The City of Rolling Meadows and the Salt Creek Park District last week celebrated a two-year joint effort to rebuild South Park and address neighborhood flooding problems.
"It's a brand new park," said Rob Horne, assistant director of public works, who joined the city just in time to be sent to a community meeting on the flooding problem led by then alderman now Mayor Len Prejna.
As the city looked into the problem, officials became aware of the park district's imminent rebuild of the park at 2004 S. Theda Lane. The two bodies worked together and the park district agreed to delay the rebuild for six months so that the city could design and get Metropolitan Water Reclamation District approval of flood control measures that wouldn't interfere with park operations, Horne said.
In the end, the city spent about $600,000 and the park district about $400,000 on the project, he said.
The flooding stems from runoff from the Route 53 off ramps, Horne said. City changes include a flood control basin in a corner of the park that will temporarily store runoff until it can be slowly drained into the sewer system.
The city also did other storm sewer, water main and street repaving work in the neighborhood, as well as repaving the park parking lot.
The park district installed all new equipment and rebuilt sports fields, donating the old equipment to an organization, Kids Around the World, that distributes it to needy communities.
City and park district officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for residents last Thursday at the park with Aurelio's, Savory Salads and Culver's donating food and sponsorship for the event.
"People were awe-struck by how it's changed," Horne said of the improvements.