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Village Vision News

Lack of state funding puts center on hold

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A $200,000 ceremonial check presentation to Village leaders two years ago is now just a warm memory. The check, presented by Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth), represented potential funding to create a Forsyth community center. At the time of Mitchell’s original announcement, Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) also offered to supplement the amount with $100,000 in grant monies.

However, prevailing financial problems in state government left the Village empty handed with a ceremonial check but no funding to back it up. Budget discussions each fiscal year found trustees revisiting the enthusiasm for a community center sparked by Mitchell’s promise of the grant monies, but nothing definitive was decided, and the center was put on hold.

“It is regrettable that we have not been able to come up with any plans suitable for securing the payment of these funds,” Mayor Gilbert said following a unanimous Dec. 19 Board vote to abandon further administrative efforts in the matter. “The state is broke, and we don’t have a pressing need for the money,” said trustee Eric Morr soon after the Board’s decision.

Village Administrator Heather Kimmons agreed with the Board’s decision. “If we don’t have a clear plan, we don’t intend to ask for help from the state,” she said, adding that her main focus will be to contribute significantly toward payment of Village debt before incurring significant costs on nonessentials.

The mayor said neither Mitchell nor Brady should be faulted for their good intentions. Had the monies been received, it is thought that the Village would have moved forward with development of a senior center included in a community center for the entire Village.

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