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updated: 3/22/2012 1:07 PM

Elgin council members vote down joint dog park

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A steady string of cooperative agreements between Elgin and Hoffman Estates got derailed Wednesday when Elgin City Council members rejected a joint dog park.

Collaboration on the park has been in the works since last summer when the Elgin Parks and Recreation Department spearheaded talks with the Hoffman Estates Park District. Elgin was on the line for almost $53,865 in construction costs. From there the park district was going to handle administrative and maintenance responsibilities.

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Elgin City Council members gave preliminary approval to the intergovernmental agreement March 7 with only Councilman John Prigge voting no. Prigge reiterated his opposition Wednesday.

"If we're going to spend $53,000 it should go for an improvement of an existing park in the city of Elgin," Prigge said. "This is more of a want instead of a true need."

Councilman Richard Dunne joined Prigge in voting against the agreement Wednesday in light of public comment by Elgin resident Tom McCarthy that made him question the park's fee structure, as well as the possibility of a dog park at the former Rolling Knolls Golf Course.

With Councilman Robert Gilliam's absence and Councilwoman Anna Moeller's abstention, the proposal did not have the four votes it needed to pass.

The rejection came as a surprise to many in the council chambers. Parks and Recreation Department Director Randy Reopelle called it a setback that could force Hoffman Estates to question future agreements. Reopelle said the collaboration would have allowed Elgin to bring more services to its residents as cost-effectively as possible.

Dunne said after the meeting the matter could come before the council at its next meeting, giving staff members the chance to gather more information that would change his mind.

Moeller said she abstained because she missed the previous meeting's discussion, leaving the possibility more details could change her vote as well.

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