Sexton: ‘Train Park’ pulling into town
In May 2009, the Lemont Park District Board of Commissioners was forced to make the hardest decision in my eight-and-a-half years on the board – to remove Jaycee Park.
At the bottom of a detention basin, after years of absorbing water in its four-by-four support posts, the play piece was in need of a major structural overhaul. Once those support posts were removed from the ground, the American’s with Disabilities Act mandated we provide a totally inclusive, handicap accessible park. This was the first time in the district’s history we encountered this type of mandate and, without an immediate plan, we opted to take the park off-line.
In summer 2010, the park board held a community forum to explain our decision to the 35 residents who rightly voiced their displeasure. Under the direction of a new park board and new executive director, we immediately implemented a park replacement policy and schedule so we would never be faced with this embarrassment again.
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