Park District Board of Commissioners shares annual report for 2012
Online Staff Report
At its March 12 meeting, the Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners received and affirmed an annual report of their priority for providing well-maintained park space and recreational facilities to meet the recreational needs of this and succeeding generations of district residents.
During the past 12 months, the Rockford Park District completed several major capital improvement projects that had been in development for several years, with substantial financial support by leveraging limited tax dollars with private donations and state grants.
The following major capital projects were highlighted in the report:
• Loves Park Playground (state grant)
• Levings Park Playground (replaced existing playground equipment)
• Olson Swedish Heritage Park (donation and state grant)
• Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens Phase II and Eclipse Lagoon renovation (funded by private donors)
• Aldeen Terrace (funded by private donors)
• Atwood Park Birds of Prey Exhibit (majority funded by private donors)
• Double Dare Drop speed slides and tower at Magic Waters (Magic Waters revenue bond)
• 0.79 miles of recreational path along the Rock River were repaved and striped between Whitman and Auburn Streets
• 0.8 section of the Pecatonica Prairie Path was under construction (funded by a grant)
• Riverfront Museum Park parking lot completed
• Eyster property acquired for future Midway Village Museum master plan/funded primarily by private donations
• Roy Gayle Softball Complex completed (grant and private fundraising)
• Alpine Hills Adventure Park awarded $400,000 development grant, design phase is underway
The district is committed to taking care of existing properties and keeping them well-maintained and in good repair. Of $3,111,579 allocated in the bond issue Capital Improvement Program budget in 2012, 86.1 percent of funds were designed for repair and replacement of existing assets.
There were also several new recreational opportunities for citizens to access and enjoy. Windsor Lake Regional Activity Center opened in June with first-time public access for canoeing, kayaking and fishing in partnership with the Carlson family and operated by Paddle & Trail. An outdoor enclosure was donated by Riverside Community Bank and put to use at Booker Washington Community Center for street hockey leagues and soccer play. An improved skatepark was created at Churchill Park, and new mountain bike trails and expanded equestrian trails were developed and opened at Anna Page Park in partnership with the mountain bike club and equestrian user groups.
“The Rockford Park District definitely had an exciting year meeting many citizen priorities during 2012,” said Park District Executive Director Tim Dimke in his opening comments to the Board of Commissioners. “The citizens and board provide the direction and priorities for park space and development of facilities. The staff takes that direction and determines strategic actions to accomplish the priorities. This was an exceptional year of completing many projects, primarily through leveraging tax dollars with significant grants and private donations to complete these projects.”
The Rockford Park District was awarded the Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management by the National Recreation and Parks Association in 2012.
Executive Director Dimke also shared with the Board that funding for projects that began in 2010 and were completed in 2012 totaled $23,309,859, with $17,840,469 (76.5 percent) coming from private donations, $1,985,676 (8.5 percent) in grants, and $1,137,912 (4.9 percent) from other sources. The Rockford Park District public taxpayer investment was 10.1 percent of the total, $2,345,802.
Posted March 13, 2013
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