Itasca to hold another public meeting over proposed recovery center

Jay Harrison, Perspective Editor

A scheduled Itasca meeting set to debate and discuss a potential mental health institute’s installation was rescheduled last week after a record turnout of people filled the forum beyond capacity. 

On Wednesday, residents and concerned parties will get another chance at talking the whole thing over. 

When over 1,500 Itasca residents, along with representatives of the Haymarket Center showed up to FE Peacock Middle School to discuss the addiction treatment center’s installation in the former Holiday Inn on Route 19, the village had to postpone the discussion until October 2 at a to be determined location. 

 “It shows that a lot of people want to make comments…at least far more than we expected,” said Itasca Mayor Pruyn.

The turnout seemed largely critical of the center going up, and with so many voices eager to be heard, the rescheduling was a good idea. 

“I think that it’s good that the meeting was postponed to accomodate the amount of people that care about the issue also so that more people and other towns acknowledge the weight of this decision” said Ethan Devalk, Itasca resident.

The Holiday Inn pays $250,000 in property taxes and the owner is trying to leave Itasca. The franchise lease ends in 2022-23 so the owner will leave by then.

 The main concern of the No Haymarket group ,a group of predominantly Itasca residents that oppose haymarket and are a part of a corresponding facebook group,is that of the rise in taxes to accommodate the  loss of revenue, taxing of already existing services, and resident safety, specifically that of their children. This being a quarter of the fact sheet handed out on the march and distributed on the Facebook group out the distance between the pool nature center and the library community hubs for families.

“We are here to provide life saving care to people who need it the most,” said Dr. Dan Lustig, CEO of Haymarket 

This event included such local news stations as WGN and ABC 7 with several articles being written in the tribune and daily herald. This is the first part of a two-part article, so be sure to check out the next issue of the Perspective for further details.