Romeoville trustees OK park improvement projects

Ron Kremer | 8/6/2014, 9:41 p.m.
The village will spend more than $340,000 to complete work at Boucher Prairie Park and Lakewood Estates Park.
An artist's rendering of the restroom project at Boucher Prairie Park was displayed during the Romeoville Village Board meeting Wednesday night. Ron Kremer

Romeoville Recreation Director Kelly Rajzer

Romeoville Recreation Director Kelly Rajzer

As Romeoville Village Trustee Brian Clancy put it, “You have to pay to play.”

And pay for two park improvement projects totaling $340,266 is what the Romeoville Village Board agreed to do during its meeting Wednesday night.

The board OK’d a resolution to waive the bidding process and award contracts to George’s Landscaping Inc. and Hitchcock Design for plans and construction of a restroom structure at Boucher Prairie Park and a renovation of Lakewood Estates Park, a job that will include replacing old, outdated playground equipment, building a new shelter and widening an entry path.

“Yes, definitely, some good things are happening out there,” Clancy said. “It’s for the safety of the people. Also, I made reference to the fact they’re going to widen the path from four feet to eight feet so that way the chief (Romeoville Fire Chief Kent Adams) and his crews—or any police department responders—can get to an emergency in a hurry.

“It’s a way of keeping up. Everything gets old and rusty at times—whether we want to admit it or not, like with some of our health issues. ... I just wanted to let everybody know that we are looking out for the people’s safety.”

Clancy’s remarks came on the heels of a presentation by Romeoville Recreation Director Kelly Rajzer. She outlined the two projects—$129,134 for restrooms at Boucher Prairie Park and $211,132 for renovation at Lakewood Estates. She noted the two projects together will come in at $9,733 under what originally was budgeted by the village.

Both are expected to be completed by summer 2015.

Rajzer said the water line from the existing splash pad and sewer line located along the Richfield Trail right-of-way can be used for the bathroom enhancement at Boucher Park.

She said it makes sense for the village to continue to do business with George’s Landscaping on the two projects because the two entities have developed a mutually beneficial relationship. Among the projects completed by the company for the village are Westlake Park, Nottingham Ridge Park, Pacific Park, Village Park, Deer Crossing Park, the Dale Blue football field at the Rec Center and the baseball field renovations at Century Park.

“Everybody’s been pretty well-versed with the quality of work they’ve been able to perform,” Romeoville Mayor John Noak said.

“This is a great project. You’ve seen these types of things not only from other park districts and rec agencies but also forest preserves, key enhancements that will lead to increased utilization of the parks. Hopefully, in the next few years, we’ll be able to do some things at other locations as well.”

Rajzer said much of the original equipment was put in Lakewood Estates Park 14 years ago—in 1999. And poor drainage leads to flooding in the park at times.

“The equipment has become outdated, and it is becoming harder to replace parts due to changes in playground safety standards,” Rajzer said. “We also have received calls from residents because some of the equipment is beginning to rust and peel.”

Rajzer said the new equipment will meet handicap accessibility guidelines and new grading will take care of drainage issues.

“I just want to commend you on being able to combine these projects to make this work,” Trustee Dave Richards said. “What was originally discussed as one project has now turned into improving two facilities and something residents have asked about. It’s always nice when we hear people and try to give them what they need to better their lives.”