Island Lake officials say skate park proposal is dead
Fifteen years after Island Lake officials first donated money to build a skate park, the project is officially dead.
"The board isn't looking to move forward on a skate park," Trustee Mark Beeson said. "It seems to be an idea that has lost traction."
Now trustees have to determine what to do with the roughly $653 that remains in a village savings fund dedicated to the ill-fated project.
Officials are conferring with the village's attorney to determine if they can transfer the money to a different fund, such as the one for local parks, or if they need to return the cash to the original donors.
"There are legalities that need to be worked out by our village attorney before funds can be transferred," Trustee Sandy Doehler said.
Designed for skateboarders and people who use in-line skates, suburban skate parks experienced a construction boom in the late 1990s and into the next decade.
Lake County communities with public skate parks include Buffalo Grove, Grayslake, Gurnee, Lake Zurich, Mundelein and Wauconda.
Island Lake officials began talking about building one in 2003 after a resident suggested the town construct one for kids, Beeson said. An advisory committee was formed to investigate and a skate park fund was created, but nothing came of the effort.
Beeson, a trustee since 2013, recalled meeting with a potential builder. But the cost would have been high, he said, and the liability risk would have been considerable.
A potential site never was chosen.
At one point, the skate park fund contained about $1,110, Village Treasurer Ed McGinty said. McGinty doesn't know how, when or why the fund subsequently dwindled to its current sum despite nothing being built.
"I have no idea," he said. "I'm still looking in the stored files."
Beeson said some of the cash came from friends of the resident who first proposed the idea. He would like to see the money transferred into the village's parks fund -- but only if the original donors support that change.
Beeson said he hopes the board can resolve the issue at the next board meeting. The panel next meets at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at village hall, 3720 Greenleaf Ave.