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City selects skateboard park location

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If you travel downtown enough these days, you’ll spot them here and there, skateboarders jumping off concrete curbs with precision, and spinning in circles with seeming confidence.

While still in the early planning stages, local skateboarders will get a concrete playground of their own, in the east parking lot of the Gallup Cultural Center.

City Councilors were presented with three possible locations and voted in favor of the downtown location May 12. It was with some persuasion, a generous $50,000 pledge from William McCarthy, CEO of Southwest Indian Foundation.

The city has about $10,000 in funds, and Rep. Patty Lundstrom secured $40,000 for the park during the 2014 legislative session.

And the generosity didn’t end there.

During the announcement phase of the city council meeting, Councilor Yogash Kumar, pledged another $5,000, bringing the total earmarked for the project, up to $105,000.

The park even has the blessings of the Business Improvement District. Local business owner Louis Bonaguidi lauded the site.

“This site is highly visible,” he said. “Skateboarders tend to gravitate downtown.”

BID Executive Director Francis Bee said the skate park could even host regional skateboard competition, which “would be a very positive step.”

Another location considered was Ford Drive and Montoya Intersection, at the west end of “We the People Park.”

Locations near the Larry Bryan Mitchell and Harold Runnels Recreation Complex were also on the radar.