Wednesday, Nov. 17

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Miscommunication delays
Lincoln Estates development    
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Local meeting first step to getting it back on track

[NOV. 17, 2004]  Mayor Beth Davis took a moment during the city meeting Monday to apprise everyone of the progress of the new Lincoln Estates, formerly known as Lincoln Developmental Center.

[Background: Mayor Davis has served for the last year and a half on the Department of Human Services LDC Task Force in making plans for the reopening of the facility for mentally handicapped residents. After the plan to build four 10-bed homes on the grounds was approved by the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, the task force met once more, and at last the finalized plan was submitted to the governor's office for final approval.]

Mayor Davis said that she was contacted last week about a problem. The governor's office met with various state agency heads last Wednesday. They were told at that time that they are unable to move forward because there has been a glitch in the governor's office. Until it gets resolved the entire (Lincoln Estates-LDC) project is on hold.

Mayor Davis was contacted after that meeting and told that two individuals from the Lincoln and Logan Development Partnership had gone to the governor's office a couple of months ago. She was told that the governor's office interpreted that the partnership representatives offered that the city of Lincoln would provide four parcels of land for the four 10-bed homes to be built off-site from the LDC grounds. This would be in exchange for the LDC buildings and grounds, as well as the $7 million legislated to develop those grounds.

"That is not true," she said.

"That is not what the LDC task force talked about," she added.

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"Needless to say, we are trying to get that rectified," the mayor continued. The governor's office thought it was with the city of Lincoln's approval. "It was a misunderstanding," she said. "Senator Larry Bomke and I are both on it very strongly. We will move forward as soon as possible."

She said a meeting was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon to get things straight here, and then they would go to the governor's office.

Following the meeting the mayor asked the media not to report on the matter until after the meeting on Tuesday so that she would have opportunity to resolve a few things.

In a brief discussion after Tuesday's meeting, she said it was a good meeting. They did get a lot cleared up, and they are ready to meet with the governor's office and get this project back on the road.

[Jan Youngquist]

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