By Megann Horstead | For The Sentinel
The Shorewood Village Board of Trustees approved construction plans for two projects, one being Wynstone Park and another for a public bikeway along Black Road at their March 3 special meeting.
Officials unanimously approved both efforts, the first being a contract award to Wilkinson Excavating for Wynstone Park.
“It’s actually going to be a great facility for an underserved area,” said Shorewood Mayor Rick Chapman.
The park, located near Wynstone and Mounds Roads, will feature a number of amenities including a new playground, a practice field and a pavilion. That project is slated to reach completion by the fall.
The village read six bids for the construction effort to find and award a contract in the amount of $610, 234 to the lowest bidder, Wilkinson Excavating.
Wynstone Park improvements will be paid for using monies budgeted in the village’s park fund and additional funding issued by the state’s Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grant to account for $839,000 in total estimated project costs.
Public Works Director Chris Drey said funding for this initiative was held up by the state only to create a delay. The village took time to look into cost-saving measures and they’re looking to take advantage of that, he said.
“We have approximately $130,000 worth of equipment and pieces that we will buy and will [be included in] a packet and will be brought in front of [the village board] accordingly,” he said. “That’ll save us money from the contractor purchasing it.”
The contractor will be responsible for storing and installing the equipment, which is to be purchased at a later date.
The board also authorized a pact with the Forest Preserve District of Will County to construct a public bikeway that connects the City of Joliet and the Village of Shorewood along Black Road.
“My understanding is that they will also be putting some sort of connection over I-55,” said Village Attorney Jim Murphy.
Shorewood Mayor Rick Chapman said he’s excited to see this initiative coming together.
“This has been in the works for decades, not just years,” he said. “This has been in the works for a while. [It’s] well over due. That’s that one connection… the one that kind of completes this entire network.”
Also at that meeting, Shorewood board action approves a proposal for new key access control software providing entry in and out of Village Hall.
“This was an all-around effort between Chris Drey’s department and I,” said Deputy Police Chief Jason Barten. “[Village Administrator] Mr. [Roger] Barrowman came to me, and we had talked about doing this last year in the budget; it didn’t happen.”
“We were able to determine that the funds were available,” he said, noting that village staff saw some increased revenues and monies leftover from unfunded programs.
Barten said this initiative is viewed as a huge upgrade for Shorewood.
“The technology that currently exists in the Village Hall is dated,” Barten said. “It was installed the time the Village Hall was made. There’s no room for any type of upgrade or expansions. Esscoe, who was the bid at that time, put the equipment in. We [went] back to them and gave them the opportunity to improve everything that was here.”
Trustee Anthony Luciano questioned how advanced is the new key access control software.
“I know the newest ones have the ability to issue you a code for one hour or issue a code between 11 or 12 o’clock at night,” he said. “Is this that sophisticated?”
Drey tried to explain.
“The discussions we’ve had—and that’s why we thought this was a great opportunity between both the buildings and any future buildings—is to get into newer software,” he said. “Like Deputy Chief Barten said, when this building was done 10 years ago or so, the equipment was even older. The software was even older than all of that. We hadn’t done any upgrades to that. “
Drey added that though the current key access system has been very reliable and they’ve had little problems with it, the newer software allows the village to restrict and allow access to the building at times when it’s needed.