Niles council to consider Wellness Center funding

NILES — City Auditor Charles Nader has asked city council's finance   committee to present legislation to council to obtain a $3.8 million to construct the proposed Niles Wellness Center.

Nader said $3.6 million would be used for construction and $200,000 for consulting fees.

Mayor Ralph A. Infante proposed the construction of the facility in Waddell Park on the city’s West Side. It would be a self-sustaining facility for sports, although there will be programs for senior citizens.

The city has applied for about $1.3 million in state and federal grants to build it. The grants will be used to pay off a portion of the loan and then the city would convert it to long-term bonds.

Councilman Steve Papalas, D-at large, finance committee chairman, said that although he favors the project, he is concerned that he and other council members haven’t been involved in discussions about it during meetings held by the city administration.

Papalas said he has been involved in only one meeting and was surprised to learn about it when announced last August. The chairman expressed confidence the center would be used, but said he has concerns about the cost of staff to operate it.

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