Two Republican candidates have different vision for Lake County Forest Preserve development
One Republican candidate for county board wants more amenities at Wauconda-area site
One of the Republican candidates running for the 10th District seat on the Lake County Board and Lake County Forest Preserve District board would like public amenities added to a Wauconda-area site the forest district purchased in 2015.
The other GOP hopeful doesn't want amenities added to any preserves until a thorough study of the county's needs can be conducted.
The 21 members of the county board also serve on the forest district board.
Bartels and Atleson were asked for their thoughts on future forest district projects by the Daily Herald. Although most of the county's forest preserves have trails, picnic shelters, canoe launches or other public amenities, some don't.
Bartels, a county commissioner since 2014, said he'd like to see public access and amenities offered at a 337-acre site the district purchased in 2015 as an addition to the Ray Lake Forest Preserve.
Acquired for nearly $10.5 million, the land is on the east side of Fairfield Road near Erhart Road in the 10th District. Formerly owned by the Cuneo family, much of it has been used for farming.
Plans for environmental restoration or public amenities haven't been made for the site, but Bartels is eager for both.
"The board discussed ideas before making the purchase decision," he said. "My first principle for nearly every forest preserve is that they must be accessible and inviting to all residents."
Atleson, a township trustee since 2013, called for "an overall assessment" of the diverse needs of Lake County residents before any further forest district amenities are built. Officials then should integrate those needs into the district's strategic plan and determine "how our precious tax dollars are to be spent," Atleson said.
Wauconda resident David Spada is running a Republican primary write-in campaign for the post, too.
The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Jessica Vealitzek of Hawthorn Woods in the November general election.
The 10th District includes parts of Mundelein, Round Lake Park, Wauconda, Hawthorn Woods and Long Grove.