“Yes, he probably needed an attitude adjustment, but nonetheless, what happened was overkill and invited me to start looking for a constructive answer to the dilemma,” Kiesser said. “When I heard about the skate park project, though, I knew it could be a way to make something good come out of what had happened.”
Almost two years later, Kiesser surprised city parks officials last week when he followed through on his promise to donate $1,000 to the skate park after construction commenced. The contribution marks the single largest — in fact, the only — donation to date, according to Adrienne Chaney, the parks and recreation director.
“We were beyond thrilled to get the money, but more so because it really shows the kind of support we have for the skate park,” Chaney said. “For them to keep the pledge they made us years ago during these economic times is really just awe-inspiring.”
Though Kiesser acknowledged the skate park will open too late for his son, John, who is now 17, he said the promise he made to support it remained worthy, because it demonstrated where the city’s priorities should lie.
“It’s ridiculous that we have denied the youth places to go for so long,” he said. “I want this to signal a turn in the right direction.”
Moving forward, Chaney said the donation and the $1,000 the skate park task force has raised through fundraisers will help with the remaining construction and landscape costs. Last March, the City Council set aside $437,500 from community impact fees — in addition to the $250,000 they promised the year before — toward building the skate park and all its amenities for $727,400 near the corner of Sperry and Las Palmas avenues.
Construction on the 14,000-square-foot park began early last month. A tentative grand-opening date has been set for May.
• Contact Kendall Septon at 892-6187 or firstname.lastname@example.org.