Renovations to Kelly Park were delayed after Wheaton Park District officials opted to revisit the matter due to higher than hoped for costs.
Bids for the park renovations totaled $947,217, about 26 percent above the expected price tag of $754,000. Board President Ray Morrill said they plan to see if they can get contractors to lower their prices. The park district received a $377,000 state grant from the Open Space Lands Acquisition Development Grant Program. That would leave the park district with a price tag of nearly $600,000.
The proposed renovations to Kelly Park have been met with resistance from park neighbors. Residents concerned with the Wheaton Park District's plans for renovations to Kelly Park, launched a website, "Friends of Kelly Park" to alert neighbors of concerns for the park and provide insight on how the changes will affect the neighborhood. Park neighbor Jason Christensen told Patch that Kelly Park has become a destination park drawing large numbers of visitors.
Residents are concerned that despite three public meetings that allowed for comments, they have been left out of the renovation plans. Further, concerns include the park's location on a flood plain, the loss of open playing fields and the lack of car parking in a busy area.
The park district voted to move forward on a plan for the park in the spring of 2010, which will include plans for an indoor "shelter" restroom area, a water spray feature, multi-sport courts, a half court basketball area—which would be used as a skating rink in the winter, and bike parking.
The park district's original plan for Kelly Park included angled parking along Main Street and the response was a concern that the parking would increase traffic. The park district then proposed a plan that included a parking lot within the park itself, but that was not well received because the plan would reduce green space.
Park District officials will revisit the renovation plans and are likely to bring them forward over the next two months.