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After posting questions written by Racine County Eye and the Sturtevant trustee candidates’ answers, we asked residents what they wanted to know.
Here is the question and their answers listed in the order in which they were received. Answers have been not been edited:
What will you do to improve our parks?
Chris Larsen (i): Sturtevant’s parks are a vital part of the neighborhoods they are in and for too long have gone without the attention they needed. I authored a budget adjustment amendment that placed an additional $5,000 in the Parks Maintenance budget for this year, but that amount will not cover everything that needs to be done.
We have some amazing people that volunteer in our parks. The Master Gardners make them look great. Our DPW maintains the grass and fields and equipment. We improved the fencing and sidewalks at South Park. Trustee Hoffman is working with tradesmen that are donating their time and materials to get the building at South Park functional and led the volunteers that painted the building. I was honored to be a part of that day. Cree generously donated the LED lights at South Park which made it a safer park at night. It is that pride and commitment of residents and groups that care that can make a huge difference.
Additionally, we need to look at alternate funding sources for our parks, as the residents made it clear via the 2014 referendum question that they were not in favor of raising the tax levy to improve our parks. We now have to get more done with less. We need to look at grants, in-kind donations and other fundraising activities. We now need to attend to North Park and give it a facelift within our means. I have also received resident feedback that a great place for a new park would be in the Chicory Creek/Majestic Hills area if the right parcel and situation came up. With some much needed budgetary relief on the horizon for 2017, I am hopeful that we will be able to make the parks even better. Until then we need to be creative, resourceful and maximize the dollars and volunteer time invested.
Chris Wright (i): The board has tasked the DPW Director/Village Engineer as well as the chairs of Public Works Committee and Parks, Event Planning, and Beautification Committee to do a walk through of all parks to evaluate and prioritize the needs of the parks. In addition Rose Woodruff, who heads the Beautification Committee, made up of local volunteers, will go with them so she can provide input and know where her team can help. Ultimately we only have so much money after we pay for mandated services like Police, Fire/EMS, roads, and sewer. It will be a slim budget this year, but with the closure of the TIF district next spring there will be more money available to make the parks what we would like it to be.
Michelle Duchow: We need working restrooms at both North & South parks. I also support more beautification, as well as programs for the community and youth.
John Johnson (i): I would try and direct what ever park impact fees we have to focus on new equipment for the parks. Since Park Impact fees are specific for what they can be used for makes it a challenge to use the fees without violating state law. I would also try and use part-time help during the summer to help maintain the parks.
Previous Sturtevant election stories: