At a press conference held at Memorial Park in LaGrange Park, Illinois, Saturday, April 5, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced grants awarded to 46 parks in 21 Illinois counties.
Pana’s 40 acre Kitchell Park received $190,000 which when matched with local funds will create $390,000 in improvements.
The project is funded through the State’s, Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development program (OSLAD) Pana’s match came from a bequeath from the Ruby June Munzenmaier Estate, who died in 2010, and left $151,340 to the city for Kitchell Park improvements. The balance of the local match came from Pana Wal Mart and others, $20,500 for upgrading the restrooms. The Pana Parks Revitalization Committee committed $20,000 for an adult fitness track and exercise equipment.
Pana’s 40 acre Kitchell Park was donated to the citizens by Civil War Captain J.W. Kitchell and Mrs. Kitchell in 1908 and has been maintained by the city for 106 years. The OSLAD project is to revitalize the 106 year old park. The first goal of the project is to improve the experience of the user. This will be accomplished by six projects within the redevelopment of Kitchell Park.
The first project of the grant will use $210,000 to update the main playground equipment for users up to 12 years. The City of Pana was aided by Cunningham Recreation as to the possible design of the playground area to update with new playground equipment. The preparation of the area will be done by the City of Pana work crew. Installation of the equipment will be done by the crew and volunteers under the guidance of a professional playground equipment installer. This part of the project will also include the installation of a two station ADA fishing dock on the Park Lagoon in the main playground area.
The second project of the grant will purchase and install a new pump/filter component system at the swimming pool. The grant will use $70,000 for the update of this component pump/filter system. The pool is 51 years old and the system is the original. The project is badly needed as the use of the old system is well past its life and its performance is near noncompliance. The component system is the original and inspectors are telling the City that the last season for its use is very near. Without the new pump system the pool would most probably shut down. The pool itself is not part of the project, just the component pumps in the pump room adjacent to the pool.