Petitioners asks city to repair Wasena Skate Park

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - The Wasena Skate Park has been in disrepair and young people who rely on it for fun, exercise, and some say keeping them out of trouble, say something needs to be done.

More than 100 people signed a petition to have the park repaired. James Cosby said he's been coming to the skate park for years and wants to see it back in good condition. That's why he started the petition.

Talking about the condition of part of the park, Cosby said, "These camel humps here, it's all... these camel humps are warped. All the ripples in the bottom are supposed to be smooth."

After getting into skating as a kid, Cosby said he kept the hobby going.

He said it kept him out of trouble and other skaters agreed. But now, with the park's rapid deterioration Cosby said skaters are pushed to board elsewhere: like Elmwood Park or other downtown spots. But, skating in unapproved areas is illegal and results in ticketing.

Cosby said, "I know friends that have skated downtown and had their boards taken away."

Cosby collected 100 names to petition the city in hope for financial help to rebuild, but the Parks and Recreation Department said it's not that easy.

City Parks and Development Planner Donnie Underwood explained, "The city council prioritizes that money that's available for us and we works from the top of that list down. Not saying that skate boarding isn't important, it's very important, just like some of the other ventures we work on. However, we just haven't gotten down to that level yet to start really focusing on funds available."

The city parks planner said remodeling could cost thousands. It would be ideal, Underwood said, if Cosby could start renovation momentum through a grass roots movement. "We will all come together for sure. I'll just do whatever it takes to build it, even if it takes me taking my money from my job and saving it until I had enough to put forth to start building," Cosby explained.

With a partnership and support from the skate community, Cosby hopes the ripples will smooth out soon.