.

“I think (the reason) a lot of people have had trouble with building a skatepark in the first place is that you need to convince people it’s a good idea altogether,” Aho said. “And here—it’s already in the city master plan.”

The group has raised $17,000 of the $125,000 needed for the first phase of the park., with additional phases planned for the future.

Construction is targeted to begin next Spring.