Staff with the City of Kitchener will recommend next week, that Council defers a decision to build a skateboard park at the city owned Southwest Optimist Park for at least a couple of months.

That way more dialogue can happen between the City and the Southwest Optimist Club.

“Trying to appreciate the concerns of the Southwest Optimist Club, but understand that through our skateboard park study, (Southwest Optimist Park) was the identified location.” Councillor Kelly Galloway told 570 News on Monday.

Club President Joe St. John said the Southwest Optimist Club is worried a skateboard park could attract vandals, “at the (Kitchener Memorial Auditorium) we know that this summer there was an act of vandalism where they piled everything in (the skateboard park) and lit it on fire. We don’t want to see that again at the sports fields.”

“We’re just not in favour of it. We’re not against the skateboard park, we’re just not in favour of it in that location.” We have contributed, and we have basically supplied the mobile skateboard park that travels around the city, so we’re not anti-skateboard people by any means,” St. John said.

St. John said the park was developed as a sports field, and that is the way they would like it stay, “over the years we’ve contributed a substantial amount of money in cooperation with the city to develop those sports fields, and we’re here to protect our investment.”

The City of Kitchener currently has two permanent skateboard parks, one at McLennan Park and one at the Aud. Also, there is a traveling skate park called Skatium, which is taken to various community centres around Kitchener. After analysis, city staff determined Southwest Optimist Park and Fischer Park would be the best options to build a new permanent skateboard park facilities.

The Southwest Optimist Park Skatepark would cost a total of $550,000, and money for it would be part of the 2016 and 2017 budget process.

Mike.McCulloch@rci.rogers.com