Hobart Park Board puts up money for new message board at Festival Park
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent August 19, 2013 9:58PM
Updated: September 21, 2013 6:33AM
HOBART — The Park Board Monday committed to contributing up to $40,000 for a new message board and sign to be installed at Festival Park as part of the city’s rebranding of the downtown area to the Lakefront District.
Director of Development Denarie Kane told the Park Board this would be part of the first of four gateways to the downtown area that will ultimately be built.
She said the initial gateway project grew to include a median across from the park entrance at 111 E. Old Ridge Road to slow traffic.
“We felt this was the right thing to do,” Kane said.
She said preliminary costs for the electronic message board and sign and the masonry base for the sign are about $32,200, with another $4,000 for lighting.
She said because the sign will be installed in Festival Park, it can be paid for with park bond money.
Park Board member John Hevel said while he feels it will be a big improvement for Festival Park and the community center there, he worried about having enough money on hand to complete the Oak Savannah bike trail.
Kane said there should be enough money for both projects.
She said bids for the gateway project are due Aug. 28, with the winning bid to be awarded on Sept. 6. She said work should start by Sept. 16 and completed in spring 2014.
“This is a great project with good timing,” said Parks Supt. John Mitchell.
Mitchell said the bike trail should finish in early spring as well.
Kane said Tim Kingsland, coordinator of the Sanitary District, is looking for sources of funding to pave the parking lot across from Festival Park and she’s asked the Sanitary District if it would be interested in incorporating a rain garden at the gateway.