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Park Ridge Considers $7.1 Million Pool Plan

On Thursday, the Park Ridge Park District will consider spending $7.1 million, but there is nothing on its website about what the money would go for. The district will ask voters for an additional $6.6 million on the April ballot.

 

On Thursday, the Park Ridge Park District will consider whether to spend $7.1 million to demolish the two pools at the outdoor Centennial Pool complex and rebuild it using a new layout and design.

Most district residents--who live in Park Ridge and the southwest quadrant of Niles--first learned of the cost last week, and many residents do not yet know the district also plans to ask them on the April ballot whether they want to spend $6.6 million to acquire land at the former Youth Campus on Prospect Avenue in Park Ridge. 

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The district has said it would not need voter approval to spend the $7.1 million to re-do the Centennial Pool complex, and that it would not raise property taxes. However, if the $6.6 million April referendum to buy the land passes, then property taxes would increase.

Information?

The park district's website contains no information about the Centennial Pool complex plans or the proposed $7.1 million price tag as of late Monday, three days before the park board's meeting.

There was a brief mention of the proposed renovation in the district's fall brochure and in an email sent to the park district's email list subscribers last week, but no dollar figure was mentioned. The information stated only that the 58-year-old Centennial Pool has outlived its life expectancy. 

Last week's email invited voters to an open house to explain the plans for Centennial's demolition and reconstruction, which Patch reported on.  In August, the district also told residents it would be asking for their input. 

Questions that haven't been answered

On Monday, April Armer, the district's Superintendent of Recreation, emailed the .pdf attached to this article, which contains a drawing of the proposed plans for Centennial Pool.

Later today, the park district will provide information on questions such as:

1) How was the $7.1 million plan arrived at? Could a simpler plan or variations in the plan cost less?

2) Could the $7.1 million be instead applied to the purchase of the Youth Campus land, and Centennial renovation made simpler and/or put on hold until the park district saves up money in its reserves for a thorough renovation--without a tax increase?

Park District executive director Gayle Mountcastle was not in the office Monday, Armer said. Phone calls to park district board members Rick Biagi, Mary Wynn Ryan and Richard Brandt were not returned. 

Patch will update in a timely fashion.

Concerned November 14, 2012 at 04:40 AM
7 million for two pools? Hey, why not make it 20 million, and put in a slide. When will the spending end? This city will one day be known as the "city of transients". Move in for the schools and get out before the taxes bury you in financial ruin. Oh, wait folks....we need more park land in this community like a hole in our head. 6.6 million to just acquire the land of the former youth campus? What are we going to do with it? Leave it as undeveloped land? Or how about "lets build something on it". Hey, how about a couple of more pools? Looks like we need another 7 million and we are going to raise your taxes again..... Here's an idea, maintain the existing pools. Let a developer buy the former youth campus and bring in some new tax money. This way, those new homes will bring in tax money every year, instead of another park that keeps draining the coffers.
Wendy November 15, 2012 at 10:24 PM
I would hate to see the last piece of open green space in Park Ridge developed into 40+ homes, upscale or not. This is a community that utilizes its park space and the park facilities are bursting at the seams. I don't understand why people would want this beautiful space turned into more homes when we could have a beautiful new park.
Quagmire November 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM
I would not want 40+ homes in there either, I can't imagine that many homes fitting into that space. I thought maybe 20 by the time they put in streets and cul de sacs water electric sewers etc. So maybe green space would be better as long as it wasn't an attraction for other cities and suburbs to frequent to cause more traffic on Prospect where the speed limit is never enforced.
Quagmire November 24, 2012 at 11:26 AM
I agree , what developer "in their right mind" with the best interest of Park Ridge would ever propose a 40 home plan for the Youth Campus?? Certainly one whose ulterior motive is not the benefit of Park Ridges residents.

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