A new referendum is trying to make it onto the November 4th ballot. The Joliet Park Districts $19.5 million initiative, “Vote Yes Protect Our Parks,” wants to expand the safety and security of 21 local parks and do reconstruction of some parks as well.
Projects include resurfacing the roads and trails of Pilcher Park, construction of a multipurpose room and recreation center at Inwood Park and working on reforestation issues. Also in the referendum is a proposal for a second sheet of ice at Inwood Park.
The district has emphasized that the money will go toward improvements and not personnel salaries or pensions.
If passed, residents would pay an additional $20.50 a year per $100,000 house value on the portion of their park district taxes.
Phone and mail surveys have been conducted and it was determined that 60 percent of the voters would be for this measure with another 20 percent still debating the initiative.
Joliet automotive dealer Terry D’Arcy is leading the initiative. “We started putting out yard signs and things like that this week to bring attention to the opportunity. Then we’re going to start speaking in front of churches and [to] homeowners groups to get the word out,” D’Arcy said.
This is not the first time D’Arcy has been involved with an initiative. Back in 2002 he helped pass District 86’s $28 million referendum to build two new schools.
D’Arcy said, “I feel as good about this one as I did about that one. It’s only about enhancing our community and making Joliet a better place to live.”