Village board seeks upgrades for Lake in the Hills parks

LAKE IN THE HILLS – Village officials are working on updating their parks master plan, which board members hope takes into account parks in the eastern part of town.

The plan includes suggested updates and improvements to the village’s 33 park sites.

Improvements include adding a boat pier to Barbara Key Park Pond and increasing parking areas at Leroy Guy Park, Sunset Park and the Bark Park.

However, there are concerns about some of the aspects of the plan, which was sent back to the Parks and Recreation Board for further review.

Part of the plan included expanding the splash pad at Sunset Park, as well as renovating three fields because of poor drainage and expanding parking at the bark park, among other things.

Trustee Stephen Harlfinger said there needs to be thought of adding some sort of water feature for the eastern side of town.

“We’re expanding Sunset Park, but we’re not doing anything exciting ... to the original parks in the original section of the village,” Harlfinger said.

Harlfinger said there was a suggestion in the past about a splash pad at Ken Carpenter Park, but he never received anything saying it would or would not work.

“We literally bypassed what we had initially given direction to look at,” Harlfinger said. “At least that’s what I perceive it as. For us to throw money at a splash pad that’s already there and expand it, yes at a later date, but I still feel that we need to find an alternative area with a splash pad in the original section of the village. That way those residents don’t have to truck all the way down Miller Road. ... There are alternatives. We do have properties that could probably accommodate, in a small area, similar to what we have at Sunset Park.”

Village Trustee Ray Bogdanowski said the document is mainly a guide that can be reviewed.

“I have no issues with plan that we’re seeing here,” Bogdanowski said. “We’re not committing dollars to it. We’re basically saying this is a direction we would like to have. I think we’ve learned from what happened in December, more thought has to go into that ... we went ahead and approved the dollars, and found out that it’s not feasible ... as far as Carpenter Park.”

Village President Paul Mulcahy said there is an opportunity for the village to review any project before it actually takes place.

“I would hate to see the plan itself not get approved because there is one item in there we have some objections to or have reservations about,” Mulcahy said. “I think there’s time here where we could easily give direction to staff to look at other options.”

Among the other suggestions in the proposed master plan update are shore stabilization work at Barbara Key Park, Echo Hill Park, Turtle Island, Indian Trail Beach and Larsen Park.

A parking lot improvement at Linda K. Fischer Park, recoating the basketball court at Barbara Key Park and repairing the tennis courts at Leroy Guy Park also were part of the park master plan proposal.

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