New Copperfield Park playground plans revealed for Dunlap

Nicolas Stroman

Plans were finally unveiled for the new playground area at Copperfield Park at the Dunlap Village Board’s April 13 meeting.

Don Robert of Oswego-based Recreation Concepts Inc. said it was decided to have three separate areas in the new playground: an area for ages 2-5; an area for ages 5-12; and a swing set.

A sidewalk would run through the middle of the playground and be wide enough to accommodate tricycles and bicycles. Benches would be included as well.

Roberts said the colors of the playground equipment - such as slides and climbing apparatuses - could be decided by residents or a committee.

“Once the equipment is here and we set a date, it becomes a community-build type setup where we bring in a supervisor and a list of everything you may need to put it all together. It can usually be done with around 15 to 20 volunteers,” Roberts said.

Village Superintendent Dale Bishop said he would make sure the ground is leveled and holes are dug before the equipment arrives.

Bishop also suggested some kind of plastic or concrete curbing to border the playground area to allow water in or out.

Trustee Jack Esterdahl said the village has already cut a check for $7,000 to Recreation Concepts for the more than $30,000 project, which includes costs for not only the equipment but also surfacing.

The board approved another payment of $5,000 to the company and said the rest of the money can be paid at the May meeting.

Esterdahl said the board can also finalize the June installation date next month along with exactly how many community volunteers will be needed.

In other discussion, the board:

• Heard from Bishop about plans for several road work projects in 2011.

Bishop said tiling has been completed on French Drive and he would like to replace the culvert and tie it in with similar work on Elm Street and Legion Hall Road in order to save money on delivery.

He said he will try to secure two separate local bids for the work and keep the board posted on costs so they do not exceed their budget.

“By doing the labor ourselves, we have kept the cost for these projects between 25 and $30,000 versus maybe 60 to $80,000 if we contracted out the labor. We can start as soon as school is out for the summer,” Bishop said.

Other projects Bishop said he deemed necessary for this year included work on the entrance to Copperfield and slag being put down on Graze Avenue, Maplewood Boulevard. and the Broken Lance cul-de-sac.

To complete all of the work, Bishop estimated the cost to be more than $164,000.

“I realize it’s extensive, but we would be set in terms of road work for many years. It would save us money in the future,” Bishop said.

Treasurer Dwight Johnson said there is also the option of making it a two-year project to help with the annual budget.

Johnson said with their preliminary discussions of the 2011-12 budget, the village is looking at $60,000 in surplus.

“We have been fortunate over the years, but now we really have to watch how we are spending our money. The numbers for our revenue and expenses are getting closer together each year,” Johnson said.

• Heard from Village President Jack Fennell about the possible creation of a park district in Dunlap.

Fennell said the earliest date the village could move forward with plans is March 2012.

“We need to bring in more people beyond this board who have an expertise or background in parks. I think creating a park district is the only way to move forward with our plans for bike or walking trails and generating any money from that,” Fennell said.

Fennell added he is not sure whether the district should be strictly in village limits or expanded to an outside area.

“We just need to keep putting feelers out because I think this would be a big help to the community and village,” Fennell said.

• Approved the annual contract renewal with Peoria County for police services at $17,914.

Village Clerk Fraser Engerman said the contract was a 5 percent increase over last year and there are no changes to the patrol agreement.

• Heard from Trustee Colleen Slane about the 2011 Dunlap Days.

The annual weekend festival will take place Aug. 26 and 27.

Slane said Jammsammich will perform on Friday while she is eyeing the Lee Hall Band for Saturday’s entertainment.

She encouraged the public to attend the April 25 committee meeting at village hall where they will discuss what kinds of activities they want to see at Dunlap Days.

Vendor applications will start being accepted May 1.

• Approved a payment of $216.49 to Portrait Innovations in Peoria for photos to be taken of the village board members.

The photos will be placed in village hall and featured on the village’s new website  www.villageofdunlap.com.

Slane said the old website will be gone by the end of the month and she would like to promote the new one by putting a notice in the next monthly water bill.

“The new site is excellent and much improved,” Fennell said.