Bothell City Council discusses police department training and plans for a new skatepark

This is what the new proposed skatepark could look like. Courtesy photo

By Hannah Saunders

The Bothell City Council met last week to discuss the 2021-2022 Mid-Biennial Budget and to go over the council budget proposal, both of which include initiating new police training requirements and adding a new skatepark to town. 

New law enforcement training requirements were issued by state lawmakers, who have funded local jurisdictions to assist with training costs. The city of Bothell received $194k in funding from the state.

“It’s going to be for our new officers that are coming on and also our veteran officers and it’s going to cover a lot of that use of force change in legislation in regards to interviewing, contact of suspects,” said Deputy Police Chief Clint Beck. “You know, all those different bills that we’re still kind of drafting out policies on and making those changes to make sure we’re in compliance with all of them.”

The council had a study session on the proposed council budget, where Councilmember Rosemary McAuliffe sponsored a new skateboard park and pump track. It was a recommended council priority discussion for the 2023-2029 Capital Facilities Plan. 

“The skateboard park is for our young people. It’s a place for them to gather, it’s a place for them to enjoy outdoor activities—it’s very special,” McAuliffe said. “The pump track is also for bicycles and other forms of recreation. We don’t have a lot that we offer our teenagers in this town.”

McAuliffe brought attention to the fact that neighboring towns such as Kenmore, Woodinville and Redmond all have skateboard parks, yet Bothell does not.

“I will tell you—if we put this on the Capital Facilities Plan, I think I can get McMenamin’s, who took out our skatepark, help us support this,” McAuliffe said.

Bothell’s former skatepark was closed in 2012 when McMenamin’s bought the Anderson School property to transform it into a brewpub and hotel as part of the city’s Downtown Revitalization Plan. At the time, hundreds of local youths were utilizing the skatepark on a daily basis.

Skateparks contribute to the community in various ways. They provide an environment for everyone to skate, rather than having skaters resort to streets and sidewalks, which can be dangerous with cars and pedestrians. They also reduce private property damage costs and promote physical health and outdoor activities.

Additionally, skateparks encourage local economic growth by attracting out of town visitors. Most importantly, skateparks are an inclusive environment where individuals of all ages can meet friends and mentors, learn new tricks and share meaningful experiences.

Pump tracks, on the other hand, are multipurpose and can be used by skateboarders, bikers, scooter riders and roller-skaters. Pump tracks are a continuous asphalt loop, while skateparks include elements such as half-pipes, handrails, stair sets, pools, bowls and grind rails.

“On council maybe three years ago, we had quite a few young people come and speak to us about a skateboard park and I think it would go over really well,” said Councilmember Davina Duerr. “I agree with you (McAuliffe), that they don’t have, this age group doesn’t have a lot to do.”

The recommendation of adding a new skateboard park was supported by council members. One key area of consideration is locating the proper space. Skateparks are generally placed away from housing and businesses, are highly visible and have lighting, parking and public restrooms nearby. The lot located on Redbrick Road is a consideration for the new skatepark’s placement.

The proposed funding source for Bothell’s new skateboard is to be determined. However, there will be a one-time design and construction cost (with a potential land acquiring cost) and ongoing costs will be approximately 400 to 800 hours of labor for daily maintenance and facility operations.    

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