Parking seemed to be the theme of Plainfield’s Monday night Village Board meeting.
While plans to add parking around Village Green Park were not on the agenda of Monday night’s special Village Board meeting, at least two dozen residents attended to voice concerns. Currently, the village is amid a three-year project for underground utility improvements and roadway reconstruction in the Village Green area, located south of Lockport Street, east of James Street and west of Route 59.
Last year, the village completed lining and repairing all sanitary sewers, and this year it is continuing its utility improvements, including water main and sanitary sewer construction and water service replacement. Next year, plans include reconstructing the roads and sidewalks and installing lighting in the area.
A concept design for the roadway reconstruction includes adding about 20 parking spots around the perimeter of Village Green Park – on Fox River, Ottawa and Des Plaines streets, Director of Public Works Allen Persons said.
However, engineering plans have not been finalized and will need to be discussed and approved by the end of the year for the project to go out to bid. It would need to be awarded by February for work to start next year, he said.
“Ultimately, it is the Village Board’s decision,” Persons said.
Residents, speaking during the public comments portion of the meeting, raised concerns about the safety of neighborhood children going to and from the park, as well as losing the open vista of the village green.
Candace Sholz, mother of two small children, encouraged the board to weigh “the risks and rewards.”
Tom Ruane, a member of the Village Preservation Commission, encouraged board members to “look for a long-term parking solution and not just grab low-hanging fruit.”
Parking also was a concern for board trustees who were set to vote Monday night on the plans for a banquet facility for a portion of an urban market, Sanctuary Plainfield, located at the corner of Main and Lockport streets.
However, with the applicant not having met conditions set by the board at the last meeting, board trustees withdrew a motion to approve the plans.
“I have an issue voting on this and approving this if the main issue for our residents downtown is not meted out,” Trustee Brian Wojowski said.
Trustees said they would consider a vote on the request once issues were resolved.