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New SPLOST skateboard parks proposed for Sweetwater, Pitts Street and Dearing

Local recreation officials are moving closer to setting a plan to build sales tax-funded skate parks at Sweetwater and Pitts Street parks in Thomson, as well as Eubank Park in Dearing..

A total of $300,000 is earmarked from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) in McDuffie County to fund the project. Originally, plans had called for just one skateboard park with a price tag of $300,000. However, Thomson-McDuffie County Recreation and Leisure Services Director Bob Howard said that money could be used to build smaller parks.

The first allotment of money for the project isn't expected until July or August, Mr. Howard told members of the Thomson-McDuffie Recreation Advisory Board last Wednesday.

Mr. Howard said it made sense to build more than one park because it made access to the facilities easier for young skaters.

Mr. Howard said he had spoken with Dearing Mayor Sean Kelley and that he favors the idea. Such a park, according to Mr. Howard, would be constructed on old tennis courts adjacent the newly renovated old Dearing Gym.

Several board members, including Alton Belton and Bill Doup, agreed that such a facility should be considered for the city limits. Mr. Belton, who aside from serving as a recreation advisory board member also serves as Thomson mayor pro-tem, said he feels the need for such a park in the city because a lot of children can't ride their bikes to Sweetwater Park.

Mr. Doup, meanwhile, concurred with Mr. Belton saying he supports the idea of a city skateboard park in Thomson, too.

Local recreation officials currently are engaged in conducting a survey with residents in the county to garner feedback concerning possible locations.

Another question on the survey asks participants where they would like to see an Olympic sized swimming pool located in the county.

Answers received from some of those who have participated thus far favor Sweetwater Park for the swimming pool - the funding of which won't come until another phase of SPLOST V.


The voters of McDuffie County approved the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax last October. Part of the SPLOST V included a new skate park and swimming pool. The Thomson-McDuffie Recreation Advisory Board would like your input on where the facilities will be built. Please answer the following questions as your opinion is very important.

NOTE: When the form is submitted properly, you will be returned to the McDuffie Mirror homepage. Thank you for your comments.

Do you participate in skateboarding?
Will you participate after the park is built?
Where do you think the skate park needs to be located?

1. Pitts Street

2. Sweetwater Park

3. Bill Eubanks Park - Dearing

4. Other - please write-in a location

Would you like to see a skate park built in:

1. Dearing and Thomson

2. Thomson only

Would you like to see a swimming pool built in:

1. Pitts Street

2. Sweetwater Park

3. Other - please specify a location


Web posted on Thursday, February 19, 2009

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