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posted: 4/11/2012 10:59 PM

Elgin council reverses decision, approves dog park

Elgin council OKs three-town project

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A proposed dog park in Hoffman Estates along Elgin's east-side border finally has a green light from Elgin City Council members.

The intergovernmental agreement with Hoffman Estates and Streamwood park districts for joint use of a 4-acre park was given preliminary approval March 7, then voted down March 21 before being reconsidered during the city council meeting Wednesday night.

Councilman John Prigge was the only one to vote against the project, which will cost Elgin $53,865 in a onetime contribution to construction costs. Hoffman Estates Park District will be responsible for ongoing maintenance and operation of the park.

Prigge reiterated complaints he has voiced throughout discussions of the dog park, saying it is not a good use of money in poor economic times.

"We need to act based on what our needs are now and not what our wants were in 2008," Prigge said.

Several other council members indicated support for the project because it is funded through impact fees paid by developers that can be used only on new parks. Councilman Richard Dunne, in reversing his previous vote against the park, said the use of impact fees means tax dollars will stay out of the project.

"Those citizens of Elgin who do not want to use the dog park will not be charged one penny," Dunne said.

Residents who use the park will pay a $49 annual fee to fund operational costs.

The entire park will cost $133,000 with Elgin's contribution matched by Hoffman Estates and Streamwood adding the remainder.

Cyndi Dentinger, president of the master association of Cobbler's Crossing subdivision, drove from Milwaukee, where her husband is getting medical attention, to make Wednesday's council meeting and support the intergovernmental agreement. The proposed park is just east of Cobbler's Crossing and highly anticipated by many of the 1,185 residents, Dentinger said.

"Over the last 21 years a lot of your focus has been on westward expansion," Dentinger said during public comment. "Very little has been done to put projects on the east side. Here's a chance to really help residents in the Cobbler's community."

Now that funding has been approved, Hoffman Estates Park District is free to bid the work and start construction. The park was originally scheduled to open Aug. 1.

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