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posted: 3/13/2014 5:01 AM

Brainerd upgrade will boost Libertyville

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We came for the schools, and we stayed because Libertyville is a vibrant, interesting and growing community. We all know it is not an inexpensive place to live; however, as with most things in Illinois, you get what you pay for.

We all made a significant investment in our homes when we chose to live in the village. Over the long term, we have, for the most part, received a solid return on our investment. Much of the Libertyville "value proposition" to its citizens is that ongoing public/private investment will continue to make the village a great place to live and raise a family.

However, no matter how attractive a proposal for something new for the families of Libertyville might be, large financial projects must be carefully considered for their proposed benefits over time.

The Sports Complex is an example of a great idea with bad timing and execution. The road bonds, on the other hand, were put to a vote, and the citizens wisely supported the needed investment in infrastructure.

The proposal to repurpose the Brainerd High School building into a civic/performing arts center is an example of the right idea at the right time.

The village needs a larger, more flexible space to host a variety of activities in close proximity to our vibrant downtown. We need a facility for youth activities, performing arts, culinary arts, civic functions, and other programs that allow families to pursue their interests in a location close to their homes.

Although the cost to repurpose Brainerd is significant, I believe it is an appropriate investment that will continue building the village's role as a "destination location" in Lake County. I ask that the citizens of the village vote yes on the referendum to have the plan and financials vetted by the village board.

Peter Garrity