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HomeNewsKenilworth Beach Project Referendum Could be Decided by Village Board in December

Kenilworth Beach Project Referendum Could be Decided by Village Board in December

With 4 possible water plant and beach design and upgrade options — and their potential costs — now in hand, Kenilworth Village Board members may resolve Dec. 11 whether or not they need to help pay for 2 of the costlier options with a bond referendum on the March 2024 primary ballot. 

Such a choice, which could allow for a September 2024 construction start, must be made by Jan. 2, Cook County’s deadline for putting referendums on the ballot, Village Manager Patrick Brennan told a small audience at a Nov. 30 information session held on the Kenilworth Assembly Hall. 

The range of potential project scopes presented at that session range from minimal upgrades that might cost about $700,000 and be paid for with existing village funds, to a serious revamp of the previous plant and its beach facilities that might cost about $8.5 million and require a $5 million bond issuance.

Shoreline protection plans for the prevailing beach areas could cost $1.5-$1.9 million. Because the village has determined it must tackle that work irrespective of which plan is chosen, that will add to every option’s cost; for example, it will bring the overall cost of the most important choice to $10 million or more. 

“Funding is a giant issue, but understanding the alternatives we make drives the funding,” Brennan said.

Brennan and Andy Tinucci — of Tinucci Woodhouse Architects, chosen in 2022 by the board to create beach and constructing improvements — walked the audience through all 4 project scopes, labeled minimal, moderate, moderate-plus and full, in addition to payment strategies for every. 

Brennan urged audience members and other Kenilworth residents to take a web-based survey, which must be available by Dec. 4 to offer the Village Board one last tranche of resident input by its Dec. 11 meeting.

An idea for the Kenilworth beachfront includes multiple lookout points and access points near the decommissioned water plant. | IMAGE BY WOODHOUSE TINUCCI ARCHITECTS

Each the survey and a video of the Nov. 30 presentation must be available on the village’s website on Monday, Dec. 4, Brennan said. A special newsletter with the identical materials may even be sent out, he said. The web site already features a timeline of Kenilworth officials’ consideration of beach upgrades, plus videos of previous public sessions, held in February and May of this 12 months.

Tinucci emphasized that actual designs must await a village decision on which of the 4 scopes to go together with. As presented, they’re as follows: 

• The minimal plan “is nearly to do nothing,” Tinucci said. It will maintain existing amenities, but offer only surface improvements to existing washrooms. Residents who replied to previous input requests said improving or replacing washrooms were a high priority for them. The remainder of the constructing could be shut off, and access to the beach — one other high priority issue with residents — would stay the identical, including elevators that aren’t at all times accessible. It may very well be paid for from the village’s current fund balances.

• The moderate plan could cost about $3.3 million and would place latest staff facilities and restroom facilities closer to the beach. A brand new access ramp would make it easier to achieve the beach, and landscaping could “soften” the beach facility’s overall look, Tinucci said. The remainder of the constructing would still be decommissioned, he said, but would still cost the village for mandatory maintenance. This scope could still be paid with village funds, but much of what could be done under this scope might find yourself being wasted, if the village decides in the longer term to go together with a more ambitious plan.

The “moderate plus” level of labor would come with every thing involved within the moderate scope, plus adding a brand new multi-purpose room within the constructing and fully renovating the second floor, while closing off the primary floor. It could cost $5.05 million and could be the primary option level to require going outside village funds for $2.5 million of the required dollars, Brennan said. That may very well be done via a bond issuance, nevertheless it also may very well be tackled with a fundraising campaign, he said. The board would have to determine if such a campaign was realistic, he added.

• Like that level, the ultimate level, listed as “Full,” would use $3.4 million from village balances and want a $5 million bond issue to pay for the remaining. In line with Tinucci and Brennan, it will include the brand new multi-purpose space and the renovated second floor, plus a totally renovated lower level with latest concessions, storage lockers and recreation spaces. Work on the beach north of the constructing, which wasn’t addressed in previous scope levels, would allow the Kenilworth Sailing Club to maneuver its boat storage contained in the constructing. 

The few questions from audience members on the Nov. 30 information session focused largely on costs and the way they might be met. One listener wondered if plans for a big ramp to permit for easier beach access would add an excessive amount of concrete to the placement, and one other audience member fearful about how secure a renovated north end beach could be for youngsters who might swim there without good thing about lifeguards. 

On the session, Brennan said he would probably present the board with potential referendum language after they meet on Dec. 11. That might allow Kenilworth to get a referendum onto next March’s ballot. 

The board could theoretically decide to put a referendum onto the November 2024 ballot, in the event that they resolve to go for a later construction start, he said on Dec. 1. And while the village has put in for possible federal grant funds, it doesn’t know when it can get a solution on that, he said.

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