Manteno vandalism deflates the fun

May 9, 2019

MANTENO — Manteno’s Jumping Pillow opened Friday, but it closed during the weekend because of vandalism, the mayor reports.

The Jumping Pillow is an inflatable structure at the Square on Second in Manteno. With the mild weather, the park drew overflow crowds during the weekend, Mayor Tim Nugent told the village board Monday.

At some point, someone damaged the structure, making it unable to stay inflated. Police are investigating. With cameras covering the park, the mayor said, it will be hard for the culprit to deny wrongdoing.

“Hopefully, the people responsible will be made to reimburse the village and pay the appropriate penalties,” Nugent said. “We spend a lot of money to beautify and make the village a great spot. We do appreciate the cooperation we get from 99.9 percent of the people. There is a certain element that can’t handle having nice, fun things provided to them.”

The village wants to ensure justice would prevail and that “we don’t succumb to take things out of service because some people don’t know how to behave,” the mayor said.

Nugent said the village has dealt with bad behavior at the Square on Second before and that it has park rangers to deal with it.

“The Pillow was full of people. We’ll have to put some limitations on that. It was only allowed to have a certain number of people, and it far exceeded that,” the mayor said.


About a decade ago, the village started allowing people to drive golf carts on village streets. Since then, about 400 such vehicles have been registered, Nugent said.

“We’re known as a golf cart community,” the mayor told the village board. “People enjoy being on their golf carts, just like I do. But we have to abide by rules. The same rules apply as if you were operating a car.”

In an interview, Nugent said golf carts are restricted to roads with speed limits lower than 30 mph.

They can go across highways at designated points, but people cannot drive them down such roads, he said.

“The golf cart program has been very successful with very few problems. But you have to keep control,” the mayor said.


On Monday, the Manteno village board approved a $116,000 contract with Kankakee Valley Construction to improve rough portion of a road than links the village to Bourbonnais.

The road is alternatively known as Cypress Drive and North 1000E Road. The problem area is a little more than a mile on the southern end of the road, near Bourbonnais Parkway.

Traffic on the road increased a lot after the new Bourbonnais Parkway exit on Interstate 57 opened last fall.

Both Manteno and Bourbonnais have jurisdiction over parts of the road.

Nugent noted the $116,000 is less than the estimated $126,000 for the project.

Bourbonnais is expected to cover about 60 percent of the costs.

“We hope Kankakee Valley Construction can start in the next 30 to 45 days,” Nugent said.