Streator Park Board seeks clarity on its future

Panel will review list of parks, how much is spent, how they are funded in determining its path

The Streator Park Board meets Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, at City Hall to talk about the panel's future.

The Streator Park Board plans to reevaluate its role in the coming months.

Park Board members expressed some concerns Wednesday with not being involved in recent projects at city parks, leading some of them to question what their role is, and what it should be moving forward.

Mayor Tara Bedei attended Wednesday’s meeting to give some insight, noting the park board could set up a capital plan/park inventory plan, develop strategic plans for the parks, bring large scale ideas to the table or work toward establishing a permanent fairgrounds for the city, among other ideas.

The Park Board expressed concern with not having a funding mechanism. It does not have its own budget, and seeking grants has its own challenges.

Board members asked new Public Works Director Jeff Long if he’d be able to compile a list of all the city’s parks, the amount of work the city puts into them, their usage and look into what creation of a park district may entail.

Park Board Member Steve Broadus said it may be just as important to know if there are public parks not being utilized that cost the city money that may possibly be sold and put back on the tax rolls to use those resources to improve other recreational areas that are more utilized.

Park Board Member Rob Tyne said he was interested in hearing about grant opportunities and hearing from professionals on the funding possibilities available.

The Park Board plans to have a planning meeting in November, and comprehensive planning meeting after the holidays.

The panel has served in an advisory role to the City Council and Bedei said it was created to help with the rollout of the greenway trail.