Skate park may reopen soon

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY, Ga. -- A popular skate park shuttered when the property manager left earlier this year will reopen soon, even as the perspective tenant and officials with the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority continue lease negotiations.

Last month, ADICA voted to authorize City Attorney Nathan Davis to present a rough draft of a lease proposal to developer Lane Rosen, who presented a proposal to the board for consideration.

During the meeting Wednesday, Davis said that he had a phone conversation with Rosen earlier in the day and that some stipulations, such as a first refusal opportunity on the property should ADICA decide to sell it, didn't meet state law.

Chairman Andrew Reid recommended that the committee that reviewed the initial skate park proposals meet with Rosen along with Davis to hammer out the details of the contract.

Rosen's plan for the park includes incorporating new attractions including a zip-line and other elements.

While that discussion continues, however, Interim Downtown Manager and ADICA Executive Director James Taylor recommended the board consider opening the skate park to the public for free.

"It's getting well into the time when people could be using it and I don't think we have to wait for the lease discussions to end to open it up to the public," Taylor said.

Taylor said he would like to get with the city's Recreation and Parks Department to coordinate the opening of the park, which he said would be free to the public until the lease was worked out.

The board also discussed hosting a movie night at Riverfront Park. ADICA has purchased a large portable, inflatable theater system complete with a sound and audio system to use, Board Member Phil Cannon said.

The first showing of the year will be May 28, when "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" will be featured.

"It's a totally family friendly, free-to-the-public event," said Monique Broughton, who is the assistant to the downtown manager.

While food vendors will be on hand, no alcohol will be served or allowed on the premises.

Broughton said that notices had been sent out soliciting sponsorships from local businesses.

A similar event done by Albany Tomorrow Inc., several years ago drew roughly 12,000 participants, but Broughton said they expect the first few movies to bring between 500 and 700 people.