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posted: 8/10/2012 5:00 AM

Not the right time to build Town Center

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On July 24 the Daily Herald reported that the Village of Wheeling trustees just approved in a 6:1 vote to spend $120 million dollars last Monday for building the Town Center project near the Village Hall and train station.

The retail anchor for this center is to be a movie theater that plays independent films and the developer refused to disclose the name of the theater company.

This is not the right time to proceed with the development. A recent issue of the Journal reported that the Glenn development in Glenview is in foreclosure. Half the retail space at the new Randhurst Shopping Center is empty. The movie theater in Buffalo Grove is struggling to survive.

Buying the old Wicke's building for $3.7 million and knocking it down was a good move by the Village. It was the type of eyesore that drives down property values and the Village needs even more green space. How about converting the old Kmart lot into green space, too?

We don't need more empty shopping centers and we don't need to strap ourselves with a $120 million debt which comes out to over $9,000 per household, will be paid for by the Village, and that doesn't include cost overruns that always seem to occur. And I thought spending $300,000 on a clock tower was a waste of money.

This project needs to go to the voters to be decided by a general referendum, not the trustees. Robert Herr was the only trustee to vote against it and he may be the only one to get my vote in the next election.

Maybe the trustees do have good intentions. (But) I don't have $9,000 to squander on a pipe dream. Do you? We in Wheeling need to demand a voters referendum on the issue.

Steve Poland


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