Former Forest Park Village Administrator Tim Gillian was unanimously appointed to the Park District of Forest Park Board of Commissioners on Nov. 18, filling a vacancy created when Matt Walsh resigned from the board in August.
Walsh, who was elected to the park board in 2013 at just 20 years old, left the board after he was named interim village manager in south suburban Homer Glen. Gillian’s appointment once again gives the board a full slate of five members.
Gillian served as a village commissioner in Forest Park before being appointed to the administrator position in 2009. He stepped down from that job earlier this year.
Gillian’s appointment came early in the regular Nov. 18 meeting.
That meeting included an update on construction of the park’s newly designed splash pad — it is still scheduled to open in time for the summer of 2022 despite some small hiccups — and a proposal to begin renting out the Roos Recreation Center during off-hours.
That preliminary proposal would allow groups, particularly local youth sports teams, to rent the gymnasium portion of the center in the evenings after the center closes and in the early mornings before it opens.
Park officials said requests for indoor rental space have been high, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to this point the board had not authorized the park district to allow any rentals of the space.
“We get calls daily from people just wanting to rent the facility,” Park District Executive Director Jackie Iovinelli said the following morning. “Our goal is to never impact programming or normal operating hours.”
Exact details of the rental program, including pricing and a date when rentals could begin, have not been set.
In other board business, Iovinelli also recommended reinvigorating the park district’s fairly dormant foundation arm to help fund scholarships for things like summer camp for families in need of assistance.
The department also revealed minor upgrades to the pocket parks it assumed oversight of from the village in 2020 with the planting of 4,000 tulip bulbs throughout the four parks.