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Ferndale skate park gets new life with a bigger budget

FERNDALE, Wash. — In a 4-2 vote during last night’s regular Ferndale City Council meeting, council members approved awarding a design contract for a proposed skate park under a larger budget than the council and the community had been told to expect.

The item to approve a $300,000 design contract was on the main agenda for the November 1st Ferndale City Council meeting. This hit a snag when it first appeared on the October 4th regular meeting agenda after council members balked when realizing the project budget was nearly double what had been approved.

City of Ferndale officials were awarded a $480,000 grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) to be used to build a to build a 10,000-square-foot skate park at Pioneer Park. During the process of applying for the grant, RCOthe public and City Council members were told the total cost of the park would be about $565,000, leaving the City responsible for approximately $85,000.

In the staff report accompanying the proposed design contract in the October 4th meeting packet, the total cost of the project was shown as $1 million, increasing the City’s responsibility from about $85,000 to about $520,000. As such, the design contract was set to be no more than $300,000 since, according to staff, “Generally, 30-40% of project costs are budgeted for engineering services.”

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City staff brought in the skate park builders to a council committee meeting last week to help convince the council members the larger budget was a good decision for the community. Council members reported having met 1-on-1 with staff to understand the rationale for making the decision.

The same design contract appeared on the November 1st agenda as it did during the October 4th meeting. It passed with Councilmembers Ryan O’Larey and Ali Hawkinson opposed, both said they were representing their constituents who were opposed to the larger budget.

It is estimated construction will occur during 2022.

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