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updated: 5/4/2010 2:50 PM

Lake Zurich has a change of heart on Breezewald Park beach

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  • Lidia Grigaraviciene of Lake Zurich, with her daughter Greta and neighbor Tyler Kimes, spends a lot of time with her family at Breezewald Park in Lake Zurich because it's walking distance from her home and it's free.

       Lidia Grigaraviciene of Lake Zurich, with her daughter Greta and neighbor Tyler Kimes, spends a lot of time with her family at Breezewald Park in Lake Zurich because it's walking distance from her home and it's free.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
By Phil Collins

Lake Zurich residents will be able to continue enjoying the lake for free this summer.

Breezewald Park beach, the village's only free public beach, will remain open and staffed with lifeguards.

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It appeared the beach, on Lake Zurich, would close when the village board approved a budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year that did not include the $11,000 required to operate it. Village Administrator Bob Vitas said officials found a way to keep the beach open after community members made its importance clear.

The Lake Property Owners Association waived a $5,000 annual membership fee to help the village fund the beach. The village will also be able to use $5,000 in savings on a bid for park maintenance, mowing and landscaping services.

The number of lifeguards staffing the Breezewald Park beach will be reduced from three to two. The beach's hours will be reduced by two hours to help accommodate this change. It will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Brian Delaney, of Lake Zurich, said he and neighbors he spoke with felt it would be a shame to lose the beach. At a board meeting on Monday he said he would help raise money or volunteer if it would keep the beach open.

"The lake is our jewel of our community," Delaney said. "Why would we want to close it?"

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