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Proposed Parks Budget Focuses On Finishing Crawford Park Projects

If passed, the budget would increase almost 60 percent.

The Parks and Recreation Commission will ask the Village Board for $46,000 next year, as opposed to the $29,140 budget it has this year.

John Leiber, president of the Commission, presented his proposals to the commission Sept. 15. Leiber noted that there are two one-time expenses in next year’s budget that have to be addressed.

The Commission wants to spend $8,000 painting the maintenance building and $5,000 to furnish a new concession stand at Crawford Park. The proposed budget calls for $3,000 for equipment, $1,000 for utilities and $1,000 for janitorial supplies, some of which will be used for the concession stand, the budget indicates. An extra $1,000 is also budgeted for the salaries of seasonal park employees.

“We do expect revenues to go up as a result of the concession stand,” Leiber said. “A lot of these are one-time expenses.”

Revenue from the concession stand is expected to be about $1,000 next year, according to the budget’s estimates.

The commission also will seek $11,000 for mowing costs, a 26.5 percent increase from the $8,690 budgeted for mowing this year. Leiber attributed that to higher fuel costs and also because the commission is now responsible for mowing half of .

Leiber will eventually present this budget proposal to the Village Board for approval, though he said a date for that meeting has not been set.

The commission also debated constructing either a new soccer field or installing a new scoreboard at Crawford. Since impact fees would pay for the projects, the funds would have to be approved now, or they would not be able to be used again for about 10 years, Leiber said.

A new soccer field would cost about $24,000 in grading and construction, without seeding and landscaping the field. The commission had one proposal that indicated the seeding would cost about $8,000. A scoreboard would cost about $5,000 each.

“It seems like it (the soccer field) would give more use to the park,” said Scott Warner, vice president of the Commission. “We could also look for advertisers and sponsors to pay for the scoreboard.”

The commission approved proceeding with construction of the soccer field. It will take the current proposal for the grading work, which is about a year and a half old, to the Village Board in order to determine whether or not the contract needs to be put to competitive bid. If it does not, the commission granted Bob Stauss, the commission secretary, the authority to negotiate a better price for the project, with a spending cap of $24,000.

“I would feel so much better if we checked on that,” said Kathy Burton, a Commission and Village Board member.

Leiber also updated the commission on possible improvements at Nicholson Wildlife Center. Melissa Warner, a Caledonia resident, is interested in soliciting grants to improve the park. Warner would continue to use her connections with local donors to generate interest for the project.

The goal of the project would be to make the park more accessible year-round by constructing a boardwalk, as the park is prone to floods. Leiber also said the project could possibly be paid for by donors or a local nonprofit.

“I’m looking at Nicholson as the next park to really focus on,” Leiber said.

Dennis Gehrke September 17, 2011 at 01:25 PM
Shouldn't we pave the lot before we try to improve things as suggested by the commission? I understood there were developer dollars that expired to pave the lot. What happened there? The park does not get usage for many reasons, and expanded facilities is one of them, however, so is upkeep including the lot and the lack of supervision over vandals and just generally low quality people that ruin the experiience for those with kids. I would just as soon goto Village Green in Wind Point. Clean, safe, and no low life's hanging around getting into trouble. Anyone agree?

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