Omaha Skateboarders Fight Back After City Tears Down Homemade Ramps

The City of Omaha has reached a compromise with skateboarders after city crews tore down skate ramps constructed at Lynch Park in south Omaha by neighborhood residents.

The demolition of the makeshift skate park attracted a lot of negative attention and many people were downtown to show their support for the neighborhood skate ramps.

City crews had to cut bolts out of the tennis court in order to remove the ramps neighbors had constructed. City officials say the ramps were dangerous and did not meet city code.

A city official tells 6 News the tennis courts at Lynch Park were paid for by donor’s years ago. “So we would honor that, a family foundation gave us money to redo tennis courts we would always want to maintain that integrity,” says Parks Director Brook Bench.

More than three dozen skateboarders from across the city gathered outside of city council offices to show support for the skate park.

“My property taxes have gone up over 100 percent in the last five years and if these kids want a skate park I’d like to see a skate park,” Siobhan Kozisek, who lives in the Field Club neighborhood.

“With the kids making things happen on their own and the city taking it away before we could actually have a conversation I think has really hit people in the hearts,” Dundee resident Dave Nelson told 6 News.

Supporters are hopeful that they have opened the door on the future of skateboarding in South Omaha.

Mayor Jean Stothert says the city will evaluate the desire for a skatepark in South Omaha and look at Lynch Park as well as other areas as a possible site.

Stothert also approved the installation of a temporary skatepark at Lynch Park with equipment approved by the Parks Department.

FBL-WC-2014-FEATURE

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