Bellevue parks department held ground in 2020
By John McCracken
BELLEVUE – The Village of Bellevue’s Parks, Recreation and Forestry department had a steady year, despite barriers and bumps caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Department director Adam Waszak presented a report during the March 24 village board meeting, where he said the biggest change in the past year was the completion of Bedford Heights Park, which added 6 acres of parkland.
The department maintains more than 325 acres of parkland and more than 4,400 public street and park trees.
It receives revenue from venue rentals, event sponsorships and sports leagues, which Waszak said were hard to come by during the pandemic.
Park shelter and community center rentals in the village were down by roughly half compared to the previous four years, he said.
Waszak said at the beginning of 2020, the department was trending up, but with shutdowns and cancelled events, things were scaled back drastically.
“A lot of parks and recreation agencies throughout the country are chalking last year up to a loss,” he said.
This isn’t the case for the village, because Waszak said he believes the fact Bellevue parks stayed open year-round was because of the involved community and staff.
At the beginning of 2021, rentals, recreation and leagues are seeing a return to normal as the weather warms up and residents receive vaccines, he said.
“As long as we keep trending in this direction, we’ll see a fairly normal summer,” said Waszak.
He said 2021 will be a busy year for the forestry division, with the conversion of the Moonrise Court park into a community garden in coordination with upcoming construction.
The village board unanimously approved two resolutions levying special assessments on Moonrise Court and Guns Street properties for upcoming construction.
Moonrise Court will be reconditioned and resurfaced, with estimated project costs totaling $72,000.
Seven and a half residential Moonrise Court lots are being assessed at $5,562 per lot.
Non-residential properties on Moonrise will be assessed at $53.23 per foot, less the total amount assessed for the Moonrise Court Park, which is a cost the village will absorb.
Guns Street will see a major facelift later this year, with road and sidewalk construction and culvert replacement on the horizon.
The total project is estimated to cost $1.1 million with $450,000 funded by a Local Road Improvement Program grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
Thirty-six residential Guns Street are being assed at $6,247 per lot.
Nonresidential properties on Guns Street will be assed at $49 per foot.
In the coming weeks, WPS will be prepping gas lines ahead of both construction projects.
Contractors have 110 days, or until Oct. 15, to complete the construction.