by: SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: ROBIN JOHNSON - A local skater who asked to go by only his first name, Drayke, launches off one the features of the Scappoose skatepark in late September.In early September, the city of Scappoose provided local skateboarders with a gift they’d been waiting longer than they expected to receive. Although the skatepark wasn’t completed until Sept. 6, rather than at the end of the school year as was planned, local youth called it, “The best thing Scappoose has ever done.” 

Complications with the contractor, Grindline, pushed the project’s completion date back and put the company and Scappoose in a dispute when the city attempted to withhold payments to Grindline in the amount of $30,500 for missing its completion deadline (“Scappoose denies skatepark contractor’s request to waive fees,” Sept. 6).

Finally, the city decided not to withhold payments to the company when a Grindline representative explained that withholding the payments would be “crippling” for the company and the reason for the delay was due to Grindline’s decision to demolish the old skatepark completely instead of sticking with its original plan to pour over the park’s existing structures (“City Council waives liquidated damages for skatepark contractor,” Nov. 8). At the time, Scappoose City Councilor Mark Reed said, “I think Grindline had our best interests in mind. To pour over our old park would’ve been a big mistake.”

Although current city ordinance prohibits bikes and scooters at the skatepark due to safety concerns, after the park’s construction was complete, local youth were able to come to a compromise with the City Council. Councilors decided to grant a “trial period” to allow bikes and scooters at the park as long as Brandon Johnson and Donovan Jackson — two Scappoose High School students who approached the board to voice their opinions on the matter — provide monthly reports to council about how the trial period works out (“Youth work to allow bikes, scooters at skatepark,” Sept. 20).

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