Mount Prospect commits about $250,000 to Lions Park improvements

Mount Prospect will throw some of its financial weight behind renovations to Lions Memorial Park.

The village board decided this week to pour about $250,000 into the project, with the funding coming from a tax increment financing district and federal Community Development Block Grants.

"Lions Park itself actually is in a census tract that qualifies for expenditures of block grant funds," Community Development Director Bill Cooney said.

The park project will get $191,000 from the village's $446,000 block grant allocation. The village board approved the allocation Tuesday.

Mount Prospect Park District Executive Director Jim Jarog said block grant funds would be used for pathway improvements that will allow children to walk safely to neighboring Lions Park Elementary School. It would also promote easier access to the Veterans Memorial Bandshell for seniors and residents with special needs.

Village Manager Michael Cassady said more than $58,000 would come from the Prospect and Main TIF district. The board will vote at a later date to release those funds.

The park district is forging ahead with Phase I of the Lions Park project, at an estimated cost of $1.9 million. Mount Prospect Elementary School District 57 is partnering on some of the playground improvements.

The plan features a playground with shelter, refurbished tennis courts, a pathway system, ballfield improvements, a fitness station and a picnic grove at the park, located south of the village's downtown.

Cooney said the village is focusing more on public facilities in allocating the block grants, spending $186,000 for a mini soccer pitch at Euclid School as well.

Jarog recently told the village's planning and zoning commission that the park district was impacted by COVID, losing about $3 million in recreational programming revenue, adding that the district was not eligible for the financial relief other agencies received.

Mount Prospect village trustees approved a plan this week to contribute about $250,000 toward improvements at Lions Memorial Park. Courtesy of the Mount Prospect Park District
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