The Village of Algonquin is looking for an outside consulting firm to help redevelop its parks and recreation department and create a “Comprehensive Parks and Recreation” master plan.
According to the village’s request for proposals, the plan will drive the department’s decision-making over the next 10 years. This includes identifying community needs and priorities, and creating a “phased implementation and financial plan,” according to the RFP.
Mike Kumbera, assistant village manager, said the goal is to have a long-term vision for the village’s parks and recreation programming and to see if there are any gaps in it.
“What areas in recreation can we possibly delve into? [In] what areas are we overbuilt?” he said. “We want to get some professional assistance with that.”
Recreation Superintendent Katie Gock said the village’s demographics have changed, such as having more families and an aging population.
The department wants to see what these residents are not currently finding in Algonquin and what spaces could be more conducive to them.
“[The plan] will help us decide, OK, this park in this neighborhood could really use this type of playground; there’s a need for it there,” Gock said.
For instance, baseball registration has been down for the past four years, and soccer is not as popular as it used to be, according to Kumbera.
“We have a lot of these facilities in our parks. Are they underutilized? We’re still maintaing those, so we still have that expense,” Kumbera said.
Right now, the village rents out fields only to affiliate groups. Since these groups are getting smaller, Gock said ,they want to see if they can open the fields up to other groups as well.
A handful of consultants have indicated they would be interested in working with Algonquin, but the village has not yet received any formal proposals, Kumbera said.
The village tentaviely has budgeted for about $80,000 for a consultant coming from park improvement funds in its budget, although this number can be negotiated, Kumbera said.
“We expect multiple vendors to come in with the proposal,” he said. “Hopefully, that will lead to a lower cost.”
There are new things the village doesn’t have that it would want to develop, and also potentially opportunities to partner with other agencies and neighboring communities to provide services, Kumbera said.
“We’re trying to take advantage of those opportunities, be really smart in how we operate and how we redevelop our parks,” Kumbera said.
Proposals are due Aug. 23. Kumbera said the village hopes to have a consultant picked in the next two months. The plan is set to be put into motion in 2020.