State and local
officials meet with Governor Quinn on Lincoln Estates future
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[May 14, 2009]
On Wednesday afternoon, after three and half months of
waiting for an opportunity, Mayor Keith Snyder, former Mayor Beth
Davis-Kavelman, Senator Larry Bomke and Representative Rich Brauer
were invited to the office of Governor Pat Quinn for a face to face
meeting regarding the future of Lincoln Estates; formerly known as
the Lincoln Developmental Center.
The Lincoln Developmental Center was closed by
Governor Ryan in 2002.
During his campaign for governor, Rod
Blagojevich promised to re-open the center in some fashion, but
failed to hold up that promise.
Former Mayor Davis-Kavelman and Senator Bomke
have been continually involved since then in trying to accomplish
some kind of resurrection of the campus, but to this point have been
With a new governor in office, the push is back
on, to make something happen, and according to Davis-Kavelman, as
well as comments made by Mayor Snyder in a Thursday morning phone
conversation with LDN,
they are hopeful that Quinn will respond favorably.
Snyder said that Quinn spoke favorably about
the city of Lincoln on the whole. He has made visits to the city as
Lieutenant Governor, attending two soldier funerals, and also
visiting Main Street Lincoln. He added that the governor spoke
highly of the Main Street Organization.
Snyder said that he had offered an idea to
Quinn that he thought the governor found very appealing. Snyder
explained that the facility would be a perfect location for a
computer back-up bank. Many businesses and even state agencies are
using off site back-ups for their computer files. The purpose
behind this is that if a catastrophic event were to occur, the
off-site location would preserve important data. As an example, the
city of Lincoln is 30 some miles from the city of Springfield. If a
devastating fire were to occur in Springfield, it is not likely that
it would travel up Interstate 55 and destroy the LDC campus as
Snyder and Davis-Kavelman both stated that
Quinn was receptive to the idea of re-opening Lincoln Estates in
some capacity if federal stimulus/state funding could be attained.
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Davis-Kavelman said that she provided Mayor Snyder with a two-page
summary of the city of Lincoln's public hearing for ideas for uses
for the grounds that was held in the City Council Chambers on March
17, 2005. The document listed then-interested individuals and
groups who submitted their wishes to rent or be given rent-free
square footage on the state-owned Lincoln Estates' grounds for their
individual economic/social purposes.
Mayor Snyder now has the two-page list of
parties that expressed an interest in utilizing all or a portion of
the LDC campus in 2005, and would like to move forward with an open
house of sorts. He said that he would like to invite interested
parties to tour the facility, and give them a chance to “dream”
about what they could do with one or more of the buildings.
Both Snyder and Davis-Kavelman left the meeting
with Governor Quinn, feeling that there could be hope for the future
of the Lincoln Estates facility.
[By NILA SMITH]