This Park Avenue Beach Campus, which provides unique and precious boating, fishing and other opportunities to the community, has been neglected. Problems which could have cost tens of thousands to fix may now cost hundreds of thousands to fix
- The Park District is not taking care of the boat house. Gutters arenít cleaned and foliage and dirt are accumulating, things are growing on the roof, and because the hillside has been sliding up against the building unchecked for years, there is water seeping into the building during every rain
- The Barge, a critical piece of infrastructure, supports many functions of this beach. It protects one side of the boat ramp, which enables large sailboats, powerboats and emergency vehicles to launch; it also serves as the breakwater which creates a protective cove so that smaller sailboats, kayaks and paddle boards can safely launch from the beach--protected from the surf by the barge.
- It is currently storm damaged, sinking, and in need of significant repairs. Already, it is closed to the people who would fish, use its benches and use it as a place to stroll and watch the lake. Because the Board has deferred maintenance on it repair costs are getting more expensive. I would:
- Advocate for undertaking a thorough and comprehensive professional evaluation of the barge immediately before this boating season begins, and making that evaluation public.
- If the situation is critical I would hope the temporary solution would be to shore up the barge until permanent repairs can be made.
- Urge the Board, in conjunction with the City of Highland Park, to allocate funds for a long term plan for the entire campus. Furthermore, I'd advocate for this plan to be completed as soon as possible, so that the question of repair or replacement can be taken in a thoughtful and economically conservative manner.