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FWB ending lease for BMX property
The City of Fort Walton Beach held a vote tonight that could have a major impact on a BMX course and Skate park in the city.
Now the future of the park is up in the air.
Since 2001, Emerald Coast Dirt and Vert has held a lease with Ft. Walton Beach to operate this BMX track and Skate park in the city.
Since 2010 all of the costs to operate the park fell to the company, who sold monthly memberships and a fee for a one time visit to offset those costs.
On Monday, the City Council decided to allow that lease to expire at the end of 2014.
It's got some who use the park, like Cole Morrow, concerned about it's future.
"I put all my time and stuff into this, sweat and tears and stuff. And it's just really my passion. It teaches you so many things, it teaches you how to set goals, it improves your social skills..I mean, just all kinds of stuff. I don't know what I'd be doing without it."
The two acre park sits on city property adjacent to the multimillion dollar recreational facility that's currently being built.
City officials say they want to take the two acres back and, regardless of what it's used for, make it match the rest of the new facility.
E.C. Dirt and Vert owner Bill Madden says with a little city help the property could easily fit their plans as is.
"As far as matching what they have, the biggest thing that I see is it's going to be right next to a ball field that has grass on it, so I mean, matching the look to it is not hard at all."
The city says it has no plans about what to do with the property, but has made suggestions including a skate plaza, an interactive water park for children, and a picnic and pavilion era.
Madden says hundreds of kids use the property now, and he hopes the city does what's best for them.
"This park is their outlet, this park is their passion. This is the one spot they can go and do those things without fear of being in a place where the police have to be called and take them away or something like that, just riding around the streets."
Madden says he estimates around 400 people consistently use the park.