Construction crews begin work on skate park

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By Jennifer Garcia

Despite residents’ efforts to get the County Council to reconsider the location, contractors began grading the area in front of the Mesa Public Library on Tuesday in preparation for the construction of the much anticipated skate park.

Jack and Colleen Hanlon filed an appeal on the skate park location in District Court in August, hoping to get the council to reconsider the Mesa Library location.

Shortly after the appeal was filed, the council held a meeting in White Rock, during which the skate park location was discussed. The original purpose of that meeting was to decide whether or not the issue should go to referendum in November.

However, the meeting quickly spiraled out of control as residents, both for and against, the skate park location addressed council with their concerns and opinions on the matter.

In the end, the council decided that they would not put the issue on the ballot, but would instead move ahead with the original plans to put the skate park near the library.

The Hanlons’ attorney, Fred T. Herdman of the Rubin Katz law firm in Santa Fe, said he needed information contained in the July 29 minutes to help substantiate the appeal process.

The county, citing grammatical and typographical errors as the reasons for not approving them earlier, OK’d the minutes at the Aug. 26 County Council meeting.

County Attorney Mary McInerny stated the county had until Sept. 8 to approve them.

Because that the county decided to move ahead with its plans to build the skate park at the library site instead of putting the issue to referendum, the only other way the Hanlons could have stopped construction would have been to file an injunction.

But the couple decided against it, stating financial reasons.

“It was too expensive,” Jack Hanlon said.

Assistant County Attorney Dan Gonzales said his office had not officially heard about the Hanlons’ decision not to file the injunction, but said that if that is true, then he’s pleased with that decision and the county can now move forward and get the appeal resolved.

Without the injunction, Gonzales said the next step would be to get the record on appeal filed with District Court, then the appellants would have a certain timeline in which to issue statements. He made it clear that the construction of the skate park will continue, as scheduled.

According to the county’s construction schedule, grading will occur this week, in addition to pouring the concrete pathway from Central Avenue to the library entrance and prepping the stub outs for lighting and irrigation.

Next week, the construction crews will develop the final grades and form for the remainder of the skate park’s features, as well as the plaza east of the entry walk.

They will also verify the grades and forms and stub outs for lighting and irrigation. By the end of the month, they plan on doing the phased pouring of concrete, installing lighting and site features and site furniture.

During the first week of October, the crews will install landscaping and irrigation and clean up and demobilize. By the second week of October, the crews will prepare punch list items and prepare for the park grand opening, which is scheduled for Oct. 24.