BRADLEY — If all goes as planned, the annexation of a Bourbonnais Township Park District park property into Bradley could be complete by early September.
Bradley Mayor Mike Watson said following Monday’s Bradley Village Board meeting the first step will be the adoption of a park board resolution requesting annexation of the 165-acre parcel which is the Perry Farm property immediately west of Kennedy Drive at West Broadway Street.
A public hearing will also be needed, which is anticipated to take place in perhaps early to mid-July. He said the annexation could be in place about 45 days following that action.
What zoning classification would be placed on the property has not been determined. Most properties are placed in some variation of residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural zones.
Watson said some early thoughts are leading officials toward creation of some type of new classification for a park district property. He said a zoning classification allowing farm animals will be needed, so this is a concept being explored.
“We are looking for a really good partnership between the park district and Bradley,” Watson said. He noted through the village’s business district, of which Perry Farm will be part of, there will be funds available to help the park board with property upgrades.
He said there are also grant funds available which could help pay for a consultant to help develop a five-year plan to set the course for systematic improvements to the site.
The annexation of the Perry Farm property does not have any bearing on the park district’s properties such as Diamond Point or Willowhaven Park & Nature Center.
“It’s a jewel,” Watson said of Perry Farm. But, he noted, there has not been much done to significantly upgrade the property in the past several years. He believes this new arrangement will change that fact.
“We will help fund the things we like. It’s still their property, it’s still their park district. I think five years from now the naysayers to this move will come to think this [annexation] was a great move,” he said. “This is a way to share with the region.”
Lee Provost, an award-winning reporter, has been writing local news stories for The Daily Journal since 1988. He is a lifelong resident of the region. Provost can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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