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Government Local

Talks move ahead on pool, Kiwanis Park purchase

DeKALB – Park district officials have begun planning when they will next talk about buying Kiwanis Park and replacing the Hopkins Park pool.

Executive Director Cindy Capek said the board would begin discussing financial alternatives to acquiring Kiwanis Park from DeKalb School District 428. The school district originally intended to trade that land to ShoDeen Construction, but is now working with the park district to give them Kiwanis Park.

Capek said those discussions would occur in the board’s executive session, which is closed to the public because they would be discussing sensitive financial information.

Kiwanis Park is used primarily by youth soccer leagues. Capek previously said the park district would not seek a referendum to buy the land.

There are concrete dates set for replacing Hopkins Pool. On Jan. 10, the park district hired PHN Architects of Aurora to lead the $5 million project, which will rebuild the pool in its current spot.

Park district officials hope to have the new pool open in 2015.

Capek said the board will have two public meetings with PHN Architects in February. They will meet sometime the week of Feb. 4, and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 28.

“That’s when more refined plans [on the pool] will be available,” Capek said about the Feb. 28 meeting. She said the earlier meeting will be a workshop and will feature discussion on how to replace the pool.

Wednesday’s night meeting was a budget workshop for the board where the district’s department heads discussed their financial outlook as the park district heads into fiscal 2014.

“I think our budget projections are good,” Capek said. “We’re looking at having positive fund balances and we’ve had conservative spending in many areas.”

Capek said there was a slight increase in the district’s costs and insurance, but the budget picture looks healthy.

Bill Ryder, the park district’s athletic director, gave the board an idea of how the park district’s different sports facilities are faring.

With the exception of girls fast-pitch softball and co-ed softball teams, the number of people using the park district’s baseball fields has been dropping for the past few years.

Ryder said the benefits of hosting tournaments for sports like girls fast-pitch softball are limited.

“We could look at hosting tournaments,” Ryder said. “Again, it’s not going to be as big of a money maker because we’re not running the leagues. But it gives us exposure.”

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