A public forum was held May 1 to discuss possible additions and updates to Myer Creek Park in Calhoun.

Installations of new playground equipment, a new sewer line, new bathrooms, a lift station and a concrete pad for the bathrooms are the goals for the new upgrades to the park.

McLean County has applied for a grant through the Green River Area Development District and the grant is a 50/50 match, meaning the McLean County Fiscal Court would have to match half of the amount the grant is for, according to Luke Hill, the regional transportation planner in the community and economic development department at GRADD.

The fiscal court will have to match $166,000 for the new upgrades to the park. The grand total for the project is $332,000.

A total of $40,000 will go to the bathrooms, $40,000 will go to the concrete pad, plumbing and power to the bathroom, $60,000 will go to the playground equipment, $20,000 will go to the lift station, $30,000 will go to the sewer line, $47,000 will be built in for contingency in case there are any problems once the project begins and $50,000 will go to engineering costs.

“We don’t know if the project will be funded until next spring or early summer,” Hill said.

The location of the new bathrooms will be next to the 4-H center, along with the concrete pad and the lift station.

“The reason why this project started was because the current bathhouse facility has three large holding tanks,” said McLean County Judge-Executive Curtis Dame. “After doing some research, we found out that the holding tanks have to be pumped two to three times a year and it averages around $900 every time we go to pump those tanks.”

The project will be funded through avenues like the holdover coal funds, which is to be used for projects like this one. According to Dame, the use of these funds for the project have been approved by the state and $40,000 will come from the coal funds.

The county is also expecting to receive $1.78 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act which are federal funds. One of the four categories ARPA assists with is public infrastructure, which includes sewer and water lines, according to Dame.

Dame said the installation of new bathrooms will hopefully increase the usage of the 4-H facilities and the pavilion.

The new bathrooms will be open year round and available to the public at any time. Currently, the bathhouse stays closed from October to March so the only other option is porta potty installations.

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