Bonduel urged to better maintain parks

Survey brought forth dozens of suggestions for improvements
Kevin Passon

Bonduel village officials were provided with dozens of suggestions to improve their parks when people responded to a survey about the parks as part of updating the village’s comprehensive outdoor recreation plan.

The suggestions ran the gamut and including more seating, a splash pad, more and safer sidewalks for residents to access the parks, new playground equipment, and trails for walking, biking and running.

“Add a walking/biking trail on the outer edges of the village, perhaps incorporating the new community trail behind the elementary school,” a survey respondent wrote. “It would be safer than what we have now, with so many people walking in the streets in town every day.”

Four out of five respondents said they would support vacating and removing the portion of Park Street that dissects Village Park to accommodate new facilities and improve safety.

The October survey gathered results from 207 people, including 175 residents of the village. Also, 40% of the respondents use the village parks weekly, with another 37% using the parks monthly.

Of 200 responses, 157 said dogs should be allowed in the parks if they are on a leash.

The four most important needs at the parks were listed as upgrading or replacing playground equipment, constructing new restroom facilities, replacing the kitchen and other updates to the concession building, and replacing or refurbishing the bleachers area and overhead shelter.

“The Village needs top notch facilities to attract new residents and retain existing residents,” one respondent wrote. “The Village needs to put growth as a top priority. Expanding our tax base with new housing development/neighborhood and new businesses is important. Expanding and improving youth programs is a key to attracting and retaining young families.”

More and more people – and municipal parks – are in favor of pickleball courts. Of the 203 who responded to whether they would use the courts if they were constructed in Bonduel, 102 said yes and 101 said no.

Of course, no improvements can be done without money to pay for the work and equipment.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents agree or strongly agree when asked if they favor allocating tax dollars for future park projects. Another 30% were neutral, with 4.41% disagreeing and 6.37% strongly disagreeing.

Also, 59% of the respondents said they would consider making an outright donation for park improvements if the money was used for particular projects.

Respondents were also asked to rank three options about where the village should focus its efforts regarding the parks.

Improving or expanding existing parks was No. 1, with two-thirds of the people making it their first choice. Creating new bike and pedestrian trails was ranked second, and creating or preserving new parks and natural areas in third.

One respondent urged officials not to make any changes; rather, they simply wanted the village to better maintain what is already in place.

Another respondent appreciated the efforts the village is taking to improve the parks but also urged more work to be much sooner.

“I wish we could create more ball fields and the Village understood the financial asset they are to the community. Every weeknight in the summer, extended family members and friends come into our Village to watch their friends’ children and grandchildren play and participate. Then they stop at local businesses to eat, etc.,” the respondent wrote.

“I wish the Village took care of what we have (cut the lawn more regularly, etc). Did something to the ‘river’ that runs through the park most springs/early summer. It is a hazard and an eyesore. I am happy improvements are in the works. I have been hearing about them for years and haven’t seen the work yet.”

Officials will now weigh the survey results and all comments before drafting the updated comprehensive plan.