Editor’s note: We printed an incomplete version of this letter last week. Here is the complete version.

The article from three weeks ago regarding the future of the River Forest Community Center [River Forest agencies mull Community Center’s future, Viewpoints, Nov. 28] was intriguing and also missing some important information that citizens of the village, as well as some individuals of the agencies cited in the article, seem unaware of. 

The River Forest Community Center is the primary tenant of the River Forest Civic Center Authority building and has a long-term lease management agreement to operate the facility. The lease management agreement requires the River Forest Community Center to be directly responsible for building maintenance, paying the rent, paying utilities, and the operating costs.

This distinction is important because the village board and other taxing bodies cited have a tendency to ignore this reality. The River Forest Community Center is a self-supporting organization that relies on program user fees, not tax dollars to complete its mission. They cannot and do not tax village residents. This is important to the conversation because many of our residents are completely unaware of this simple but major fact.

I think everyone welcomes input on how the facility could be improved, especially since space in the building is currently maxed out. As an employee, I am aware of the daily schedule and know firsthand this building is being operated in an efficient and effective manner that benefits all of our clients, our tenants and our village residents. 

The future of the River Forest Community Center, with support from the River Forest Civic Center Authority as well as the local community at large, will continue to provide for, and be an asset to, our village.

Tom Ames

Oak Park

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