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Carbondale City Council to discuss park district's response to merging proposal

City of Carbondale Logo
City of Carbondale
City of Carbondale Logo

The Carbondale City Council will discuss the park district’s response to the city’s proposal to merge with the city at tonight’s city meeting.

Back in April of 2019, Carbondale residents voted in favor of the referendum “should the City of Carbondale and the Carbondale Park District consider merging operations” with 71% of the votes.

After reviewing information and data from the park district the city sent out a proposal with different options of merging or not merging in March of 2021.

The city received a response at the end of January stating at this time the board of commissioners feel a merger would not benefit residents in the best way possible.

Park district Interim Executive Director Trey Anderson says the board wants to continue working with the city and revisit merging down the road.

”Their response was they didn't feel it was best at this time to consider merging the park district with the city. They wanted to try to work to collaborate in any way possible.”

Councilman Lee Fronabarger says he’s disappointed the district doesn’t want to continue discussions because parks and recreation are a city department in 48 states.

“Only two states that don't have all their parks under the city is Illinois and California, but yet even here in Illinois, dozens of communities have chosen to place Parks and Recreation under the guidance of the city government.”

The virtual city council meeting starts at 6pm on zoom, a link can be found on the city website.

To watch the city council meeting click here.

Benjy Jeffords is a digital media production specialist at WSIU Public Broadcasting located at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Contact WSIU Radio at 618-453-6101 or email wsiunews@wsiu.org
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