Another request by the Fort Saskatchewan Skateboarding Society (FSSS) for financial assistance was denied by city council.
 
The group was looking for help making up the remaining $161,000 they need to give to New Line, the company that will be building the 9,000 square-foot park.
 
New Line told the group they need the $570,000 balance up front and were prepared to put shovels in the ground this year. Due to fundraising delays, they say it'll have to wait until next year.
 
"It's very hard in the economy, the way it is, so many businesses not being able to help out," explained founder and president of the FSSS, Joseph Weipert. "We [have] various grants out still and we're still approaching businesses and we're still getting money donated to us."
 
The skateboarding society think the amount is a mere fraction of what other facilities cost, listing numerous examples from the change rooms at Harbour Pool, to the annual costs-to-profit ratio of the Shell Theatre.
 
"It's helping to show the commitment to the project that the city is willing to front the money like they've done to similar projects," Weipert added.
 
Mayor Gale Katchur added council must be flexible and commit to something that's good for the city and the young citizens.
 
"What everyone has to remember is this is going to be a city owned asset," stated mayor Katchur. "I really hope that the public and business community will step up to help them finish fundraising the balance."
 
Katchur and councillor Frank Garritsen were the only two in favour of backing the remaining money.
 
Other councillors brought up the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the city and the skateboard society, stating that if the required funds couldn't be raised by July 2017 that a year's extension would be put in place. At that time, the city committed to helping the society build the park by contributing half of the money needed, including $10,000 seed money to help get the process started.
 
After the funding request was voted down, one local skateboarder shouted to council, "I'd like the city to know I'm tired of skating on the street."

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