Algonquin, Carpentersville score grant for Fox River improvements

Algonquin and Carpentersville have snagged a grant from a planning agency that will allow them both to enhance recreational opportunities along the Fox River, which runs through both villages.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning will compile the river access and corridor study at no cost to the villages. The agency's services are valued at about $70,000, said Ben Mason, Algonquin's senior planner.

The planning group and other agencies want to improve access to the Prairie Path and Fox River Trail Path, as well as opening up the river to more recreational opportunities.

For example, the study could conclude that boat launches should be improved or that the villages should offer canoe or kayaking classes, Mason said.

Algonquin took the lead on the grant application and Carpentersville joined in.

“It was great to have a willing partner who has similar goals and we can work together to try to make the river more of a regional draw,” Mason said. “The stretch from Algonquin to Carpentersville is four miles, so that's a very good stretch.”

This isn't the first time the agency has helped both villages.

The metropolitan agency previously completed a study of Carpentersville's Old Town that the village adopted last year as well as funding for Algonquin's downtown plan, which was completed this year.

The Fox River study is expected to start in the spring and take 10 months to complete.

The public would be invited to provide input at a later date, said Justine Reisinger, a planning agency spokeswoman.

She said the agency's officials will stick around for two years once they complete the study to assist with its implementation. The study will also include participation from the McHenry County Conservation District as well as the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, which owns some park space along the river.

Carpentersville Village President Ed Ritter referred questions about the study to Assistant Village Manager Joe Wade, who could not be reached for comment.

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  This is the view from Riverfront Park as the Fox River meanders through Algonquin. A study, soon to be conducted by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, will offer ways for Carpentersville and Algonquin to enhance their riverfronts for recreational use. Brian Hill/, August 2013
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