A major overhaul for Candy Cane Park, 29th Street and Park Avenue in Brookfield, officially has been put on hold until mid-2021 due to financial concerns stemming from the expected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on village revenues through at least this summer.
But, the $680,000 improvement project – which will include new play structures, ADA-accessible swings, a picnic shelter, two half-court basketball courts, a new tennis/pickle ball court, two beanbag toss courts, new walking paths, an improved T-ball field and a bioswale – is a go after trustees unanimously voted on June 8 to approve a resolution to formally accept a $400,000 Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The resolution will allow the village to obtain $200,000 in grant funding up front so that it can be used when work on the project begins in spring/summer 2021. The village had planned to begin work later this year, but adjusted the timeline after the general business shutdown in late March interrupted key revenue streams such as sales tax and will delay some property tax payments.
“That actually works out for us, considering money lost due to COVID,” said Trustee Ed Cote.
The village needed to act now to get the ball rolling, however, since the terms of the grant agreement state that the village must complete the work no later than April 2022. That timeline will allow the village to budget for the park improvements over two fiscal year budgets.
Hitchcock Design Group, the firm the village hired as its design consultant for the project, will receive about $90,000 for its services. That figure is included in the total amount estimated for the project.
It’s been at two decades since any significant improvement were completed at Candy Cane Park, which is the only Brookfield park north of 31st Street and, at roughly two acres, is the third-largest park in the village.