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posted: 6/4/2013 5:00 AM

Be wary of costs of new a downtown

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The proposed development of a "downtown" for Buffalo Grove includes a theater. What do we in Buffalo Grove know that they don't know in Arlington Heights? The financial difficulties of the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights are well documented. A story in the Jan. 22, 2012, Daily Herald reports "softened attendance" and lower donations, with the Metropolis having to borrow $75,000 from the village of Arlington Heights that year. Yet the Buffalo Grove Park District already has plans for its own 500-seat theater, and now the village of Buffalo Grove is going to build yet a second theater in the village?

If I had a business in Buffalo Grove, I might be more positive about the project -- more people, more spending. But what if the plan isn't as successful as projected? Will Buffalo Grove taxpayers have to finish paying for the project, for the new police station and other public structures?

And don't forget Wheeling. Aren't they planning a downtown that we will be competing with? And Wheeling has a train running through its proposed downtown. Buffalo Grove has Lake-Cook Road. Need I say more?

I support Mr. Malik's right to make his proposal. But I won't support it if one dime of taxpayer dollars is tied to it. If the project requires demolition and rebuilding of public facilities, such costs should be fully born by the developer, with no occupancy approval in any area of the project until such facilities are paid for and operational. As a taxpayer, I will support the operation of new village facilities, but I don't want to build them just to accommodate a private developer's proposal.

What motivated this letter? I would be happy to share my tax bill with you.

Gerry Shacter

Buffalo Grove

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