ROCHELLE — At its monthly meeting Monday, the Flagg-Rochelle Park District Board of Commissioners discussed a request by a film company to film at park properties early next month.
Park District Executive Director Jackee Ohlinger said she was recently contacted by the group and they asked to use the Spring Lake marina, lake and parking lot starting August 2 at 4 p.m. at 5 a.m. the next day. Filming is also expected to take place in a private residential swimming pool, for which the use of Park District lifeguard staff has been requested.
The company also requested the use of Helms Stadium for filming that same week and part of the REC Center to serve dinner to its staff from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following day. Filming would last three days.
Ohlinger said the lights at Helms Stadium will be on for part of the night they are filming there and filming plans call for a police cruiser to drive onto the property with sirens on.
“They have insurance,” Ohlinger said. “I don’t think they’re touring anywhere else in town. The city said it would not approve a temporary pause in its noise ordinance. If anyone called and complained and demanded that the filming be stopped, the police should do it. The filming company said it would let locals know about its plans.
Ohlinger was told by the film company that Park District staff used to help with the work would be compensated and the district would also be paid for their lost revenue while the Spring Lake pool is scheduled to close Aug. 2. The company would also have to pay the park district special use permit fee.
“I think this is a great opportunity for Rochelle to have some fun in a movie again,” Ohlinger said. “I don’t want to disturb anyone in this area in the middle of the night. I don’t know how it will work at REC with staff and having a person for the night here.
Park board members did not vote on the matter after discussion and opted to leave decisions about filming to Ohlinger.
During her director’s comments portion of the meeting, Ohlinger updated the board on a number of plans. Staff recently finalized their materials list for the new decking project at Spring Lake Marina and hope to have it installed by maintenance staff in late fall.
The Park District is working to open Skare Park Disc Golf Course to make it better. Trees and plants are pruned and work continues on the project.
Ohlinger said requests for proposals are being prepared for new shelters at VFW Park and Cooper Park. She said she hoped to get them into a public tender and complete the project later this year.
Park maintenance staff have been busy cleaning up the parks lately and “a lot” of vandalism has been seen over the past month, Ohlinger said.
“I encourage the community if they see anything out of the ordinary or out of place, to always contact the non-emergency number for the police or the park district office to report any type of damage. or vandalism,” Ohlinger said.
Ohlinger said Spring Lake Pool has seen its numbers increase over last year and the facility is doing “very well.” Pool season passes have continued to “be consistent,” even with the inclusion of Spring Lake use in all-inclusive REC Center passes.
“Our lifeguards and staff are doing a great job there,” Ohlinger said. “Last year we had numbers at this time of 4,500 to 4,600 and we are close to the 5,000 mark at this stage of this year’s attendance. Hopefully this week will have some big numbers.
The last day at Spring Lake of the year is Sunday, August 7.
The board held a public hearing and unanimously approved its cumulative budget and appropriations for the 2022-2023 fiscal year in their final form.