The Council looked
over a sea of red, as residents wore red to join together in expressing
their frustration that Kids Cove park, in the Porter Cove subdivision, has
been neglected for some time. Residents said the state of Kids Cove is
unacceptable and their efforts to collaborate with the Town have been
began the conversation, saying, “I think we’re all here to say we want
something done. We care. We’re not just here to complain about a problem.
We’re here to be part of the solution.”
Next up was Blake
Lange, who opened by congratulating Park Director Brian Bugajski for a job
well done on the recent Easter egg hunt and made note of the Town’s effort
in removing unsafe equipment from Kids Cove last year.
However, Lange said
there is more to do and residents are willing to help. “We believe we must
work together to complete this project. We cannot settle for Kids Cove to be
ignored.” Council member Greg Stinson will be meeting with Lange to discuss
the park on a yet to be determined date.
Dorothy Guzek next
brought up the issue of drain tiles being installed at the park, noting that
she heard some money had either been donated or set aside for the project.
Building Commissioner Michael Barry responded that he is moving forward on
that as soon as he prices and acquires the tile.
Gus Brown, for his
part, said he was disappointed that he came before the Council a year ago
and had to come back to repeat himself Tuesday night. “Roughly a year later,
I still hear talk of long-term plans. You’re gonna see another group of
children grow up and not have a park in their community.”
He added, “I’m
still upset about the fact that we’re the forgotten subdivision.”
Brown further said
residents, such as Lange, have stepped up to work for solutions, but the
Council won’t match their efforts. He closed by handing a bundle of
photographs of the park to the Council members. “You tell me that you’re
proud of that,” he said in reference to images of the skeletal remains of
old equipment and weathered, cracked concrete. “I challenge you so I don’t
have to come back a year from now and have a similar conversation.”
In related news,
Bugajski received approval to open a 30-day public comment period for a
long-term improvement plan for Porter parks. The plan includes proposed
improvements, descriptions, estimated costs, and potential sources of
funding for 52 projects at six parks that would have a total known cost of
$420,000. He emphasized that the funding sources suggested are only
potential sources. He said, “The plan is just to provide a framework for
future plans, and inclusion doesn’t guarantee that every project or source
of funding will come to fruition.”
compile public comments until April 27, at which time he will write a public
comments report that will be given to the Council and made public before
official action is taken on the long-term plan.
The plan is
available on the Town website and residents can also check out hard copies
at Town Hall. Comments on the plan can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org,
called in at (219) 983-1042, or posted to Town of Porter Park Department,
303 Franklin St.