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updated: 2/25/2014 4:32 PM

Carpentersville: Tell us how to spend $32,000

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What should Carpentersville do with its share of video gambling revenues?

Village officials have put that question to residents, and will accept answers now through May 1.

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"(We're) looking for residents to say, 'Boy I always wish Carpentersville had blank,'" Village President Ed Ritter said.

"Blank" could mean anything from buying prizes for a house-decorating contest at Christmas to buying a community electronic sign that promotes village happenings to motorists. The money would not go to any nonprofit organizations, Ritter said.

At the moment, eight Carpentersville businesses have video gambling licenses.

Carpentersville is slated to collect $32,000 in video gambling proceeds for the fiscal year that ends April 30, Finance Director Cathy Haley said.

The figure is expected to jump to $40,000 the following year, she added.

Due to the fluctuating nature of those revenues, officials would rather not depend on it as a steady stream of money for the general fund, Ritter said.

"We decided we would ... instead use it for a specific purpose," he said. "We saw this as a way we could improve the quality of life and also get more people to be more interested in their government and their village."

The initiative will continue into next year as well.

Residents should forward their ideas to Assistant Village Manager Joe Wade, who will then turn them over to the Park Commission, which will evaluate the ideas and send the best ones to the village board for approval.

Wade can be reached via email at jwade@vil.carpentersville.il.us or via phone at (224) 293-1626.

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