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Letter to Residents: Park District Referendum

An Arlington Heights couple presents information they learned while attending community forums regarding the upcoming vote on the Park District referendum, November 6.

An open letter to my fellow Arlington Heights Residents:

For anyone who didn't have a chance to attend a parks referendum
meeting I was curious so I attended a few. That gave me a chance to
hear from both park commissioners and several different residents
directly.

Here are some of the most common things that came up:

Wasn't there a vote in the spring?
There was and while it did not pass the margin was extremely close. The commissioners explained how they incorporated input from the spring in planning this new fall
referendum which is about 20% smaller in scope and cost. The new plan is also more consolidated and more multi-functional so the same
facilities would be renovated to include multiple sports and fitness.
Because the old pool bonds will be retiring this new parks referendum would only increase things about $2 a month on average.

What is the need behind this plan? The park district regularly runs surveys, tracks program data and has meetings with residents. They said all of that input was incorporated into the building renovation plans. The commissioners explained that several programs are literally out of room in the existing decades-old buildings. They also discussed how Arlington Heights residents are driving to other park districts to use their more modern facilities. On top of that, they also described how the use at the new Pioneer Park building tripled after it was built.

Will operating expenses go up? The park district explained that operating expenses for programs and building use are covered by and large through program fees rather than taxes. It sounds like a solid business model!

Does the park district work with schools? Yes, in spades. They described how well they work with all the school districts. They share gyms, baseball fields, soccer fields and more. They even saved money by sharing with Hersey High School's new football/soccer field and also use the St. Viators Theater for the annual park district dance recital.

Will the historic Rec Park building be saved and what happens to Frontier Days? I heard the park commissioners very clearly explain the renovation plans that will save the historic Rec Park building. They also talked about how Frontier Days will stay at Rec Park and won't need to be shut down or moved at all.

With all the information the park district has provided and all the questions I heard them answer I am confident this is a great plan for the future of Arlington Heights.

I strongly encourage my fellow residents to Vote Yes for our Parks!
Respectfully Submitted:  
Mark and Nancie Frighetto, Arlington Heights residents. 



Frank Stone November 04, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Is it better to have kids out roaming the streets with nothing to do or is it better to update our park buildings so they can fit more people and give kids somewhere to go and something to do? I've seen the fieldhouses in Chicago. Some of them are pits. If you don't want Arlington to turn into a pit we need to Vote Yes! for our parks!!
Ed L. November 04, 2012 at 03:03 AM
During these trimes, our pols should be looking at ways to reduce taxes. NOT add new ones
Reg November 04, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Yo Ed, that's why it's a choice on the vote. Out of towners like those robocall attack poodles should keep their nose out of our business and let us decide for ourselves. And the way you put that it sounds like you think the recession is going to last forever. Unemployment is down. Property values are coming back. Things are getting better. We should take advantage of these incredible low interest rates and low construction bids to get Arlington up to date and ready. Get the facts at the park district website and then VOTE YES FOR OUR PARKS!
mike o November 11, 2012 at 07:32 PM
i think the parks and facilities in arl. hts are very good the way they are right now,and we dont need to burden ourselves with extra taxes . i mean its not like we live in an underdeveloped area with no resources.Everyone who lives here has a great community as it is. And how many times do we need to vote on the same issue? they'll keep submitting this until it passes. i say no,at least not now.
Reg November 11, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Hi Mike. The election was last week. Yes Arlington Heights is a very nice community that's why we all chose to live here. The problem is that the park gyms and other buildings need to be expanded in order to keep up with the bigger size of the town and the increase in use since they were built in the 1930s and 1960s. Maybe you don't use the gyms but if you ever try to sell your house the new family will probably be younger than you and I. And that young family is going to want park buildings their little ones can use. And for just $2 a month we had a chance to do that last week. It's not like our parks are falling apart. The park district was asking if the town wanted to have the buildings expanded to meet increasing demand for use.

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