Trustee tables park district proposal, for now

By on December 24, 2008

by Martha Quetsch

            Elburn village trustee Tom Burgholzer recently proposed to establish a park district made up of volunteers. However, because the district would have to levy a property tax for its support, he changed his mind.

            “There is a law that we would have to go for a tax,” Burgholzer said. “I can’t see asking people for more taxes right now.”

            Burgholzer said he is not going to drop the idea, but wants to wait to pursue it until the economy improves. Creating a park district would require an Elburn voter referendum.

            If the village had a park district, it could bring more recreational amenities to the village, such as a skateboard park, Burgholzer said.

            Burgholzer began promoting a skateboard park nearly two years ago, after receiving a residents’ petition for the project. After studying various sites for the skateboard park, trustees tabled the proposal in October.

            “We (the village) don’t have the money. And nobody could come to a consensus (on a site),” Burgholzer said Sunday.

            The estimated cost of a basic skateboard park is more than $100,000, village officials said.

            As a way Elburn could bring any new park to town without the cost, the village could require future developers to pay for them, Village President Jim Willey said.

            Elburn already has brought this idea into practice, having negotiated with Blackberry Creek developers for the designation of 202 acres of public parks and conservation land within the subdivision.

            In addition to those in Blackberry Creek, village-owned parks include Prairie Park at North and Third streets, Byerhoff Park on South Shannon Street, and Scout Park on First Street near the railroad tracks. The village also maintains the playground at Elburn & Countryside Community Center at 525 N. Main St.

            Lions Park, on Route 47 just north of Keslinger Road, is owned and operated by Elburn Lions Club with financial support from facility rentals and fundraisers.