La Salle Rotary Park improvements approved

New pathway will connect west side of park to city

Changes are coming to Rotary Park in La Salle, as the City Council approved a new pathway and a resurfacing project Monday.

City Engineer Brian Brown said the path was a part of his goal to get access to the park from the west.

“I wanted the property all the way to (Route) 351 as a part of the overall plan to get access to the lake and Rotary Park,” he said.

Brown said a path to the lake is just one phase of a multi-phase project.

Alderman Tom Ptak said he has always heard there was nowhere children could access the park on their bikes, but this path would give them the opportunity.

“In my opinion, I have wanted this every since this has been going on,” he said. “I’m a bike rider, so I think this is perfect for us. I like the idea that our local contractors going to help us out. I personally think we would be fools to pass on this.”

Contractors John Pohar and Sons would help the city offset the cost of the $255,800 project, with La Salle paying $143,600.

“They’ve always been very community minded,” said La Salle Mayor Jeff Grove about John Pohar and Sons. “People want that kind of activity, biking, walking, jogging. So he sees it as a good opportunity. They basically donated their time for the land work.”

Deputy Clerk Brent Bader said the pathway would start right off of 2959th Road, which is the road with Vermilionvue Subdivision.

A parking lot would be built a few blocks to the west of the subdivision with a pathway ending at the lakes southwestern edge.

Bader said the pathway and the parking lot would be built with asphalt grinding, pulverized so there will be no chunks. But, it may be paved down the line.

“(Residents) were all asking for more trails and more access to Rotary Park that would connect the community to that park area. So, this is something that was certainly on the minds of people attending those sessions.”

—  Curt Bedei, La Salle economic development director

Economic Development Director Curt Bedei said access to Rotary Park had been brought up several times during the city’s Strategic Planning meetings.

“We have about 30 people representing the community,” he said. “They were all asking for more trails and more access to Rotary Park that would connect the community to that park area. So, this is something that was certainly on the minds of people attending those sessions.”

The council unanimously approved the pathway with the condition that Grove and Brown jointly can make additions to the project, including the parking lot.

The city also unanimously approved a $99,222 resurfacing project for the playground.

Grove said the “spongy surface” on the ground of the playground has deteriorated over the last 14 years and needs to be replaced.

“We have this beautiful equipment and this very crappy surface,” he said. “So, we are going to get a little different surface, because unfortunately, once it gets picked off a little bit then people continue to pick it off and water gets in there.”

Grove said the city is going to use an astro turf, which will provide more durability and better pricing.

“We actually think we might be able to get it in before winter,” he said. “Because, if its a nice day in January, or February people go out there.”