For Want Of A Tree, A Design Is Lost?


Last week’s Park Ridge Herald-Advocate reports that the Park Ridge Public Library Board recently voted to give the Lakota Group a $5,860 contract to redesign the area south of the Library entrance, in the wake of the destruction of a tree during a June storm. (“Board selects firm to redesign reading area,” September 3)

The redesign is supposed to include the “removal of the bluestone gravel surface” and the addition of more trees “to create more shade in that area for people to sit” – according to Library Director Janet Van De Carr. 

We realize that in the scheme of the Library’s annual budget – which, incidentally, we could not find on the Library’s website – $5,860 might be considered chump change.  But we noticed that the Library Board is spending this money to redesign an area that was designed just two short years ago by…wait for it…the Lakota Group.  

We assume, or at least we would hope, that the original Lakota Group design for the “City Commons” was worth the money spent on it, which we recall as exceeding $1 million, all in.  So unless that Lakota design has somehow become obsolete in the intervening two years, why is the Library Board voting to redesign that entire area?  

C’mon, folks!  If destruction of the tree on that site is what’s driving this effort, then instead of spending almost $6,000 to redesign that area why not put that money toward replacing the fallen tree? 

We subscribe to the theory that when somebody says “It’s not the money, it’s the principle,” it’s usually the money.  But in this case, with the City’s finances in shambles and the recession impacting virtually every revenue source the City has, it should be about both money and principle. 

And if Lakota Group can’t come up with a design that remains viable for more than two years, why is the Library Board giving them yet another design (or “redesign”) contract?   

13 comments so far

I saw that article in the Advocate and it struck me the wrong way, but until your post today I wasn’t exactly sure why.

Thanks for clearing that up.

If I recall correctly, when that area was completed, they weren’t happy with that section anyway. So, the loss of the tree gives them a reason to go back and try to design something they’d be happier with. Actually, I agree that that section isn’t very comfortable, but I’m not that thrilled about paying the same folks to design something else now.

Hey, I’m not happy with a lot of stuff at my house, but I’m not going to spend money that’s in short supply just to make myself happy.

But I guess when its not your money it doesn’t matter as much, huh library people?

Another thing that bothers me which I commented on the H-A online edition is up untill the redoing of the library grounds which has been at least 2 years if not longer, there was a marker for a former PR Chamber of Commerce Director named Clare Perlin who died in 1971.

The marker seems to have baan eliminated in the process of the landscaping and its bad enough they wanna throw away more money for more lanscaping and also lack the respect of someone who was a PRCOC director by doing away with something in respect for him.

Doesn’t even matter how long ago this was obviously Perlin mattered enough for those were around when he was director so why eliminate it?

Buy a good-sized tree and be done with it. Stop hiring consultants for everything.

Librarians are sanctimonious. You can look it up.

When an old tree was removed in my parkway, a replacement couldn’t be planted in the same location, I think it had to be 10′ away to avoid competition with the old root system.

It is so “Let them eat cake”-esque of the Library Board to spend almost $6000 when taxpayers are hurting and city services are being reduced.

Anonymous 8:49 am

Never heard that one before, but if that was the case why didn’t the Library Board just say so? All they said was they were doing the redesign bedause they need more shade.

The library board could get free advice from our city forester to help determine a location of a new shade tree. I thought library staff/board was knowledgeable of how to utilize resources – heck anyone can spend money on consultants.

Anon at 11:35 is exactly right. The library (nor patrons like me) didn’t like the gravel from the get go. What confuses me is why they didn’t go back to the design firm to fix it – for free. The stuff they put down is a mess, ugly, and kicks up dust. We tried to enjoy lunch in that area a couple of times and all we got was a mouth full of dust. If they paid that much $ with those folks, they should just pay for a new tree and have the firm redo the gravel part, for free.

I’m assuming the tree was made into wood chips and not tables for the library. Why not use our city’s supply of free woodchips instead of gravel?

I have heard the Library re-landscape project cost we the tax payers over 150,000 for the design and 1.5 million to construct. Wow! All that for a butt-ugly disgrace! Who from the our fair City was responsible for this? They should be held accountable!
Now, thousands more?……..for what!!!

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