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Work on upper Sankey Park BMX course back on track


March 14, 2018

JAMES GOBLE, center, discusses the Sankey BMX track with city Public Works Director Greg Springman, right, and Planning Director Jerry Sorte.

The City of Sweet Home and City Councilor James Goble have resumed work on the BMX track in Upper Sankey Park.

"The last thing we did was in 2016 when we did a big community drive out here," said Goble, who rides regularly in the park during the summertime. "We reshaped the track, added some jumps and added the kid path."

Since then, nothing has happened with the track, which originally was built in the early 2000s. Goble began working on restoring the BMX course in 2013 after it had become overgrown.

He saw kids using the track, he said, but they were complaining about the condition. That's when he started talking to city officials about working on the track. In May 2013, he joined the Planning Commission. He was appointed to the council in April 2016.

"We're reviving the project," Goble said. "There's been a lot of changes in the city. There's a strong connection between the city and community now, with a lot more proactive action taking place to better the community."

Cityy Public Works crews went to work recently in the upper part of the park, at 877 14th Ave., just north of Elm Street, bringing in a mixture of rock and clay for use on the track, removing damaged fencing and controlling vegetation.

They'll widen paths to 42 inches, Goble said. Right now, the main path varies from less than 12 inches to 2 feet. The widened paths will provide more surface area for jumps.

"I think the plan is to level off the top outside areas," said Public Works Director Greg Springman. The long-term goal is to "make this upper area more useful."

That's the "kids path," a ring around the course, Goble said. The area is like a green path for beginning skiers.

Workers will adjust the angles on jumps to allow more inexperienced riders to navigate them while allowing experienced riders to hit them harder for jumps, Goble said.

The city will add some benches around the course for parents and observers, along with more picnic tables around the upper park, Springman said.

The city will remove vegetation from around the track to make it safer, Springman said. The vegetation can cause riders to crash when they run onto it.

The city will leave some vegetation on the hillsides to keep them stable, he said.

The city will need to remove and replace concrete pads in the upper park to secure benches, Springman said, helping create more usable space.

The goal is to complete the basic project and hold a grand opening in late spring or early summer, Springman said.

Once the project is complete, Public Works staff will be responsible to maintain the track and control vegetation, he said.

A BMX PATH climbs a hill on the Upper Sankey Park BMX track.

Work continues on the lower part of the park as well, Springman said. The Park and Tree Committee has gone through the park and identified trees for removal, and the city has been cleaning up vege-tation toward Ames Creek.

"What we've heard from the Park and Tree Committee is a desire to move forward with developing (Sankey Park)," said Community and Economic Director Jerry Sorte.

The city has a Parks Master Plan, and in the past couple of years completed a Sankey Park Concept Plan, Sorte said. "We've been putting our heads together about how we can keep moving forward."

"This is a big pull together by the community and the city," Goble said. "For awhile, it's been them and us, and now it's us working for the betterment of our community."

Goble said that the project will include community work parties. Anyone interested in the project can follow it and receive notifications about work parties on Sankey Park BMX Track Facebook page.


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