PRINCETON — Dana VanAutreve of Second Story Teen Center asked the Princeton City Council at its meeting Monday night for a monetary contribution and reduction in its electric and water rates on the two nights a week the teen center is open.
“Second Story has been offering the teens sixth grade through high school a safe space to connect and be served with food, fun and encouragement without religious, educational, or parental boundaries,” she told council members as she read from a prepared statement.
“There isn’t another place like it or any reason behind it but serving the teen community of Princeton, Illinois. The community of Princeton, and Bureau County are our only sources of financial support.”
VanAutreve said the center averages about 40 teens every Tuesday night and 80-90 every Friday night. VanAutreve said the food cost for the center alone is $10,000.
“We have several committed donors, but the need is greater than the committed donations. Our community is amazing, and we work together with Our Table, The Pantry, Buddy Bags, local restaurants, Church Women United, our schools and the list grows yearly to help meet the greater needs,” she said.
The center’s newest commitment to the teen community has been the opening of the Second Story Pantry. It is stocked by donations, and is only available to teens of the community, she said. The products offered are food, personal items for girls and boys, school supplies, soaps, shampoos, and household goods.
VanAutreve said the center serves teens who are band members, pom pon girls, athletes, dance participants, fatherless, motherless, orphaned, neglected, abused and family.
She gave stories about teens who come to the center from abusive homes, one who has moved 14 times in his 15-year life, and a teen who lives with his mother and sister with no father in his life, but calls everyone at the center his “Second Story Family.”
A letter from Julie Platz, Bureau Valley South 6-8 administrator and center volunteer, was read where she said Second Story is a “true blessing for all involved” and that Bureau County teens are fortunate that a place like this exists for them, and their parents can rest easy knowing where their teens are on any given Tuesday or Friday night.
Mark Horwath, a Princeton businessman, said he has volunteered at the center for the past 18 months. “Good things are happening there,” he said.
Mayor Joel Quiram said the center is appreciated and that the council will take the Second Story’s requests under advisement.
• In other business, council members heard from Paul Ernst, president of the Princeton Public Library Board of Trustees, asking for a levy of .01289 percent be put on the city’s tax levy for the library to be used for long-term maintenance needs for the building and facilities such as a new HVAC system on the roof, roof maintenance and/or replacement, parking lot paving, and a fire suppression system for the history room to prevent damage to the items stored there.
• Resolutions were approved authoring a financial services agreement with Lauterbach and Amen to provide financial and accounting services for the city for $5,000 a month to replace a person to be employed as the city’s financial officer, saving the city an estimated $10,000-$15,000 a year over a full-time employee; a recruiting services agreement not to exceed $15,000 with GovHR for a new police chief to replace Chief Tom Root, who is retiring as of Dec. 31, and resolutions authorizing amendments to motor fuel tax expenditures.
• Lani Swinford, Mike Bettasso and Jennifer Alter were appointed to the Princeton Public Library Board of Trustees for three-year terms.
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