Lake Zurich moves forward with Paulus Park proposal

By Jennifer Earl
Updated 6/25/2012 11:45 PM

Paulus Park may finally get the facelift that park and recreation members have been discussing for over a year.

The Lake Zurich village board voted Monday night at a special village board meeting to approve a proposal to improve the park.


The village's Special Park and Recreation Advisory Board and Norris Design, a planning and landscape architecture firm, has been revamping the plan for the park, at 200 S. Rand Road, for the past three months.

The village board rejected a nearly $1 million proposal last year because of cost concerns.

Keith Demchinski, principal from Norris Design, said the park and recreation board reduced the cost of the project while still including necessary park improvements.

"We've looked at the cost implications a bit more and have a better feeling and a better handle for the actual net costs to the village," Demchinski said.

The project was scaled down from $997,000 to $760,400 for spending on interactive park equipment, an amphitheater, a fishing dock with an 88-foot path, a pavilion with a capacity of 100, and enhancements to the park's wetlands.

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Trustee Rich Sustich said he'd also like to see bike racks and restroom improvements added to the plan, which officials said could be considered.

The park and recreation board will apply for an Open Space Land Acquisition & Development grant by July 1. If approved, the grant will provide up to $380,200, half the cost of the project.

In addition, the board estimates it would get $20,000 in local contributions and $165,800 from the SRA Tax Levy, collected to provide special recreation, which means the village would use only a total of $194,400 from the park and recreation fund.

Mike Perkins, director of park and recreation, said he will start campaigning to raise money for the project as soon as the application for the grant is sent.

Rich Politowicz, chairman of community services for the Lake Zurich Rotary Club, is part of one local group that pledges to contribute to the project both fiscally and physically.


"Hopefully we'll be the lead local community service club that gets everyone excited about making this happen," he said.

Trustee Dana Rzeznik believes the village was smart to make a move while there are still funds available.

"In the past I wouldn't want to spend a penny," she said. "However, those OSLAD grants have been getting smaller and smaller and the financial situation of this state is getting worse and worse. I'm not sure how long these funds will be available."

If the village receives the OSLAD grant, work could begin as early as August 2013. The village would pay for the project upfront and be reimbursed after its completion.

"It feels great to know that the village and the community are supportive and stand behind the project," Demchinski said. "It is definitely going to be a benefit to the community and to the village."

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