While a thunderstorm was unloading torrents of rain on Hinsdale Tuesday evening, Village President Tom Cauley was telling the village board that wet conditions at Veeck Park would prevent removal of mounds of unwanted dirt until summer.
Cauley said the village was making “good progress” in negotiations with John Burns Construction of Orland Park and the Chicago engineering firm of Clark Dietz, Inc. to get the dirt removed, although how much each party is going to pay for the removal remains to be determined.
“I’m hopeful that by the next board meeting we’ll have the issue resolved,” Cauley said. “But even if we do resolve it by next week, my understanding is the actual removal of the dirt will not take place until summer, and the reason for that is because it’s very wet now in Veeck Park and it will be for the remainder of the spring. Experience has shown that when heavy trucks go in Veeck Park when it’s wet like this, they just sink.”
The dirt piles are left over from construction of a storm sewage treatment facility in the park. At its last meeting two weeks ago, the village board contemplated , but that idea ran into opposition and has been abandoned.
“The village’s goal here is to—as much as possible—bring the park back to the same condition that the park was in before we began construction,” Cauley said.
The dirt piles are on the north side of the park, where they interfere with soccer fields used by the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) of Hinsdale. The AYSO has expressed an interest in providing funds for improvement of the fields, and Cauley publicly invited the organization to enter into negotiations with Burns and Clark Dietz, suggesting some cost savings might be realized.
The problems with the excess dirt at the park fall under the purview of the board’s Environment and Public Services Committee, chaired by Trustee Laura LaPlaca. She has been involved with the negotiations and has been working closely with Clark Dietz on the site plan.
“We hope to have a final plan by Friday or Monday,” she said. “At that time, I will go over with village staff to Veeck Park and they’re going to show me on the site what exactly they have in mind, so that we feel comfortable with moving forward.”