MILLEDGEVILLE — Alliance for Milledgeville Progressive Sports spokesperson Ben Joiner has fought for area skate boarders since 1998.
Milledgeville currently has no space for skaters to congregate, after the high-liability skating area next to the Golden Pantry off Hancock Street closed in 2005.
In Milledgeville City Council’s May 28 work session, packed with skating supporters, Joiner presented the idea to build a small-scale skate spot on the unused concrete slab at Central City Park. This usable 20 by 120 foot portion near the corner of West Franklin and North Tattnall streets serves as an ideal, centralized location.
Mayor Richard Bentley and Council gave the skate spot idea a vote of confidence in May encouraging Joiner to share technical research with City Public Works Director Frank Baugh to move the project forward.
After meeting with Baugh, Joiner received blessing to conduct preliminary work at the slab such as clearing dirt, weeds and removing old barn posts.
He completed the work by August and returned to Public Works.
Joiner has skilled labor lined up to build the park. He’s waiting on the city’s OK.
“There are a billion people asking me where this is at. Supposedly, we are going to be getting on it soon. It’s not that big of a project, but (Baugh) has to check with (City Manager Barry Jarrett) before moving forward,” Joiner said. “I didn’t think it was going to get done any faster than now.”
Baugh is obligated to get back to the city manager with a recommendation.
“I know Ben has been patient. I want to give him my undivided attention to sit down and frame something that I could present to Mr. Jarrett and the Council for their approval,” Baugh said. “I’d like to take the plan to Council just so they know what we are planning to do out there.”