Stage, splash pad and more planned for South Elgin park
The South Elgin village board gave the green light for a major overhaul of Panton Mill Park to include a stage, splash pad, picnic shelter and restrooms, with assurances the work will be done in time for Riverfest Express in August.
The village board approved a $241,000 contract for design services from Wight & Company of Darien, whose senior landscape architect Patty King presented a concept plan for the park during the meeting Monday. There will be landscaping, pathways for pedestrians, a concession stand, lighting, and a water bill drop box/turnaround.
Several village board members said they were glad the park would become a greater asset for the community. "I really like this concept," Trustee Lisa Guess said.
Residents also gave positive feedback during an open house Nov. 12, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Kim Wascher said.
There was no discussion of the park project's price tag on Monday. According to documents presented to the village by Wight & Company, the preliminary estimate is $4 million to $4.5 million.
Village officials said funding will come mainly from tax-increment financing funds -- that's tax dollars above a certain threshold set aside for redevelopment -- and possibly water funds, not from general revenue that are used for things like street improvements.
Village Administrator Steve Super said tax revenue from new housing developments and new businesses, including a Wayfair distribution center, made the Panton Mill Park project possible. "This is the reward. This is the community reward," he said.
Village President Steve Ward said on Tuesday that Synergy Construction Group of Chicago, the developer of the Panton Mill Station apartment complex nearby, is contributing $300,000 for the stage and also building a bus stop on Route 31.
The goal is to seek bids for the Panton Mill Park project in mid-February and start work as soon as the ground thaws, Wascher said.
Many of the components will be prefabricated, which will keep costs down and ensure speedier delivery, she said.
The village will figure out where to relocate the veterans memorial at the park, or possibly build a new memorial elsewhere, to suitably honor veterans, village officials said.