Tuesday, July 02, 2013

$500,000 For Bethlehem's Skate Park?

That's what Northampton County Council is gearing up to do, and Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan hasn't even been elected yet! In fact, this might be Republican John Cusick's idea.

In 2007, Northampton County Council pledged a cool million to ArtsyFartsyQuest. Another million is going to PBS-39, which after all televises debates for most of the local offices.

Wait a tic, that stopped years ago. Too boring, compared to Charlie Rose.

This money comes from a portion of the hotel tax designed to promote tourism. Given the explosion of arts and entertainment  from SteelStacks and PBS' new broadcast studio, it does seems like a great investment.

Now another $500,000 is being proposed for Bethlehem's SkatePlaza, a 750' long, 43,000 sq ft complex located at the eastern end of the City's Greenway.  "We are attempting to fill a void that other communities shy away from," explains Parks Director Ralph Karp in a documentary. It is a tourist attraction. First, skate parks are conspicuously absent in most communities. Second, it does attract visitors from the tri-state area.

Northampton County Council will vote on this tonight.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

They will spend the money. the Republicans on County council only know how to nod their heads and spend money.

Anonymous said...

They will probably set it aside until later. Typical Cusick pulling something from his butt. No one even asked for the money but then again it is Bethlehem. They don`t have to. Shades of Ann Mc Hale.

Anonymous said...

vote for it - less money for the gracedale goons, union pukes, and the so called poor

Anonymous said...

This is a splendid idea. There are simply no other needs for $500K at this time and putting the money away for a rainy day is always a bad idea. It's time to reorder our cardboard checks.

Anonymous said...

You have to be kidding me!

Anonymous said...

Sure it's a tourist attraction. Maybe for a few events a year. The rest of the time you are lucky to see ten kids there. Plus surrounding areas are beginning to build skate parks so this one will soon be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

"The rest of the time you are lucky to see ten kids there." What?!?! Every time I drive by there are no less than 20 kids hanging out, often many more. I didn't like this project at first, but it has proved to be very successful.

Skateboard Tourist said...

I'm planning a destination vacation to the Bethlehem Skate Park. While there, I'll shop at all the local stores and blow a couple grand at the Sands before heading off to a show at Musikfest Cafe. My story will be repeated thousand of times. Come for skateboarding, stay for everything else. Why didn't they think of this sooner?

Anonymous said...

the skate park is extensively used and not abused. the young and some older adults that enjoy that sport also police themselves. on some real busy days you may see an officer with his black and white sitting.....some of us believe its not to police, but, he's enjoying what these guys do with skates and bikes. a good park that needs to be finished.

Anonymous said...

The skatepark has been an incredibly positive addition to the South Side. I'm glad someone had the vision to put something permanent in for the youth of the area that's a bit outside the norm. Further glad that it's continuing to receive support.

Anonymous said...

Half a million dollars worth of support.

Remember that next time there is a shortage of money for textbooks ...

Anonymous said...

Is this the skate park that has already receive back to back DCNR Grants?

Anonymous said...

Bethlehem has already received back to back DCNR grants.

$400k in Nov 2008
$185k in Oct 2010

For most municipalities, DCNR grants require matching funds. Assuming the matching funds requurement was not waived, is this one facility with limited use worth $1.67 Million in public investment?

Anonymous said...

Phase 2 is done, is this for phase 3.

Anonymous said...

1) "ArtsyFartsyQuest" is just funny.

2) If kids don't have books, they can drop out of school and go skateboarding.

3) Jeff Parks' is practically starving and could use some of that half million. Have a heart.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, maybe you can visit Northampton and check out the makeshift skate parks the kids built behind the municipal building.....guess you can call it Plywood Platz. It has been there for several years and was there before the Skateplaza. Maybe the County has a goodie bag for them too. Maybe thes pkywood surfwrs are out of luck because they are not considered "urban core."

Anonymous said...

Take employees out of Easton the county seat. The Hell with Easton but lets give Bethlehem another gob of money so they can paint gold lines on the edges of the skateboard hangout.
I am sure Johnny C's girl in DCED will praise this project tonight in front of County council. She wants that job.

Anonymous said...

Pulling county employees out of Easton and away from its commuter tax is good for county employees. Who'd begrudge them the take home pay Sal Panto and Mike Fleck stole from them last year? Most weren't making a lot to start and every bit helps these days. Have a heart. Leaving Easton shows compassion for out of town workers. Period.

Anonymous said...

Phase 3 not needed. Assuming there was a money tree in County Chambers, why not build another basic skate facility elsewhere in Northampton County.

The Question remains unanswered. Did DCNR give back to back grants to this facility without a match? They demands it of other municipalities. Is that what the $500k for?

Anonymous said...

Great questions. Council should ask Johnny Casino's county girl at the meeting.

Anonymous said...

So Council is spending 500g's on a skate park?

Yet human service programs have been cut and privatized in the past few years!

Yeah another smart move!

Anonymous said...

Bethlehem was smart in building a concrete park that the community enjoys and surrounding communites will continue to enjoy, as opposed to terrrible pre-fabricated skateparks such as Nazareth and Phillipsburg. I recall what Nazareth paid for there skatepark and that was before it was complete!! It was built to fill a void for the township with little education on what the skaters wanted, built by people who do not skateboard themselves, and overpriced garbage!! Bethlehem will be enjoyed for years to come, as people will fade from garbage skateparks as the years go by.

Anonymous said...

It is a stupid idea and a waste of tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Agree to disagree

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't think it is stupid or a waste. Having seen the nazareth skatepark that has been panned in this thread, I know it is a draw as well as being great for kids who dislike more traditional sports. But putting the brakes on this is the right thing. First, Bethlehem didn't even ask for it. Second, we should honor our commitment to Artsquest and PBS. Third, there should be a solicitation of grant proposals from all county municipalities

Anonymous said...

Let Sands pitch in, there robbing people daily!?,or should i say , people are willingly throwing money at them.!?