Mount Prospect board debates water fountain for new downtown park
Mount Prospect village trustees have approved a $590,000 plan for the construction of a new park across from village hall, but whether it will include a costly water feature remains a point of contention.
Edwin and Elsie (Meyn) Busse Park will sit at the northeast corner of Emerson Street and Busse Avenue, where the village last year purchased and leveled two homes owned by the Busse family.
A fountain near the corner is part of the final design approved by trustees Feb. 5, but board members remain split on feature, which would add an additional $190,000 to the park's price tag plus an estimated $15,000 in annual maintenance costs. Two trustees, William Grossi and Richard Rogers, voted against the design as a result.
"Our budget was $675,000. With the water feature, we're talking $780,000. So we're $105,000 over budget," Grossi said. "When I originally voted in favor of purchasing these properties, it was open space, green space. I wasn't voting for a fountain."
"The cost of this is just getting to be outrageous. $200,000 for a fountain, I think, is extremely excessive," Rogers added. "And it's an item that you're only going to use four months out of the year. It's hard to justify that cost."
However, Community Development Director Bill Cooney said cost estimates include a 20-percent contingency, so the final price may not be over budget, even with the fountain. Other officials suggested the village could seek donations or sponsors to lessen the reliance on public funding.
Trustees Colleen Saccotelli and Michael Zadel are among the board members who favor the water feature.
"It's going to help define the downtown," Saccotelli said. "It's going to be a gathering place, something to draw people in and keep them around our downtown area."
"The cost of it, I don't think, is excessive at all," Zadel added. "If we're going to do this, we're going to do it right."