City hears update from Parks and Rec

Over the past several years, the city of Monticello has flowed a substantial amount of money into construction and furnishings for Parks and Recreation.

On Thursday, Karen Connelley, chair of the city's Parks and Recreation Committee, was on hand to provide the city council with a brief report on the progress that continues to be made to the city's parks.

Connelley began her report by giving an overview of some older projects.

"The renovating of the Sadie Johnson building is nearly finished and we are hoping to hold an open house by the end of February," she reported. "With the construction issues and other things holding up the project, we felt that the end of February is a realistic time frame for the open house."

"The Sadie Johnson building is one that will be utilized by by many citizens of Monticello and Drew County," said Mayor Allen Maxwell. "And, we feel that it will be an asset to all of us."

She added that equipment and furnishing orders for the building are currently in the process of being placed.

"Our goal is to start taking reservations for the building beginning around April 1," she said.

Another project, the amphitheater at McCloy Park, is also nearing completion.

"With the engineering contracting wrapping up in the next couple of weeks, we expect the amphitheater project to be finished soon," Connelley added. "We have to do a few little things and the city still has a few things to do, but we are looking at probably no more than a month until the amphitheater will be ready."

Maxwell said that the only projects left to complete the amphitheater are electricity and water.

According to her report, the Parks and Recreation Committee has utilized all the funding received from the recreational grant.

"The equipment orders have been placed," she said.

She pointed out to the board that the equipment ordered includes bleacher covers for all the bleachers at all the ball parks, handicap equipment for children with disabilities and playground equipment at McCloy and Jordan Parks.

"Bleacher covers will be placed at McCloy Park, Jordan Park, Burlington Field, the Sports Complex and at the swimming pool," said Maxwell.

"It also includes batting cages at Jordan Park as well as the sports complex," Connelley added. "As soon as everything comes in they will be installing it for us. That is one of the fees that we will pay for in the order."

Connelley provided updates on other projects, including the North Pavilion at Jordan Park and the press box addition at the girls softball complex.

"The North Pavilion is finished and really looks nice," she said. "The press box project has begun and crews have also started the concession and restroom project for soccer. We hope to have the restrooms up and running by this season.

"We have a lot of projects that have started," she concluded. "This has been a long going process and we are really excited to get them started."

Maxwell agreed.

"The city has focused a lot on progress in the parks for the last four years," he said. "Many projects have been finished and many more are in progress. We are still putting the final touches on some of these projects that were started years ago."

The Advance-Monticellonian

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