Village Awarded OSLAD Grant for Improvements at Centennial Park

On Friday, July 8, 2022, Governor Pritzker announced through a press release the award of $30.3 million in grants for 87 local park projects in Illinois.  The Village of Heyworth was an awarded project.

In August 2021, the Village applied for the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development ("OSLAD") grant to perform improvements to Centennial Park.  The improvements include replacing the existing playground equipment, adding additional equipment and expanding the playground area, constructing an ADA accessible parking lot near the playground area, installing a dock that will extend a good distance into the pond that has railing and benches, frisbee golf, improving the sand volleyball area, and installing some sidewalks (some amenities were included to strengthen the grant application based on the grant criteria).  The grant is a 50/50 grant whereby the Village will be reimbursed 50% of the costs of these improvements up to $64,700.  The estimated cost of the improvements is approximately $129,400, although some of this cost included engineering fees and labor costs that will be performed by Village staff (which can be included in the estimated cost and the Village can be reimbursed for).  

The Village will soon begin selecting the specific playground equipment and other amenities, as well as ordering the dock and other items.  It is anticipated that these improvements will be completed by the end of 2023.  

Additionally, the Village also recently purchased millings produced from the Illinois Department of Transportation U.S. Highway 136 project.  These millings are intended to be used to construct a larger parking lot south of Fields 3 & 4.  The Village intends to extend the road from the west entrance to a road that will go east/west between the two new parking lots.  This parking lot and these road extensions are also intended to be completed by the end of 2023.

The Village intends to continue improve the facilities at Centennial Park, along with improvements performed through the Village's partnership with the Heyworth School District and the Heyworth Summer League, to help further the use and enjoyment of the Park.  The Village is also working on a Parks Master Plan to help with planning for all parks, including adding additional facilities, assessing current amenities, as well as aid in obtaining and planning for future grants.  Additionally, the Village already has plans to make each park ADA accessible, to replace some amenities, and has obtained a lighting plan and estimate for lights at the Centennial Park ballfields (which unfortunately was estimated to be nearly $500,000 in order to comply with IHSA and Title IX requirements).  The Village will continue to work on improving the Village parks and applying for grants to help finance these improvements!