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Genoa park board moves forward with budget

GENOA – With its budget going through the final stages of approval, a potential $160,000 project has captured the attention of the Genoa Park District Board.

Creating a new skate park at Chamberlain Park and putting a tennis court in the skate park’s present location would be the biggest capital project in the fiscal year that started May 1, but project hinges on the district receiving a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“Worst case scenario is we find out if we’re funded in March,” said Paul Bafia, the district’s executive director. “So we just have to hope we get funded.”

The board earlier this year approved its budget for the current fiscal year, but plans to adopt its budget appropriation ordinance July 21. The district is required to do the latter within the first quarter of the fiscal year.

The budget appropriation ordinance calls for nearly $1.9 million in expenditures and $2.1 million in revenue, which includes more than $580,000 in cash on-hand. Expenditures are also projected slightly higher than actually anticipated to give the park district the legal authority in case it needs to spend that amount. At the end of the year, the district should have $235,405 in cash on-hand, according to the ordinance.

The budget includes the Chamberlain Park project, which would cost around $160,000, Bafia said. The state would pay for $80,000 through an Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grant the district applied for last month. The district has money to cover half of the project cost, he said.

Officials are undecided about where the new skate park would go, bouncing between an area behind the swimming pool or one near a maintenance shed on the east of the property. They know, however, the new skate park would feature concrete elements such as curbs, stairs and railings.

“All the elements we want at the skate park are easily located at either spot,” park board member Megan Johnson said.

The grant also included plans to put in an area for parkgoers to play bags as well as one for horse shoes. The added elements can be changed, Bafia said, but needed to be included to make the application more competitive.

The district held two public input meetings in June, which between 15 and 20 people attended. If the district receives the grant, officials said they would like more input from skaters on how the skate park should be designed.

“I’m pretty confident we’ll get it,” Johnson said.

By the numbers

Revenues: $2.1 million*

Expenditures: $1.9 million

Cash on-hand at the end of the year: $235,405

*includes $580,000 in cash on-hand

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