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Lemont

Downtown park, open spaces the topic of discussions in Lemont

LEMONT - The Lemont Park District continues to receive resident input that ultimately guides their activity and investments. One of the top interests of the community has been open space and trails as well as a downtown park, according to a park district news release.

Long-term plans continue to evolve as the park district moves forward in researching the possibility of a downtown presence.

The Park District Board of Commissioners and the Lemont Board of Trustees met June 16 in joint session to coordinate various activities within the community. Of special discussion was the revitalization of the north end of Stephen Street, the former location of the steel swing bridge and Tri-Central Marine Terminal.

This long-abandoned area holds tremendous opportunity and challenges that can be responsibly overcome. The collaborative vision for the future, is to redevelop this area into open park space and trail linkages, the release stated.

With the community’s interests and feedback in mind, the park district is partnering with the village to begin conversations about the potential public use of this property.

“Our vision is for Lemont to become a true recreational destination,” said Lemont Mayor John Egofske in the release. “With many outdoor recreational projects being implemented this summer, restoring and developing this property for public use would be the optimal situation versus it being used for industrial purposes.

“When it comes to beautifying this area for the community and providing needed park and open space to the downtown, the park district is the perfect agency to partner with in order to make this happen.”

Both agencies are having ongoing discussions with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, the owner of the land, to possibly enter into a low- to no-cost long-term lease. Upon possible completion of a lease agreement, the park district and the village are committed to engage the community in creating a new and exciting future of open public space in the downtown, according to the release.

“The Lemont Park District is eager to continue to supply results to community requests such as the desire for a downtown park presence,” said Park District Board President Brian Pepich in the release. “As fiscal responsibility is a value the Lemont Park District holds in the highest regard, conservative measures will be taken during any and all planning.

"The Lemont Park District Board of Commissioners continue to be grateful for the support of the community and thanks to the residents that take the time to provide us with vital feedback and suggestions. Your dedication and passion for your park district make our job well worth it.”

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