PRINCETON — The Princeton Park District has reached out to the Washington, Ill., Park District to help with recovery efforts of that tornado-struck community.
At Monday’s Princeton Park Board meeting, Elaine Russell, executive director, said Nick Davis, recreation director, brought up the idea at a recent staff meeting, suggesting the Princeton Park District contact the Washington Park District directly to see how Princeton could help. Once he talked with the Washington recreation coordinator, Davis and co-worker Bailey Beaber then organized a bake sale and collection for Washington, and $1,400 was raised.
The $1,400 was turned into Walmart gift cards, Russell said. Davis, Beaber and co-worker Mike Anderson have all gone down to Washington to take the donation and to help with clean-up efforts, Russell said.
In his comments to the board, Davis said when he walked into the lobby of the Washington park facility, it was full of clothes, food, bottles of water, and toiletries. He was told those items would all be distributed by the end of the evening and more items brought in for the next day. Eleven employees of the Washington Park District were directly impacted by the tornado, with eight of those people totally losing their homes, including the park district’s executive director, a preschool program teacher, and board president, Davis said.
The Washington Park District is also providing an all-day preschool camp for children, Davis said. On the first day after the tornado, the Washington Park District had 15 kids for its program; the second day it had 60 kids; on the third day, there were more than 120 kids.
As far as the general sights, Davis said there are heaps of debris piled around everywhere. Houses are leveled. The devastation is widespread. There are still some areas where people couldn’t enter.
The people at the Washington Park District were very appreciative of all the donations, Davis said.
In other business at Monday’s board meeting, attorney Bob Russell presented the bids for the park district’s $790,000 general obligation bids. The park district received two bids, one from Central Bank with a 1 percent interest rate and no fee for service as registrar of the bond, and another bid from Midland States Bank with a 2.05 percent interest rate and no fee for serving as registrar. Both bids were very good, but Central Bank was the winner, and his recommendation was to accept the low bid from Central Bank, Russell said.
The board approved the bond ordinance on a unanimous roll call vote. The bonds are to be repaid by Nov. 3, 2014.
Russell also commended the park board members for being so dedicated in attending conferences, including the national park board conference which is coming up in January. Those conferences are a good way for board members to educate themselves and to learn how to become more efficient and to use taxpayer dollars wisely. it speaks well for the Princeton Park Board members to make the time to attend the conferences, Russell said.
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