The Future of Naperville’s Safety Town

Those who visit Naperville’s Safety Town in the future may have a bit of a different experience.

Recently, the Naperville City Council gave instructions to the City Manager to reexamine the City’s assets and make sure they’re being utilized to their full capacity.

What they found is that Safety Town wasn’t meeting that criteria.

“It was pretty easy to identify this building as one of the least utilized facilities that we have, and so it rose to the top pretty quickly as a area that we might be able to leverage that resource more effectively,” said Mayor Steve Chirico.

One way to reach that goal for the city would be to use the building for DuPage County raffic court two days a week, possibly cutting back the time kids can use Safety Town’s programs, a move some can’t get behind.

“It won’t work, it will eventually sink us. And parents have already reached out to us and said that they’re concerned about sending their kids to a place that traffic court is held,” said Heather Queen, Vice President of the Safety Town Commission.

Safety Town is just one building on the list that DuPage County is considering to hold their traffic court. But that combined with an expired lease on the building, makes it’s a viable option for the mayor.

“We saw an opportunity to use this is a sharing way with the Safety Town group and as a traffic court, thereby sharing some rent revenue that would help to provide funding, to take care of this building going forward and give us a path, a financial path that’s sustainable and gives this organization a way to protect and preserve this great amenity,” said Mayor Chirico.

The Safety Town Commission has since started an online petition to discourage changing the use of the building, hoping to gain public support to keep safety town as is.

“This facility is kind of the golden standard in the area, we have places all over the country contacting us about how to start this and what it takes to run a Safety Town of this magnitude, so I think it’s very much an integral part of what Naperville has to offer.

The city says they will continue discussions with the county and the safety town commission to find a solution that works for everyone.

Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.

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