Kutztown duo spearhead skate park project at Kutztown Park

Approximately what the future Kutztown skate park will look like.
Approximately what the future Kutztown skate park will look like. Submitted photo - courtesy of Deborah Clauss

Two Kutztown residents Deborah Lynn Clauss and Andrew Kunkel have taken action to bring a multi-sport skate park to Kutztown. Borough Council announced that the future skate park in Kutztown Park will soon be designated as a smoke-free zone, along with the playground, band shell and basketball court, at the Borough Council meeting on March 21.

“There’s no place to skateboard or do any type of roller sports in the borough,” said Clauss. “Growing up, I was always an avid in-line street skater, but things were different in the 90s. It was less litigious of a society. You could pretty much go wherever you wanted and nothing happened. Now that’s not the case. My kids skateboard and line skate and there’s really no place in town at all for us to take them. It’s worrisome. We don’t want them on the street, and we obviously don’t want them breaking the law.”

According to Clauss, the president of the project, she and Kunkel, the vice president, had never met before the project. The two were connected over a Facebook conversation about a skateboarding article and reminisced on how great it would be to have a safe place to skateboard in Kutztown.

The two then decided to team up, and have been working on the project for about a year.

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Clauss and Kunkel put together a proposal and presented it to the borough and received a preliminary approval from the public sports committee to move forward with the next stages. They also secured a donation from the borough of $4,000 and the borough’s agreement to allow the skate park to inhabit the previous site of the 2,500 square foot roller rink that was recently demolished.

The estimated cost of the project is around $21,000. Clauss started a GoFundMe page, www.gofundme.com/create-a-skatepark-in-kutztown-pa, in efforts to raise money for the skate park, and their fundraising efforts have brought in under $1,000. In addition, she said that she is also applying for grants from the Tony Hawk Foundation and Finish Line Sports.

The foundation has secured Arment Concrete, LLC for the construction of the project. They hope to break ground by the last week in August. For the project to break ground by the last week in August, they will need to raise the remainder of the money by July 15, 2017.

The grants will ideally cover a significant portion of the remaining funds, the Tony Hawk Foundation grant can go upwards of $25,000 and the Finish Line Sports grant application accepts up to $200,000.

Clauss and Kunkel hope to create a legacy fund to help with any future costs towards maintenance, children’s clinics, safety workshops and other possible events.

In other news at the March 21 Borough Council meeting, under public works, a Kutztown University fraternity and Kutztown Strong will co-host a parent/student “Play Day,” in the park on April 22. Council agreed to allow the event to use the Brick and Flora Pavilions, and to waive any associated fees.

The Kutztown Optimist Club will use the Park Multipurpose Field, in April and May for their T-Ball Program.

The Kutztown Area High School Athletic Department will use the softball and legion fields for their 2017 practices and games, two port-o-potties will be placed at the legion field.

The Kutztown Optimist Club will host their Annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 15 at 11 a.m. at Kutztown Park. The event will use the tennis court, hockey rink, Brick Pavilion, bathrooms and park area, as well as the use of six barricades.

The American Legion Post No. 480 to hold its annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 29.

Council authorized officials to execute the contract for the Allentown Band, Inc., to perform three concerts on Kutztown Day on Sunday, Aug. 6, for a fee of $2,650, which includes a $350 meal allowance.

Under personnel, chairperson Peggy Devlin took a few actions. Kyle Acker will be the Environmental Advisory Commission’s 2017 summer borough intern. Also under personnel, Melissa Engelhardt was appointed as an alternate member of the Zoning Hearing Board, her term will expire on April 1, 2020.

Edwin Seyler took several actions under water and wastewater. Council approved the purchase of a 5800 Refrigerated Sampler, from Hartco Environmental, for $5,625. Proposals for four areas of point repair were approved from M&A Excavating; the cost will not exceed $27,000.

Council approved the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s “Release and Hold Harmless” Agreement.

No actions were taken under telecommunications and information technologies, the environmental advisory commission or the borough planning commission.

There is one member vacancy and one alternate vacancy on the Code Appeals Board, one member vacancy on the Planning Commission, two alternate vacancies on the Zoning Hearing Board, one member vacancy and three alternate vacancies on the Housing License Appeals Board and one member vacancy on the Telecommunications Advisory Commission.