Little movement in park talks

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Oak Park village board members met Monday to further discuss recommendations outlined in the park district's master plan, but didn't settle on what steps should be taken to resolve outstanding issues between the two governments.

The park board has already voted to place a tax referendum on the ballot in April. It has also voted to seek financial independence from the village, which gives the parks roughly $1.6 million annually.

The park plan recommends that the village continue to provide funding to the district for capital improvement purposes for three years. The district has already generated a draft of a capital improvement plan, which is likely to be reviewed by park commissioners in February.

The plan also calls for the village to transfer ownership of the recreation centers to the park district.

Village President Joanne Trapani said the board should discuss transfer of ownership, and accompanying conditions at a later time.

Trapani, and Trustee Ray Johnson said, however, further discussions on funding issues should wait until after the election.

"I'm not sure we need to make a statement on A,B or C," Trapani said. "The parks need to make their own case irrespective of what the board will or won't do in the future."

Other board members, however, suggested that speeding up the decision making process may improve the chances of a referendum passing.

"We shouldn't defer next steps until April 6," said Trustee Galen Gockel. "We should be drawing up our own action plan."

?#34;Katharine Grayson

 

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