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‘Shop Elburn First’ campaign seeks support

ELBURN – A portion of Elburn’s share of video gambling funds might be used to help efforts to build the village’s economic development committee.

At Monday’s meeting, the committee asked the Elburn Village Board, in a letter, for $5,000 to invest in the organization’s efforts with its “Shop Elburn First” campaign, promising a “sustained effort to drive home to our community that if they want our town to have the things they all say they want, they need to use them.”

When the committee had been established, no funds were budgeted toward its efforts.

The letter stated the campaign would include a logo, banners, window decals, newspaper ads, shopping bags and more, and it would “not be a ‘one-and-done’ campaign.”

Village Administrator Erin Willrett said board members Monday night asked the committee to outline its needs. She said the village is set to receive about $11,000 from its share of video gambling money, which is split between the village, the machines’ operators and the establishments that have the machines.

That money is slated to go to the village’s recreation fund, but Willrett said, if the budget were amended, a part of that money would go into the general operating fund. There would be a budget line for the committee.

Village President Dave Anderson said people on the economic development committee “have put a lot of time and effort and sweat and tears into the task. … They have objectives they would like to bring to fruition, and it’s going to cost some money.”

Anderson said the move would not help only existing businesses, but would help welcome new businesses.

In the letter, the committee listed short- and long-term goals.

Short-term goals included forming a group of community volunteers to help the village and businesses accomplish things they otherwise might not be able to do, such as cleaning, landscaping, painting and basic repairs. Also, they aimed to attract businesses, such as a florist, specialty food stores and other retail shops, to empty spaces.

Long-term goals included pushing for well-marked, lighted and maintained parking lots near the downtown shopping district, as well as downtown beautification.

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