Organization drops plans for $180,000 outdoor fitness court at Normal

NORMAL, (Heart of Illinois ABC) — Normal won’t get a $180,000 outdoor fitness court after misinformation swayed a city council member who originally voted for the project.

The National Fitness Campaign (NFC) said in a letter to the city government that there was no consensus among local officials to participate in NFC’s Healthy Cities Partnership Program, so the group is withdrawing its offer to provide a $25,000 grant to help pay for the fitness field.

City Councilman Scott Preston voted with a majority on Jan. 4 to move forward with fundraising plans, citing statements from city employees that the NFC is a nonprofit organization. lucrative. It’s actually a for-profit business, and Preston indicated two weeks later that he wanted the board to vote again to possibly reverse its decision.

Council members Kathleen Lorenz and Stan Nord opposed the plan, while Mayor Chris Koos and council members Chemberly Cummings and Kevin McCarthy joined Preston in initially voting for it. Board member Karyn Smith did not attend this meeting.

In its letter to the city, the NFC said the “local narrative” makes it more difficult to raise funds that would lower the cost to ratepayers.

City leaders said in a prepared statement that the city “believes in investing in improving the quality of life in our community. However, the time is not right for this project given the current environment.

“Similar partnerships on efforts like this may be sought in the future,” the statement also said.

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