Lakemoor buys home for park expansion
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Lakemoor officials are investing in Morrison Park on Lily Lake in what someday could be a bigger picture, long-range vision.
Trustees recently authorized the purchase of a single-family home that adjoins the park on the namesake lake south of Route 120 for $185,000.
The village got involved when the home went up for sale.
"The opportunity was there. The price was right. Better to secure it now," Mayor Todd Weihofen said.
The next step is to be determined, pending a closing on the property, likely within four to six weeks.
"We don't know what we're going to do with it. It will probably be a park expansion," Weihofen said.
The park, established in 1993, hugs the northern and eastern shores of Lily Lake and is the site of the village's annual festival, which features a renowned fireworks show shot from a privately owned island in the lake.
Amenities includes a boat launch, basketball court, skateboard area, and a tiny beach.
The three-bedroom home is modest but in good shape. Whether it stays or is torn down will be determined by the village board.
Three or four other homes and a restaurant also are park neighbors, completing the corner at Route 120 and Sheridan Road.
While it admittedly could be a long process, the village wants to improve the lake and the adjoining area.
"The village board and the mayor especially are really trying to promote the lake," Village Administrator David Alarcon said.
The village owns about a third of the 123-acre lake and the rest is privately owned.
"We'd like to make the lake more accessible to our residents and make it more useful," Weihofen said. "It's obviously going to be a long-range plan to revitalize the lake."
The village at some point may hire a consultant but in the interim is "trying to do some of the legwork ourselves," according to Weihofen.
"It's a ways away right now with the economy," he said of any major plans.
The village is seeking grants for shoreline restoration, for example, and plans for an ice fishing festival are being discussed.
As a sign of the renewed awareness, an image of a man fishing on Lily Lake in the 1930s is on the current village vehicle sticker.
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