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Mundelein Park District, Village of Mundelein Earn Intergovernmental Cooperation Award

Mundelein Park & Recreation District and the Village of Mundelein recently were recognized at the Illinois Association of Park District’s 2017 Best of the Best Gala as top award recipients in the category for Intergovernmental Cooperation for the transfer of property in the Holcomb subdivision to develop a neighborhood park.

“The Holcomb neighborhood has been very supportive over the past several years and has encouraged the Park District to find a spot for a park in their neighborhood,” said Margaret Resnick, Mundelein Park District Executive Director.

“Our philosophy is to have a park accessible to everyone in town without having to cross a major street. We are thrilled to be adding this park as Holcomb is a bit of an island surrounded by Routes 45 & 176. Without the Village of Mundelein’s support, the Park District would not have been able to acquire the property in this neighborhood for such a low price. By working together, we were able to serve the community with a brand new park,” she added.

“The strong partnership between the Village and the Park District benefits the entire community. By working together, we were able to take care of a blighted property making way to build a beautiful neighborhood park. This makes the neighborhood more attractive and increases property values. It’s a win-win scenario,” said John Lobaito, Village Administrator.

In 2015, the Park District approached an owner about selling an abandoned property located at 102 Goodwin in the Holcomb neighborhood, but received no reply. The Village began maintaining the property and had placed several liens on the property. In 2016, the Village officials asked the Park District if there was still interest in the property and the two government bodies worked cooperatively to move the process forward.

In the summer of 2017 the Village of Mundelein took ownership of the .27 acre parcel through the Lake County Sherriff’s Department land sale. Then, in May of 2017, a .14 acre vacant parcel adjacent to the property was placed on the market and the Park District obtained that property at a reduced rate due to the owner making a partial donation.

The Village and the Mundelein Park and Recreation District entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) allowing the Park District to purchase the .27 acre parcel. The Park District paid the Village for their direct expenses and the Village petitioned Lake County to waive the back taxes on the property which totaled over $30,000. Due to this cooperation, the savings will help pay for a portion of the demolition of the home on the property and the design and construction of a playground.

“The IGA with the Village outlines the timeframe for demolition of the home on the property and construction of the park. We anticipate taking ownership of the property by the end of the year. We will include this project in the 2018 budget. We plan to have the house razed in the spring and begin construction of the playground soon after. We anticipate a grand opening by late summer, 2018,” Resnick explained.

Each year, nominations are submitted for the Illinois Association of Park Districts “Best of the Best Awards” from park districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation and special recreation agencies across the state. This program is designed to recognize units of government which have created successful intergovernmental agreements or partnerships that maximize tax dollars and benefit residents throughout the community.

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