The Monticello Recreation Foundation is holding a community meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 27 to discuss the possible development of a 30-acre recreation complex, along with the fundraising needed to make it happen.
The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Monticello Christian Church at 1699 N. State St. in Monticello.
Who should attend?
“Anyone who is in a travel league, anyone who has kids participation in rec leagues here in town, anyone who has an interest in youth athletics that would like to see a better facility for soccer teams, ball teams,” said Doug Lilly, a member of the MRF board.
Nearly everyone agrees the city needs more ball fields. It currently owns just two, and those can only field younger peanut league games. Other venues the city recreation department uses are owned by other entities, including the Monticello school district and Piatt County Forest Preserve.
The issue is the cost, pegged recently at $9.2 million to develop the 30 acres of city-owned land near Apple Tree subdivision into baseball, softball and soccer fields, a stocked pond for fishing, football practice fields and a walking/bike path running through it.
That’s where the recreation foundation comes in. The city council last month gave them the go-ahead to pursue fundraising efforts and report back to the council in November.
Lilly knows $9,200,000 is a large number. But he thinks it can be done.
“If we go into thinking we can’t, why go into it? I think that’s where I’m at with it. So we’re going with ‘if we build it, they will come’ sort of thing,” said Lilly, who also serves as secretary of the MRF.
At the Aug. 27 community meeting, the history of the project will be outlined, along with current plans, cost estimates and projected timelines. Fundraising goals and grant writing ideas will also be discussed.
The land, located on the western edge of Monticello, was purchased by the city in 2009.
For more information, contact Lilly at 217-202-2014.