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updated: 5/3/2012 6:37 PM

Mount Prospect OKs expansion of community center

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  • Alba Jones, student services coordinator with Township High School District 214, shares educational material with Sue Alt of Mount Prospect at the village's Community Connections Center. Mount Prospect officials approved an expansion of the neighborhood resource center this week.

       Alba Jones, student services coordinator with Township High School District 214, shares educational material with Sue Alt of Mount Prospect at the village's Community Connections Center. Mount Prospect officials approved an expansion of the neighborhood resource center this week.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 

Mount Prospect village trustees this week approved an expansion of the Community Connections Center, a neighborhood resource center that provides programs offered by the village, Mount Prospect Public Library and not-for-profit partners.

The center, located at 1709-11 Algonquin Road in the Crystal Court Shopping Center, will expand into a vacant space next door, bringing its total size to about 3,600 square feet.

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Leasing the additional space will cost the village about $14,000 a year. Construction costs, estimated at $95,000, will be paid for through state grant funding.

Only one trustee, Steven Polit, voted against the expansion, saying he has not seen a budget for the project.

"I'm a little uncomfortable with spending money that way without a plan, because, as I have stated before, I think we have priorities (with regard to) public safety," he said. "And I really don't want to be out there, spending any kind of new dollars on any new project, unless we're absolutely sure that it meets the proper priority within what we're doing."

Assistant Village Manager David Strahl said the cost of the expansion will not have affect future funding for public safety.

"We made a commitment to this center and to the activities there," Trustee Paul Hoefert added. "I'm very comfortable with what we are doing."

But Polit said the issue goes beyond the expense.

"I don't ever remember hearing, when we put in the center, that we were going to wait to move into the vacant facility next door that's been vacant for two years, when we got the money from the state," he said. "That was never discussed."

He added that there many capital projects that are fighting for dollars, not just public safety. Other officials disputed Polit's claims the project lacked a budget.

"First of all, there is a budget," Trustee Arlene Juracek said. "We talked about it last time."

She added that the additional $14,000 a year the village is spending on the center would not fund even a significant part of a police officer's salary and benefits.

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