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Boreal Community Media

Community Center Board discusses on site child-care facility.

Aug 23, 2017 11:21AM ● By Editor
By Joe Friedrichs from WTIP Radio News - Wed, 08/23/2017 - 10:32am

As various agencies and organizations in Cook County continue to explore critical issues facing the region, a shortage of child care options continue to be at the top of many lists.

To address this issue, the Cook County Board of Commissioners gave the green light earlier this year to explore several options that could get the county directly involved with child care on the local level. An architectural firm in Duluth was hired to draft options that would include the addition of a child-care facility to the Cook County Community Center.

During a meeting of the county board on Tuesday, Aug. 22, local resident Arvis Thompson spoke during the public comment period of the meeting. Thompson specifically questioned the commissioners about raising local property taxes and exploring the option of building a child-care facility and hiring additional staff to work there.

In related news, on Tuesday, Aug.22, the Cook County Community Board discussed the on-site child-care facility. According to the minutes from the meeting, a number of board members voiced concern about the plan to expand the community center to include child care. According to Bob LaMettry, the Cook County Community Center Board voted this week by a 4-1 count to not to explore a plan to add a child-care facility to the community center. Another board member abstained from voting, essentially making the vote 4-1-1. This vote does not appear in the minutes from the meeting. 

Regardless of how the Community Center Board voted on this issue, the Cook County Board of Commissioners can still move forward with bringing a child-care facility to the community center if they vote to do so at a later date.  

Several design plans are being considered at the county level regarding the addition of a child-care facility at the community center. The county spent approximately $15,000 to have the design plans drawn up and submitted for review. If in fact the county follows through with building a child-care center at the community center, it would likely cost more than $2 million to build. Funding for the project could come from the county issuing revenue bonds.

Though Thompson phrased several of her comments as questions to the commissioners on Tuesday, it is common practice for the commissioners not to respond directly to issues raised during the public comment section of meetings of the county board. Regardless, Thompson says there are a number of local residents who are not happy with decisions being made by the county board.

Following Tuesday’s meeting of the county board, Commissioner Ginny Storlie told WTIP that all comments from the public are welcome and are taken under consideration. 

You can follow this link to listen to the interview on WTIP's website.

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