June 03, 2014 | 03:12 PMBLOOMFIELD — Last year, the village’s McKay Park improvement plan didn’t get the state Department of Natural Resources stewardship grant that local officials hoped would cover half the cost.
Now, village officials are asking for less money, with a scaled-back project that costs $194,000.
The plan calls for a shelter with restrooms, a split-rail fence and gravel trails on the 13-acre Lake Geneva Highway property near Star Center Elementary School.
“Once you get a shelter out there, so people have a place to go to have their picnics and have their reunions, I think it will be used more,” said Village President Ken Monroe in a May 15 interview. “At this time, there’s nothing out there for people to use.”
What is now a park was an 18-hole golf course in the 1920s, or so the stories go. In 1995, Gene Snow donated the land to the former town of Bloomfield, and it became McKay Park.
In 2013, the village’s plan for McKay Park included a pavilion, a children’s play area, picnic benches and a finished parking lot. That plan was estimated to cost $445,000. Bloomfield asked for a $225,500 grant from the DNR.
In a May 15 interview, Village President Ken Monroe said the old plan contained items they wanted to see in the long-term future of McKay Park.
The biggest aspect of this year’s plan is a 20-by-44-foot open shelter. The gravel trails would run around the park perimeter, said Monroe, and the fence would go up at Sunset Drive and Manor Terrace.
The DNR stewardship grant would cover half the project cost — $97,000.
Monroe and, in a May 31 email, trustee Ken Bauman said the other half of the project would be paid for using impact fee revenue. Impact fees have come up recently, not just in relation to the McKay Park project, but the proposed public safety addition to the town/village hall, N1100 Town Hall Road.
Monroe said for every home built in Bloomfield, the village receives $2,197 in impact fees.
That is divided into three spending categories — parks and open space, police and fire department.
Of that $2,197, $908 can be used for parks and open space expenditures; $773 for fire department; and $516 for police.
How much does Bloomfield have in impact fees?
Cindy Howard, the village clerk-treasurer and town of Bloomfield clerk-deputy treasurer, said on the phone Monday that, as of the beginning of 2014, the parks and lakes impact fee revenue for the town and village of Bloomfield is $89,711.71.
Town and village impact fee accounts are not yet split, she said.
But split or not, the village would still be short the $97,000 of its end to complete the project.
Or would it?
In March, the village board approved the final plat and developer’s agreement for Lakewood Estates Condominiums, an 18-home development on North Bloomfield Road, west of Highway 12.
Using figures provided by Monroe, the impact fees for parks and lakes from Lakewood Estates, as the proposal now stands, would be $16,344.
But that’s just Lakewood. Monroe figures “we should be in pretty great shape” by the time the grant goes through. “If we get it, it will probably be in 2015,” he said.
In April, the village board directed Clark Deitz, an engineer from Kenosha, to complete the application. On May 5, the board approved a resolution to adopt a comprehensive outdoor recreation plan for the village, which is necessary in order to qualify for the grant.
Howard said the village recently received notice that it met the eligibility requirements for the grant, but there’s been no word yet on if Bloomfield’s application has been approved.
“Given that this is our second attempt at funding some of this project through the stewardship grant, for a lower dollar amount, I feel that increases our likelihood of success,” said village trustee Ken Bauman in a May 31 email.
He said he sincerely believes this is a worthwhile project and would encourage other residents and board members to explore other viable funding options if the village doesn’t receive the grant.