By Devin Rose
A citizens group would like the River Forest Park District to arrange for a discount for River Forest residents to use Oak Park pools in the summer.
Dr. Barbara Langer of River Forest is the leader of the Enclose Our Pools group, and presented that request and others at the park district's board meeting Monday night.
In addition to a discount to use the Park District of Oak Park's pools at Ridgeland Common and Rehm Park, Langer said the group wants to end an arrangement with the Forest Park Aquatic Facility to provide a discount for the first 150 River Forest residents who applied for a discount last spring.
Forest Park's pool offers no adult lap swimming or water aerobics, but Oak Park pools offer lap swimming early in the morning and at night, Langer said.
The group also wants to see collaboration between the River Forest Park District, Oak Park and River Forest High School and the Oak Park parks to enclose the two outdoor pools for year-round, daily use by the public and the high school.
Langer said she's been studying the operations of a park district in Utah that constructed a permanent enclosure for their 50-meter pool for just over $2 million.
"All I know is the pool situation is dire for River Forest residents," said Virgina Thomas, another member of the group.
Tom Cargie, board president of the River Forest Park District, said the board would need to know that the Oak Park park district is interested in a partnership before they move forward. Since the pools belong to them, they need to make the first move, he said.
Langer said she had emailed the park district in Oak Park and is waiting to hear back.
In other meeting business, the board approved a future public meeting to be held for neighbors around Priory Park to weigh in on two new batting cages that could be constructed there. Officials at River Forest Youth Baseball and Softball have said they wanted batting cages installed there because there are four cages at Keystone Park on the other side of town. The cages would have 15-foot nets surrounded by chain link fencing, but would not have pitching machines like those at Keystone.