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Millenium Committee discusses sports park plans

Thursday, March 20, 2003 Posted 9:30 p.m.
The Millenium Committee met at City Hall Thursday night with Farnsworth engineer Jeff Gastel to discuss plans for the development of the proposed sports park at the north end of the city. The major issue discussed was insurance coverage for the skate board park. Jay Jochums of Meyers-Jochums Insurance Agency said that the lowest possible quote he could get to provide liability insurance for the skate park by itself was $10,000 a year. City Administrator Trent Smith said that if the park was owned by the city, the skateboard park would come under the city's insurance coverage and there would be no extra charge for insurance. Bob Hakes asked Smith to see if the city's insurance carrier would agree to cover the insurance if the city were to enter a 99 year lease on the property. If that is not an option, Ned Leiken suggested that the committee might deed the land occupied by the skate park to the city in order to get free insurance coverage.

Farnsworth engineer Jeff Gastel recommended that the various construction projects within the park be put out to separate bids rather than having one bid for all of the construction. Gastel said this would result in a cheaper bid because the contractor would not have to add a 15% premium for subcontractors if it were bid individually.

Gastel said that the topographical study has been completed. He asked Public Works Supervisor Charles McGuire to locate the manhole covers in the field on which the construction is to take place. Gastel said the manholes must be located before the project plan is completed so he knows where to locate water lines, paths and the restrooms. The committee agreed to combine the restrooms with the shelter into one building.

It was suggested that a shuffleboard and horseshoe area be developed to provide recreation for older citizens. Gastel said he would incorporate these into the final plans.

Gastel said the sports park will be a big attraction for kids from miles around. He said the nearest area having this type of park was Decatur to the south and Joliet to the north. The committee will meet next month to finalize the plans. Construction of the park is planned for the first part of June and to be completed by September in time for seeding of the grass.