SG Twp discusses proposed park

By on August 8, 2013

SUGAR GROVE—Al Markus was one of more than a dozen in attendance at the Sugar Grove Township Board meeting Monday.

Markus, a Sugar Grove resident, stood up to express his favor of a proposed community park.

“I think (the park is) something you should reconsider before you table it,” Markus said. “I think the citizens should get a shot at it.”

The Township Board and several people in attendance offered their opinions about the proposed park.

According to Township Supervisor Tom Rowe, the park would be at the future extension of Municipal Drive, where Snow Street intersects the Sugar Grove Public Library.

The land is part of Prairie Glen Property and is approximately 30 acres.

Rowe said the cost is down to $13,000 per acre. That would cost the township about $390,000.

Rowe cautioned that what the park would have is “nothing in stone.” Original talks about the park included four lighted ball fields, soccer fields, athletic fields and a bandshell.

“Almost everybody would benefit,” Rowe said.

According to Rowe, there is need for athletic fields. Further, the road district could expand its facilities, and the Corn Boil could have a new site or adequate parking.

The issue, Rowe said, is who is going to maintain and develop the land.

“Now, you’ve bought land and say 10 years down the road and now it’s time to build ball fields—lighted ball fields, irrigated ball fields and that figure of a million dollars a field if you want to build something to the standard of what Fox Valley Park District has done,” Rowe said.

Marc Ebert, Kaneland Travel Baseball coach, spoke in favor of the park.

“We definitely need more baseball facilities,” he said.

Ebert said that the McDole Elementary School field is to the west, and that sunlight has affected players. One was injured because he “never saw the ball coming.”

Sugar Grove resident Fairel Rank spoke in favor of the park, as it would allow the Sugar Grove Corn Boil to not take place on Kaneland School District property.

Sugar Grove resident Jamie White said he was not in favor of the park based on what he’s seen.

White took issue with the possibility of having lighted fields in a residential area.

“We do have a Park District,” White said. “I don’t think it’s the right place for it.”

Markus said that he checked about the lighting.

“They don’t light up the neighborhood,” he said. “They’re more directional.”

A bandshell was another aspect White opposed, saying that he was “not real hip on that” and having “music all weekend.”

Another option is for the park land to initially just be open space.

Meanwhile, Kane County Board member Melisa Taylor offered the idea of pulling from the county’s resources to get an appraisal of the land.

Township trustee Laurene Geary praised the idea of being able to learn if the area was in a flood zone.

“That could make a huge difference to all the neighbors,” she said.

Trustee Mike Fagel, who is currently deployed, voiced his opinion on the park via phone.

“I think at this time it’s not what we should do,” he said.

Rowe said he hopes a decision can be made this year, and would like the Sugar Grove Township, Village Board, Park District, Road District and Corn Boil to meet and work together.

“We want to be a partner,” Rowe said. “We just don’t want to go it alone.”