Wednesday, May 2, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Community members gather in Winfield Scott Park during the summer in 2014. | File
A Maywood park, long something of an eye-sore for residents and that is considered to be in the worst shape among the roughly dozen public parks currently maintained by either the village or park district, will soon get a makeover.
During a regular meeting on May 1, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted unanimously in favor of the installation of new playground equipment and a power box necessary to restore lighting at Winfield Scott Park, at 17th Ave. and Maywood Dr. in Maywood. Trustee Ron Rivers was absent.
During the Tuesday meeting, the board approved a recommendation from John West, Maywood’s public works director, to pay H&H Electric roughly $17,000 to install and connect an electrical cabinet in the park so that ComEd workers can restore power can to park lights and a score board at the park.
West said that ComEd had disconnected power to the park sometime ago, which left the old electrical cabinet without any voltage. West said that the wiring in the old electrical cabinet was stolen. He did not say how long it might be before electrical power is ultimately restored to the park.
The lighting will complement the addition of new playground equipment that will be installed in the park. The new equipment will be paid for by a grant funded by KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit “dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids,” according its website.
Lonette Hall, the executive director of the Maywood Park District, which secured the grant, said that the park district needed the village’s permission to allow the equipment to be installed in order to finalize the grant.
All village board members voted to sign off on the installation, but permission is contingent on the execution of an intergovernmental agreement between the village and the park district.
Winfield Scott Park is currently one of six parks in Maywood owned and maintained by the village. The park district and the village, however, are in the process of transferring six parks that the latter currently owns and operates over to the former taxing body — a transaction required by a referendum that passed over a decade ago.
While the KaBOOM! equipment is installed, however, Winfield Scott will still be under village control. An IGA will address liability issues and other legal matters, and will include a timeline for when the park transfers will be complete, Hall said.
Hall explained that KaBOOM! requires community leaders to gather input on how residents want the park to look and the kind of equipment that is installed.
Dawn Rone, the Maywood Park District Commission president, said that park district officials met with representatives from other taxing bodies, such as Districts 89 and 209, in order to generate stakeholder interest and gather public input.
Hall said that Winfield Scott was selected for the new equipment because officials have determined that the park is in the worst shape of the dozen or so parks that are controlled either by the village or the park district.
The KaBOOM! project installation process culminates on what the nonprofit calls “Build Day,” when area volunteers gather to install the playground equipment in less than 24 hours.
Hall said she and other community leaders are looking to recruit approximately 175 volunteers to successfully install the equipment, which will make for 2,500 square-feet of playground space that will accommodate up to 250 people.
“Our target is the third week in September, so that we can have [the playground] installed and ready for play on Sept. 26,” Hall said. VFP
For more local news, ‘Like’ our Facebook page