Plans on hold until Februrary meeting for Gordon Park in La Grange
Updated: April 23, 2013 1:14PM
LA GRANGE — Bids to redevelop Gordon Park came in lower than expected, but weren’t approved due to concerns of two Park District of La Grange Board members.
Board members Lynn Lacey and Robert Ashby voted against awarding contracts totaling $2.2 million for improvements to the park northeast of Ogden Avenue and La Grange Road.
“I believe in fixing up the park, but let people know about it,” Lacey said. “Eight years ago, people were talking about these plans, and some have moved.”
Residents of the La Grange Towers just north of the park should have the opportunity for input just as neighbors of Denning Park were invited to meetings before that park was renovated in 2011, Lacey said.
Park Board President Mary Ellen Penicook said Lacey may not be aware of the lengthy process to redevelop Gordon Park and the various opportunities for public input. Penicook said she didn’t believe neighbors have changed much around the park, but certainly their questions should be answered.
“The plans really haven’t changed much since those community hearings. We have the same amenities, just a scaled-down version,” Penicook said.
The board will consider the matter again at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Recreation Center, 536 East Ave.
Reaching a decision at that meeting is urgent for two reasons, Penicook said. The bid proposals will expire shortly after the meeting, and the park district could loose a $400,000 grant.
The park district was awarded a $400,000 Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grant in 2010, but plans were delayed due to legal proceedings. The district received an extension, but work must be completed by the end of 2013, and the district must spend $800,000 to get the grant.
Bids from a number of companies for various aspects of the project came in at $2.2 million, about $161,000 under budget. The board in October authorized spending up to $2.6 million on the project, which includes regrading the western half of the 17-acre park and adding, water, sewer and electrical improvements.