Wednesday, January 17, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 1/22/18
During a Jan. 16 regular meeting, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted to direct village staff to start the process of transferring six village-operated parks over to the Maywood Park District this year.
The board voted 6 to 1 on the motion, with Mayor Edwenna Perkins providing the only vote against the measure.
The finalization of the transfer is long overdue. In 2006, a ballot measure that passed with more than 75 percent of the vote called for 10 of the 11 parks in Maywood to be under the consolidated ownership of the Maywood Park District.
The village still maintains six of the 10 parks because the consolidation hasn’t been finalized.
Ironically enough, Perkins helped catalyze talks of completing the process when she brought up the issue during a board meeting last October, where the village board authorized a $285,000 payment from one of its TIF funds to help pay for rehabilitation work on the park district-owned 809 W. Madison St. building.
“The entire village is being taxed by the park district,” Perkins said at the time. “They should be taking care of all of the parks.”
In an interview days after that meeting, Lonette Hall, the park district’s executive director, said that the district had already been working on a plan to gradually take control of the parks starting in its next fiscal year, which begins May 1.
She said that the district plans to take three parks during the first fiscal year and three parks during the fiscal year after that one.
“It will be a gradual transition,” Hall said last year. “Our intention is to do an even, easy transition.”
During a Jan. 22 phone interview, Hall said that she had already started talking with Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet about transferring the parks a few months before the village board’s Jan. 16 meeting.
“We already had a plan in mind to make the transition smooth,” she said, adding that a timeline for the transition, along with other details, are still being worked out.
At the Jan. 16 meeting, Trustee Isiah Brandon, who introduced the proposal, said that “we should follow up on that conversation to see how we can [bring] that to fruition.”
Currently, the village maintains Conner-Heise Memorial Park at 10th Ave. and Washington Blvd.; Winfield Scott Park at 17th Ave. and Maywood Drive; Bataan Park at 22nd Ave. and Lexington Ave.; Standard Park at 5th Ave. and Lexington Ave.; Tot Lot Park at 4th Ave. and Huron St.; and Water Works Park at 9th Ave. and Maywood Dr.
The park district maintains the Central Park District (its current headquarters) at 9th Ave. and Madison St.; Burton Park at 16th Ave. and Washington Blvd.; Tot Lot at S. 10th Ave.; and Bosco Park at 21st Ave. and Railroad Ave. The district also maintains a historic property at 216 S. 10th Ave.
The 2006 ballot measure doesn’t apply to the village’s control of Maywood Veterans Memorial Park, located on the corner of 1st Ave. and Oak St., or to the Fred Hampton Aquatic Center (which the village jointly operates with the West Cook YMCA) and the Multipurpose Building at 200 S. 5th Ave. VFP
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