Sunday, October 14, 2018 || By Igor Studenkov || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Pioneer Park in Broadview, which is slated for improvements next year. | Broadview Park District
The Broadview Park District is looking to embark on major renovations to Pioneer Park. The park district plans to build a new baseball field and a new playground, along with constructing new sidewalks.
The district recently applied for an Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant in the hopes of receiving $400,000 to help fund the renovations.
Reggie Davis, the parks’ executive director, said that, even if they don’t get the grant, they plan to do some sidewalks and baseball field improvements; the district, however, would not be able to do as much.
“If we don’t get $400,000, we will do some more basic things,” he said.
If the district does get the grant, officials hope to start work in March or April of next year. The work would take less than two months to complete.
The OSLAD grant is a state grant issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The funds can be used to buy land to build and expand parks, as well as to renovate existing facilities.
Each applicant could get up to $750,000 for land acquisition and up to $400,000 for renovations. And, in both cases, the grant would cover up to 50 percent of the project costs (though the limit goes up to 90 percent for distressed communities).
Pioneer Park is located on a land wedged between 25th Avenue, 14th Street, a freight railroad embankment and a property line near the mid-point between 24th and 23rd avenues. It has a small field house, a baseball field, a playground and a tennis court.
Davis said that he found out about the grant two weeks before the Oct. 1 deadline. It forced the park district to scramble, but he felt that it was worth it to at least apply.
The park district’s Board of Commissioners held a meeting on Sept. 27 to give the public a chance to comment on the grant application and approve the application itself.
Davis said that commissioners didn’t get much feedback during the hearing, but when he discussed the grant with residents one-on-one, the responses he heard have been positive.
According to OSLAD grant web page, the Department of Natural Resources will let the applicants know whether they got the grant within six months of the deadline — which means that the Broadview Park District won’t have the answer until March 2019 at the earliest. VFP
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