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Skateboarding is not a crime; it's a project

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After a relatively short public hearing, capping off years of work and the hopes of local skateboarders, San Luis Obispo city staffers displayed the final slide of their presentation, which read, “It’s Happening, coming winter 2015.”

On a unanimous vote at the City Council’s April 15 meeting, councilmembers decided to move forward with construction of a new skate park at Santa Rosa Park, complete with an amphitheater, public art projects, and a concrete playground to replace the decaying wooden ramps there now.

With an estimated budget of about $2.1 million and an additional $273,600 for public art, talk of the project first began in 2006 when skaters pleaded for a new facility. With nearly a decade of work behind it, classification as a goal for the city, and Measure Y funds dedicated to its construction, city staffers estimate the project will break ground on May 29.

ProWest Constructors was awarded a $1.7 million contract. However, Pickard & Butters Construction appealed the city’s decision to award that contract, claiming they were more deserving as the lowest bidders.

City staff cited minor variations in the company’s bid as the reason they awarded the contract to ProWest Constructors. A majority of city councilmembers agreed with that decision, and voted to deny the appeal 4-1, with Councilman Dan Carpenter dissenting.

“Perhaps the variations were minor, but we don’t want any variations in pursuing our plans,” Mayor Jan Marx said.

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