Target: December

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By Ben Carlson

Lawrenceburg's legion of skateboarders received some welcome news during Monday night's Lawrenceburg City Council meeting.

The committee working to build a skate park said the project is "alive and well" and is closing in on having enough funds to get it built.

Kaycie Len Carter spoke on behalf of the committee, saying that California-based skate park designer Kelly Saad, who has helped build parks and obstacles for skating icon Tony Hawk, is involved in designing Lawrenceburg's skate park.

"He's looking at plans to see which are our best options," said Carter. "It will be exciting to have him come to Anderson County. We should have local, state and national media here for that."

Carter said the committee has raised about $30,000 so far, but still needs about $20,000 to build the park.

She said that figure could go down, depending on donated materials and labor.

"We have several estimates," she said. "Hopefully these new plans will be a little less expensive. We're very close, and anticipate having the park built by the end of December."

Plans call for the park to be constructed in phases, she said, allowing more obstacles to be added as funds allow.

Skateboarder Evan Brown attended the meeting, and said the park will be similar to the one at Anderson Dean Park in Harrodsburg, but more advanced.

"It will be street-style skating," he said, meaning that skaters will be able to perform tricks on steps, railings and other items normally found on streets - the very places from which they have been banned.

"It will be the best skate park around," he said.

Although built in three phases, the goal is to have the park begin at the intermediate level, giving entry-level and experienced skaters plenty of obstacles.

More difficult obstacles would be added later.

During the meeting, Carter recounted how she and her family became involved in the skate park issue.

Her brother, Kenny Curtsinger, was an avid skater who was killed in a tractor accident.

When she learned of the effort to build a skate park, she immediately wanted to help and set out to raise at least $1,000 and have it named in memory of her brother.

"I wrote 100 letters to friends and people I knew, asking them to donate $10 each," she told the city council as her eyes welled with tears. "I got a lot more than $1,000."

Carter said the group is still actively seeking monetary, material and labor donations to make the park a reality.

"We're excited about how far we've come," she said, adding that she's asked middle schoolers to write essays that will be published in The Anderson News about why Lawrenceburg needs a skate park and that the committee is planning a cornhole tournament to raise funds.

Equally as important, she said, is that since being banned from the streets and parking lot at First Christian Church last year, skaters have been behaving themselves.

"The skaters have been cooperative and waiting patiently," she said.

"They are working hard to get this done, and we can use all the help we can get."

Some of that help came during Monday's meeting, when Councilwoman Brenda Gritton presented the committee with a $500 donation on behalf of the local Optimist Club.

The club raised the money from a skateboard raffle and other fundraisers.