Scaled-back Des Plaines park renovations proceed, despite no state grant

  • A renovation project at Apache Park on Des Plaines' south side will begin next month, though it will not include a splash pad as originally proposed.

      A renovation project at Apache Park on Des Plaines' south side will begin next month, though it will not include a splash pad as originally proposed. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer, May 2014

  • Plans for renovations to Apache Park originally included a splash pad, but that element of the project is being delayed, park officials say.

    Plans for renovations to Apache Park originally included a splash pad, but that element of the project is being delayed, park officials say. Courtesy of Des Plaines Park District

 
 
Updated 9/24/2015 10:19 AM

The Des Plaines Park District is moving ahead with scaled-back renovations of Apache Park after a state grant for the project was suspended.

The district was due to receive $251,000 from the state Open Space Land Acquisition and Development program, but the funds were suspended in January as part of $26 million in similar state park grants put on hold by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

 

At the time, the governor's office said the action was necessary to address a fiscal crisis Rauner inherited.

The renovation project at Apache Park, 2100 Pine St., will continue, absent a splash pad that the state money would have helped pay for, said Don Miletic, the park district's executive director.

"We have not heard about (the grant) yet, so we're going to continue on and if it comes in, great, but at this point, we're moving forward with the project," Miletic said Wednesday. "We're trying to get things done at Apache Park. The residents need to have a park."

Before the state grant was suspended, park officials were planning a $502,000 renovation to Apache Park. Now, that price has been reduced to $401,000, Miletic said.

The park district increased its contribution to the project by $50,000 to $200,000, while the city's contribution doubled to $200,000 -- using federal Community Development Block Grant funds.

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The renovations include addition of a walking/jogging path, picnic shelter, youth soccer field, community garden and additional lighting.

The site of the proposed splash pad on the north end of the park will be covered by grass for now, but will be equipped with underground plumbing in case a splash pad is added in the future, Miletic said.

He's hopeful the splash pad could be installed in a year, but it's still unknown where funding for it will come from.

It's possible the park district could build up its reserves to pay for it, or maybe split the cost with the city, Miletic said.

On Tuesday, the park board approved a $296,291 contract with Hacienda Landscaping to do the bulk of the park renovations. Park district staff is handling other portions of the project.

Construction is slated to begin next month and conclude by early spring.

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