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updated: 10/13/2010 11:21 AM

Citizen survey to help craft 5-year Lindenhurst parks plan

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Use and satisfaction with Lindenhurst Park District facilities has increased since 2004, but to what extent community input will shape new offerings during the next five years is a work in progress.

A survey this past summer completed by 604 respondents showed a higher percentage rated facilities and programs as good or excellent than in the last district survey six years ago. The results also were above state and national averages, the district recently reported.

While satisfaction with the offerings has increased since 2004, respondents identified adult fitness/wellness and indoor sports programs as unmet needs. Community special events and youth sports programs also made the needs list.

"One area they were real strong on was anything to do with cardiovascular fitness, said Tom Lippert, the district's executive director. "We don't have a fitness center or the equipment. There's just a lot of competition.

The survey by Leisure Vision of Olathe, KS, was commissioned to establish priorities for future facilities, programs and services. The cost was $14,000, officials said.

"We're ready to do a new five-year master plan from 2011 to 2015. We want to make sure we include public input, Lippert said.

While there is a market for increasing space for a weight room or cardiovascular programs, such as aerobics, only about a quarter of those surveyed would be willing to pay from $10 to $15 a month more in fees for those options.

Whether added fees coupled with expected use would be enough to proceed with an expansion of the Lindenhurst Community Center are among the questions the park board and staff will be discussing.

"That's what we're analyzing right now, Lippert said.

The updated master plan is expected to be done by the end of the year.

Lippert said the district also is considering using facilities at other locations for new programs, such as cooking classes.

"Those are the things we'll be looking into. That doesn't mean that if we don't expand the community center we won't be doing anything, he said.

A community center expansion would be expensive, but good construction prices and the possibility of low interest federal loans have to be considered, he added.

"When it's all built out, can we afford the payback? Lippert said.

The updated master plan is expected to be done by the end of the year. Survey results are available on the newsroom feature at