Buffalo Grove's municipal campus near Raupp Boulevard and Lake-Cook Road includes village hall, the police department and the village-owned Buffalo Grove Golf Course, along with the golf course's restaurant, the Village Bar & Grill.
If the village board approves it, the municipal campus could soon also be home to an off-track betting parlor.
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Buffalo Grove trustees Monday sent to the village's plan commission a proposal to move the OTB currently at 301 N. Milwaukee Ave. to the Village Bar & Grill.
The terms of a deal have yet to be hammered out completely, but if authorized the village would receive rent and a portion of the wagering proceeds from an OTB located on its campus. The village took in about $73,000 from the OTB in 2011, according to village Finance Director Scott Anderson, but officials from both the village and OTB operator hope that could grow at a new location.
"We looked at, I think, every possible location, in order to retain the business in Buffalo Grove," Deputy Village Manager Ghida Neukirch said Monday. "They have been a very good business in the community. We did want to work with them to try to find an appropriate location for their business."
The facility, now operated by Hawthorne Race Course, but originally run by Inter-Track Partners, initially was very successful, Hawthorne's Jeff Kras said. But business has been hampered since the restaurant where it was housed, Adam's Roadhouse, went into receivership, leaving the OTB without the ability to provide adequate food and beverage service.
A temporary solution was found in the fall when Progressive Management, which provides food and beverages at the village-owned Arboretum Golf Club, began offering the same services at the OTB.
Meanwhile, Hawthorne, with the help of the village manager's office, has been shopping for a new location in Buffalo Grove. The search, however, has proved difficult because regulations governing where an OTB could be located. For instance, it could not be within 500 feet of a place of worship or a school.
Now, the ideal location seems to be on property owned by the village itself.
Hawthorne's Kras said he is optimistic about the OTB's chances of increasing business if located on the village campus, thus bringing in substantial tax revenue for the village.
Village Manager Dane Bragg admitted there are a lot of moving parts to the proposal.
"We really have a lot of balls in the air with trying to keep this thing under control, if you will, and make sense of it," Bragg said.
Neukirch said the OTB could be located in a private banquet room on the south side of the facility, which has a separate access door.
Trustee Beverly Sussman cast the only vote against sending the matter to the plan commission for consideration. She refrained from directly commenting on her "no" vote, but provided some indication of her feelings when questioning Village Attorney William Raysa.
"Is it all right to have a gambling establishment on government owned property?" she asked.
Raysa said he had not researched that issue, but his immediate answer was that he believed so.
Other trustees asked about liability issues, but Raysa said the village is covered by insurance and there is no greater risk in leasing space for a gambling facility than there is with existing uses of the municipal campus.
Police Chief Steve Balinski said that since the OTB opened in 2009, the amount of calls the department received was 46, most of them minor in nature.
"There is no significant public safety concern," he said.
Trustee Jeff Berman voiced concerns about the OTB sharing space with the golf course, particularly when it comes to parking.
"There is a finite quantity of parking on this campus, and I believe it should remain first and foremost available to golf patrons," he said.
Otherwise, he added, his experience with the OTB operation has confirmed "that this use isn't inherently a nuisance, or something to be feared."