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Village discusses upgrades for Warnken Park

telecom tower ordinance submitted and new officer sworn in

Officer Blake Klosa was sworn in during Monday evening's Forreston Village Board meeting. He will be taking over for officer Brad Schubert. Photo by Zach Arbogast
Officer Blake Klosa was sworn in during Monday evening's Forreston Village Board meeting. He will be taking over for officer Brad Schubert. Photo by Zach Arbogast

A Forreston Park is on course to receive a few upgrades in the coming months after some donations and action between the Lion’s Club and village board.

During Monday evening’s Forreston Village Board meeting, Ken Toms, Chairman of Buildings, Grounds, Parks, Zoning and Planning Committee, delivered some news to the board regarding Warnken Park, 604 E Avon St., receiving a new bench, as well as presenting action on purchasing new basketball hoops and possibly replacing one of the swings.

The full-metal bench is being donated by Damaris Swalve, in honor of her late husband, Virgil, who died last year.

“Virgil was very influential in getting Warnken Park set up, and did a lot of work down there,” said Toms.

A four feet by eight feet concrete slab will need to be put in for the bench. Swalve is paying for both the bench and concrete, and the village will get the work done.

Toms said he does not yet know when work will begin on that, but the board agreed it needs to be done by the Fourth of July.

The board also voted unanimously to proceed with shopping for two sets of goose-neck basketball systems with chain nets, for putting in a 45 feet by 40 feet, six inch deep basketball court at Warnken Park, approximating a cost of around $2,000.

“We discussed with the Lion’s Club putting in a basketball court inside [Warnken Park], it’d be exactly the same size as the one at Memorial Park,” said Toms.

The Forreston Lion’s Club approached village president Mark Metzger just before Christmas about adding an addition to Warnken Park with funds they have raised.

Metzger said at the Jan. 15 meeting that it appeared the Lions intended to pay for the entire project, but that the village board could help.

Toms also said the committee discussed replacing one of the regular swings on the swing set with an enclosed toddler bucket swing, with an approximate cost of $160. No action was taken on moving forward with that.

The board also voted to submit an ordinance to the Plan Commission about a policy on building tower structures in village limits. The commission will schedule a public hearing before they can pass the ordinance.

“If somebody has enough space on a lot in town, they can put a big cell tower in,” said Metzger. “While we’re not against it, it’s just, there’s certain areas of town that we’d want it limited in where it can go.”

The push to make the policy came from concern voiced at the May 21 village board meeting, where Metzger brought up that AT&T showed interest in putting a telecommunication tower on the truck and warehouse lot bordered by North Chestnut Avenue, East Avon Street, and North Oak Avenue and owned by Keith Anderson.

The board expressed displeasure at not having much say in whether or not the tower goes up right in the middle of the downtown area.

In other action, Blake Klosa, of Freeport, was sworn in as a new full-time officer for Forreston.

Klosa has served Byron as a part-time officer, and is replacing Brad Schubert, whose last day is June 9.

The village board meets again on June 18, at 7 p.m. at the village hall. The meeting is open to the public.

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