Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Central Presbyterian in support of Tarentum skatepark

Tonight there was a meeting of the Session (i.e., the governing board) of the Central Presbyterian Church of Tarentum. We covered a lot of different issues, and one of them was whether the church should support the skatepark that looks like it's coming to Tarentum on the Crab Diamond site near the borough garage.

One of the elders who lives in Brackenridge asked some hard questions about the proposed park. Then an elder who lives in Tarentum near Mill Street, closer than any others to the site, spoke about how nice it was to live where children played in the back yard, and how the skatepark would be a good addition to the neighborhood.

So the Session voted to authorize me to speak on behalf of the Central Presbyterian Church in support of this wonderful project.

Earlier today it was encouraging to see teams of teenagers going out into Tarentum neighborhoods to gather signatures for the petition to remind the powers that be of the importance of this project. It is something people of all generations in the whole community can rally around, as I saw from the discussion at tonight's Session meeting.

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Anonymous said...

Pastor Pollock I am all for helping with the youth of Tarentum but I am one of many families that live along Bull Creek that was flooded on September 17th 2004. Do you have any idea what we went through? So much damage and so many lives changed for ever. We are still rebuilding. There are people down here that lost everything. People even lost their homes. I am sure you know what it is like to deal with the government when it comes to getting help so I hope you understand that I am against this money being used for a skate park. We have a creek that needs dredged before something like this happens again. It is on hold for now because Katrina. I see on your Blog that you are supporting Katrina. This money can be used for other things that Tarentum needs. If you are told otherwise then someone is pulling the robe over your eyes. Do you think the people that have suffered from the flood of 2004 or the people that have suffered from Katrina would like to see a “Skate Park” going up when there is so much left undone for the people? If the “Family First” motto is suppose to be about families then what about the families. Come down and walk the streets of Davidson, Mill, Creek, Cedar, Reinehr, Curtis, Conwell , 10th, and Pine. Knock on the doors of the people that watched the muddy waters surround and swallow their homes. Can Tarentum afford this now??? What about the other expenses such as liability, lighting and the engineering fees and oh yes where is the water going to drain to from this? Bull Creek? Pastor I am asking you to look into your heart and think again about what you are saying. Yes the youth need more things to do to keep them off the streets and away from the evils of drugs. Why not put the money toward the purchase of an empty building that could be turned into a youth center where all can help and learn. Make Tarentum a shining example of what the youth of tomorrow can become.

Stewart said...

Hello, "anonymous."

It feels to me as if you are trying to force a false choice between a recreation program or facility by the borough and some other kind of disaster assistance that ought to come from the state or federal government. If the flood recovery is actually an issue in which the Borough carries the major responsibility, why has the Borough Council not done something a lot sooner for the residents of that neighborhood?

The residents of the neighborhood around Crab Diamond have known since July 22, 2004 that the skate park was in the plans. And that was months before the tragic flood from Hurricane Ivan. Only last month the Tarentum Borough Council took an important action to help bring closure to some of the unresolved issues after the flood, when it appointed the Borough Manager as its agent to reclaim land where the owners do not plan to rebuild.

The reclamation of the land will create more green space, and reduce the residential use of that area, all of which is very advisable given the likelihood of flooding again in 30, 50, or 70 years. Recreational use of the land in that flood plain makes far more sense than residential use. Recreational use also should add to the sale value of whatever residential properties that are rebuilt there. What parents would not find it attractive to buy a home in walking distance to a recreational area for their children?

I would assume that each of the people who already have decided to rebuild did so knowing that there would be a skate park in the renewed neighborhood.

If you have received a competent legal opinion you can cite that says that the Borough may apply for and accept a grant for one purpose, and then decide on its own to use the money in some other way I am interested in hearing the source.

The Borough Council voted in favor of the skate park back in 2004. Wouldn't the team players on the Council cease their debate once a decision is made, and then support the direction the Council decided to follow?

As to the cost of the project, I would expect that all of the costs of building the skatepark should be worked out within the project's budget. If it turns out that the budget needs more funding, then its supporters would have to find that funding somewhere, whether by an additional grant or fundraising events.

Thank you for sharing your opinions and concerns, but I am puzzled that you have posted anonymously rather than stand behind your statements. After all, this is a friendly town where no one would face repercussions for stating an opinion.