Development of the Lucas-Berg area is a top priority for the Worth Park District. (Supplied photo)

Development of the Lucas-Berg area is a top priority for the Worth Park District. (Supplied photo)

Voters say ‘yes’ to Worth Park District

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By Bob Bong

Voters have approved the Worth Park District request to pay a little more to support development plans and park facilities.

The district was asking voters on Tuesday to approve a 0.2000 percent tax rate increase, which would add about $5 more per month for every $100,000 of equalized assessed value of their home to their tax bills.

Park officials said the money would be earmarked to maintain existing services, improve parkland, and fund capital projects.

Pending any changes to election results when early votes are counted, the measure was approved with 311 “yes” votes to 280 “no” votes.

“I’m very happy with the support we received,” said Bob O’Shaughnessy, director of parks and recreation. “Should it become official, we are thrilled. This will allow us to finally plan for the future and to make some needed improvements.”

Worth Park District President Mike McElroy said the park board had been evaluating the need for a tax-rate increase for years.

“For over 60 years of the Worth Park District’s history, the tax rate has never been increased,” McElroy said. “Throughout the pandemic and after, we are seeing a significant increase in park usage and our residents deserve high quality open space and amenities in the community.

“Our residents deserve good neighborhoods, schools, and parks, which all adds to an overall increase in property values, natural aesthetics, and quality of life for our residents.”

“The Park District is committed to be responsible stewards of the additional funds,” Park Commissioner Kari Fickes said. “This referendum approval will allow us to make improvements, create innovative programming, seek grant opportunities, preserve our Veterans Memorial, and look toward future development for generations to come.”

O’Shaughnessy said the three major projects the district will work on going forward are development of Altman Park and Veterans Park and finally being able to develop the Lucas-Berg site for public recreation.

Other races

Also on Tuesday, Eileen Kerlin Walsh and Tracy M. Sullivan were easily elected as new six-year trustees for the Moraine Valley Community College Board in a race that featured 10 candidates.

With all 237 precincts reporting, complete but unofficial results showed that Walsh led all candidates with 9,804 votes while Sullivan received 9,556 votes.

They outpolled board president Brian O’Neill (4,994 votes) and newly appointed board member Tiffany Robinson (3,516).

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