Guest Column: New Roscoe park will be a wonderful addition to the community

July 11, 2012

Editor’s note: The following is in response to the June 20-26 guest column “Sportscore III in Roscoe?” by Hononegah County Estates residents Sally Wallace, Jackie Russell and Sue Duhigg.

By Tom Hawes
Roscoe Township Trustee

I am responding to the guest column in the June 20 edition of The Rock River Times newspaper that was brought to my attention. The column was written by Sally Wallace concerning the youth sports park being built off Hononegah Road in Roscoe.

The park property is not part of a Superfund site. There have been sites around the park, but the closest — the Evergreen Manor site — has been declared resolved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Warner Electric site is too far away to be an issue.

There are no parks I am aware of that are open 24 hours. Kelly/Myers Park, owned by Roscoe Township, closes at night, and so will this new park.

Sally Wallace’s volume of cars using the park is overstated, as is the number of fields to be completed in the first phase of park construction. The access to the park is on roads asked to be used by the citizens attending a public meeting last year. There will be additional traffic at times on these roads, as there is for Kelly/Myers Park and village parks like Leland Park.

I have no answer to the information about road improvements Sally Wallace obtained from a grader operator working for the contractor out of Freeport, Ill. The information is as good as the source.

This park has not been a secret. The residents of Sally Wallace’s neighborhood petitioned us to develop a park more than 10 years ago. We have been in the process for a number of years. The development of the park has been in many newspapers and TV reports. There have been numerous meetings, including a public meeting last year, where all residents were notified.

I have answered all calls and questions asked of me. Sally Wallace called me last February and, among other things, told me she and many others would be attending the March 14 township meeting. She called the township and left the same message with township staff. I brought the park engineer, the youth club team leaders and the high school athletic director to that meeting to answer their questions. No one showed up. In fact, Sally Wallace and others have never attended a township meeting.

Roscoe Township has stepped up to fill the void of needed recreation facilities in our community. We built Hononegah Recreation Path more than 23 years ago. Since then, we have built Kelly/Myers Park, the Ken-Wood-Creek Path, the Stone Bridge Trail, the Roscoe Middle School Path and the Kinnikinnick Nature Preserve.

We have been good stewards of these facilities in our community. None of these facilities was developed without detractors. Please be assured we will do all we can to be a good neighbor in the use of these facilities.

How about a little “glass half full”? Your neighbors like Dave Yeske, Larry Paye and many others worked very hard to bring a beautiful park to your neighborhood. This could have easily been another subdivision or an industrial or commercial development. Instead, they have brought a much-needed facility for the youth of Roscoe. Many other sports areas have been in flood plains and have not worked well for running programs for the youth. This facility will be a wonderful addition to our community.

Tom Hawes is a Roscoe Township Trustee.

From the July 11-17, 2012, issue


  1. Sally Wallace

    July 11, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Mr. Hawes, please read the other article. As we have stated, I DID NOT call you in February. You DID NOT invite ME to a meeting. You DID NOT even tell me about a meeting on March 14. You need to stop repeating this untruth.

  2. Sally Wallace

    July 11, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Regarding the park being open 24 hours, the clerk at the Roscoe Township office is the person who gave us that information.

  3. Paul Gorski

    July 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Mr. Hawes,

    A “park” is not the same a a multi-use sports field and facility. The traffic patterns these two types of facilities can be wholly different. You have completely avoided the primary concern of the residents: parking and traffic through their neighborhood as it relates to a sports facility. You fought the Perryville extension years ago because of traffic concerns, why can’t you now simply acknowledge the residents’concerns and try to address with them?

  4. Roscoe Field

    July 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Sadly, it seems Mr. Hawes is causing a controversy with his letter to some neighbors containing false claims and the false claims in his Rock River Times commentary. This is just what he hopes to accomplish. Divide homeowners and concerned citizens and sway them into believing that we have not be forthright. What does Roscoe Field hope to gain by questioning the township? Nothing. Our only goal was to receive answers to questions regarding the development of the sports complex. We are not causing the issues. Had the township returned phone calls dated as far back as April and addressed neighbors concerns, many of these points detailed in the letter and the article would not have needed to be addressed publicly. The main issue, the entrance and exit, which when the park is complete, can and will impact our streets and neighborhood still needs to be addressed.

    If a March 14 meeting was of such importance, why wasn’t a letter sent to the neighbors informing them of the new plans for the park and the possibility that the Roscoe Village would be annexing that property. The Village notified homeowners twice. Furthermore, is there a reason the Township isn’t talking to the Diocese regarding the acreage they own. The Township had a plan to share an entrance with church. The church cancelled their building plans. No notifications were given to the homeowners of the change in plans after the church decided not to build.

    Mr. Hawes needs to stop fingerpointing and telling half truths.

    The park will be an asset to the community. The Township needs to work with the 300+ people who live on streets in the neighborhood who will be affected by the traffic. Make this park something we can all be proud of. It deserves its own entrance and exit.

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