ST. CHARLES – In conjunction with the St. Charles City Council exploring the idea of a river park and other proposed improvements along the Fox River, the River Corridor Foundation of St. Charles is looking at ways to improve the area on the east side of the Fox River along Langum Park.
As part of the nonprofit organization’s mission to enhance the riverfront and improve access to the Fox River, the River Corridor Foundation of St. Charles is proposing to undertake several projects in the Langum Park corridor. Those projects include the replacement of benches and waste receptacles to match those on the “Freedom Trail,” additional wayfinding and informational signs, providing paved handicapped access to the river’s edge where feasible and providing a safer way for bicyclists to cross Route 25.
“This is the entrance to the city,” River Corridor Foundation President John Rabchuk said in addressing aldermen on Feb. 25 at their Government Services Committee meeting. “This is when you know you are in St. Charles, when you are in that open park area. So it’s very important to have a good impression.”
One of the things the group is looking at is the installation of motion activated or push button activated warning signs for bicyclists trying to cross Route 25.
The group also is looking at making improvements to the first fishing area just north of the city’s pumping facility, including putting in new benches and installing a hard surface pavement from the existing trail to the shoreline. At the shoreline, the group would incorporate a length of rock outcrop to provide stepped access to the waterline.
“It would give the fishermen a place where they could sit and rest,” Rabchuk said. “This spring, we would like to get out and talk to them and make sure that what we’re doing fits their requirements as well.”
The group also wants to address drainage issues by incorporating bioswales using native plantings. Bioswales are landscape elements designed to concentrate or remove debris and pollution out of surface runoff water.
Aldermen liked what they saw.
“I like that you are complementing and improving a current use,” 2nd Ward Alderman Rita Anne Payleitner said.
Second Ward Alderman Art Lemke agreed.
“There’s a lot of things in this plan to like,” he said.
In October, St. Charles aldermen approved a contract not to exceed $72,000 – plus a maximum $5,500 in out-of-pocket expenses – between HVS Convention, Sports and Entertainment Facilities Consulting and the city for an economic impact and cost benefit analysis of the Fox River Corridor Master Plan.
“The City Council had expressed a strong interest in understanding through an economic and cost-benefit analysis what the return on investment would be before committing to preliminary engineering design work for the Active Fox River project,” St. Charles Community and Development Director Rita Tungare had said in a memo.