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Local News

Kendall County officials moving forward with opening new forest preserve near Oswego

Dave Guritz, executive director for the Kendall County forest preserve district, talks during the forest preserve commission meeting on Aug. 27 at the county office building in Yorkville.
Dave Guritz, executive director for the Kendall County forest preserve district, talks during the forest preserve commission meeting on Aug. 27 at the county office building in Yorkville.

YORKVILLE – Bids for work to get the Pickerill-Pigott Forest Preserve opened to the public are set to go out in the next couple of months, according to Kendall County Forest Preserve District officials.

The update for the first phase of the public opening for the forest preserve located south of Oswego off Minkler Road came during a Forest Preserve Commission meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 27 at the county's office building.

The opening is planned for next year.

Dave Guritz, executive director for the Kendall County forest preserve district, said this first phase of the forest preserve's site plan would include the preserve's entrance, signage, parking, trails by a pond, a picnic shelter and bathrooms. He said the initial site plan review meeting between him, project consultants and staff is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 12.

“That would help to inform the site plan or if we were to ask for certain variances,” Guritz said.

Guritz said next steps from there could include the forest preserve going to the county's planning, building and zoning committee to potentially request variances. Once forest preserve officials get final answers on those potential variances, he said, the plan would then go to the commission for review and approval.

“It would probably be the mid-October committee of the whole [meeting] that we would bring this back to,” Guritz said.

Guritz said the phase one project will go out to bid for 30 days once he gets the blessing from the commission to move ahead. He said he doesn't anticipate it going out to bid until the middle of next month and not getting bids back or awarding contracts until mid-November.

Guritz said the forest preserve district is still shooting to open the preserve to the public by the end of June. He said he anticipates construction to begin mid-April or the beginning of May.

“I would say it’s a three month project from start to finish,” Guritz said.

Guritz said the current update for the forest preserve does not include opening the vacant Ken Pickerill house on the property, which he recently moved into following the commission's approval, to the public. That comes after architectural consultants estimated it would cost the commission $367,000 to $640,000 in renovations to open the house to the public.

“We’re ready to move forward, but we need to identify the funding source and what the district can put in as a match,” Guritz said.

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