Kankakee Valley Park District Blue Ribbon Committee met June 26
Kankakee Valley Park District Blue Ribbon Committee met June 26.
Here is the minutes as provided by the committee:
The Blue Ribbon Committee was called to order at 7:04pm by President Hollis. Those present
for roll call were Commissioner B. Spriggs, D. Tucker, M. Mullady, and D. Skelly. Staff present:
Dayna Heitz, Rick Collins, Melissa Woodard, Attorney John Coghlan.
Blue Ribbon Committee present: Norman Grimley & Steve Hunter
Blue Ribbon Committee
Thanks for coming. Wanted to give you an update. You put a lot into the Blue Ribbon Panel.
Went through what your suggestions were. We have followed quite a few of them. Haven’t
been able to do some. The needs assessments are under way for the parks now. It started out
as the trees. Have had lots of calls about trees. Then went over to the playgrounds and
realized we needed mulch, repairs, edging etc.
Steve asked where we get the mulch? Director Heitz said from Rainbow Farms. It’s a very
specific type of playground mulch that we receive certification papers and those in turn are
given to our risk management. We must meet the playground safety standards.
Been keeping up with the mowing but the rain sometimes sets it back. When they came back
from layoffs we are down 3 full time maintenance guys. Washington Park has been addressed.
The mounds of dirt are in the process of being moved. Commissioner Tucker said it was good
to see the activity. The journal was there too. Commissioner Hollis goes by there every day.
Slowly sees the improvement. Nice when the community can see the improvements. Listening
to someone or doing the small things they ask, it might be small to us but to them it’s huge.
Steve asked which things we suggested are you doing? We did talk about contracting the
landscaping. There are only 2 we haven’t gotten to. The preventative maintenance and foster
groups to adopt a park.
You heard what’s going on in Splash Valley. Did do a needs assessment. No one really came to
the meetings so most of our suggestions came from survey online.
We haven’t done board training. There is more administratively that we haven’t done than we
have. Financially we have done everything.
Norman asked are you working on a plan B in case you can’t bond? Director Heitz said she got
notice about what’s going on down in Springfield. We have gone in and cut almost every
expense that we thought wasn’t necessary. Work force and benefits was the biggest cut. The
tax dollars that we receive do not cover our expenses.
Steve asked about internships? We did look for unpaid interns. All want to be paid now. Could
they get credit hours for their school? Norman said it would be free labor and good for our youth.
What about community services hours for the high schools? The high schools are now going to
mandatory service hours. Reach out to Kankakee County Kultivators.
Norman asked how the metro bus is working for the District? Might want to check in with
them. They set up programs or charities and do some things for the community. They get
federal money and do have some to use in the community. Maybe we could work together.
Steve said the local banks are supposed to kick back some money to local groups. Community
Norman said to go talk to Aqua and see if there are things they want to sponsor.
Nucor steel has a lot of money too. Go out there and make your pitch.
You have had some bad press. Forget what’s in the past, only thinking about the future now.
Progressing and thinking ahead. You are doing everything humanly possible to make this better
for the community.
Commissioner Tucker said you are here and want to help us. Because of the bad stuff, people
aren’t receptive to hearing from us. Norman said he would go with us if he thinks he can help us.
Steve asked if we could meet in September or October.