Homer seeks vot­ers’ ad­vice

Town­ship eyes grants for pos­si­ble mul­ti­pur­pose venue at Trantina Farm

Daily Southtown - - Front Page - By Michelle Mullins

Homer Town­ship of­fi­cials are ask­ing vot­ers this Novem­ber whether the town­ship should pur­sue seek­ing grants to build a mul­ti­pur­pose build­ing through its open space pro­gram.

Town­ship Su­per­vi­sor Pam Mey­ers said the pur­pose of the ad­vi­sory ref­er­en­dum is to seek feed­back from all town­ship vot­ers, and the re­sults do not bind the town­ship board to take ac­tion.

Town­ship of­fi­cials are de­ter­min­ing the fea­si­bil­ity a mul­ti­pur­pose, pole-barn struc­ture on the Trantina Farm prop­erty that would be used for year-round com­mu­nity events, Mey­ers said. The board plans to seek grants to pay for the build­ing and­would not in­crease prop­erty taxes, she said.

Res­i­dents have re­quested a com­mu­nity cen­ter to have wed­dings, show­ers, lun­cheons and other so­cial events, Mey­ers said.

The build­ing­would also be used for var­i­ous ed­u­ca­tional, en­vi­ron­men­tal and recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties, she said. Among the pos­si­bil­i­ties could be a gath­er­ing space for scout­ing troops or a lo­ca­tion for cul­tural events such as art ex­hibits or the­ater work­shops or per­for­mances, Mey­ers said.

Se­nior cit­i­zens could use the build­ing for their meet­ings, lun­cheons and an­nual Christ­mas par­ties, Mey­ers said. Thetown­ship’s se­nior ci­ti­zen’s group has more than 100 mem­bers.

Area spe­cial needs ad­vo­cacy groups have also re­quested a venue to host gath­er­ings, said TomFi­jan, the chair­man of the town­ship’s open space plan­ning and op­er­a­tions committee.

Some events al­ready take place at the Town Hall, 16057 S. Cedar Road, Lock­port, but these are lim­ited be­cause of the build­ing’s small size and few park­ing spa­ces.

Fi­jan said he an­tic­i­pates the build­ing at Trantina Farm would be self-sus­tain­ing, get­ting a lot of use from fam­i­lies or or­ga­ni­za­tions who rent the space for a few hours for a party, meet­ing or spe­cial event.

The goal is not to take away busi­ness from ban­quet halls or other lo­cal busi­nesses, but pro­vide a low-cost al­ter­na­tive to rent­ing space as well as hav­ing a lo­ca­tion for pub­lic pre­sen­ta­tions or ed­uca

tional events for the com­mu­nity, Fi­jan said.

The farm is also a beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tion to put a mul­ti­pur­pose cen­ter, Fi­jan said. The prop­erty al­ready hosts the Austin-Wel­ter Barn, a his­toric Will County land­mark, aswell aswalk­ing and eques­trian trails, a pav­il­ion, dog park, play­ground, wet­lands and prairies. The farm has pre­vi­ously hosted such events as Homer Har­vest Days and stargaz­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Mey­ers said the board is still ex­plor­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of an event cen­ter and the grant pos­si­bil­i­ties. Any ac­tion would have to be ap­proved by the town­ship board be­fore the build­ing would be con­structed, she said.

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