Beckman Harbor collapse

The sidewalk along the docks at Beckman Harbor disappears into the Kankakee River after a large stretch of the pathway collapsed. READ MORE.

The Kankakee Valley Park District will have to find a way to pay for repairs to Beckman Harbor after learning its insurance provider will not cover the damage that occurred after a heavy rainfall in October.

KVPD Executive Director Dayna Heitz reported at the board of commissioners meeting on Nov. 8 that representatives from the Park District Risk Management Agency visited the harbor to assess the damage. The park district’s property is insured through PDRMA.

After that inspection, PDRMA determined that the damage was caused by long-term soil erosion, Heitz reported. As a result, the damage will not be covered by the park district’s policy through PDRMA.

“The park district continues to assess the damage to the harbor and the options for rebuilding it,” said Heitz in an email this past week. “We have already consulted with several engineers as part of this process and plan to consult with more.”

It’s unknown at this time how much it will cost to repair the damage. The dock on the north wall of Beckman Harbor collapsed into the water after heavy rains on Oct. 2 inundated Kankakee. All boats have since been removed from the harbor, and all of the docks were also removed.

The harbor has 72 boat slips, and slips 1 to 22 were directly affected by the collapse.

The actual age of Beckham Harbor is unknown. It was thought to have been constructed in the 1950s, but former Kankakee Mayor Russell Johnson contacted the Daily Journal and said the harbor was there in 1950 when his family moved to Kankakee from Chicago when he was 6 years old.


The park district’s attorneys are also still communicating with attorneys from Rink Management Services Corp., a management company based in Mechanicsville, Va., over settlement of its contract with the district. RMSC had been operating Splash Valley Aquatic Park and Ice Valley Centre Ice Arena for the district. RMSC began managing both facilities in April, but the contract was mutually terminated on Sept. 15.

RMSC has claimed that the park district owes it $99,000. The park district hired the accounting firm Lauterbach & Amen LLC, of Naperville, to do an audit.

“I hope to be able to provide you more information in the near future,” Heitz said. “But due to the ongoing negotiation over the matter, I will have no further comment at this time.”

Associate Editor

Chris Breach is the Associate Editor of The Daily Journal and the editor of the business section. A graduate of Indiana University, Breach has more than 25 years experience in newspapers. He can be reached at