In response to residents at a Dec. 9 board meeting questioning the project's progress, Reaves said the board is in the "review" stage of talks with a private funding source. Reaves said the current option has greater potential than 4–5 others that did not pan out.
"We're doing our due diligence about whether we will move forward with this," Reaves said.
Residents at Monday's meeting questioned why Reaves was seemingly ignoring the voices of 1,700 people who signed a petition to push the issue to referendum on the March 18, 2014 election ballot.
Reaves said Tuesday that residents are mistaken about the reason for going to referendum. The board approved an ordinance for a referendum to sell $21 million in bonds to fund the project—not, as many residents think, on whether or not to build the complex.
"The decision on whether or not to build it is entirely up the board," Reaves said Tuesday.
Reaves has previously admitted that he may have had "tunnel vision" with regards to the complex.
"In listening to the citizens of Lemont and doing some soul searching and taking a step back, I understand where a lot of people are coming from. It is a lot of money. There is a fear if something did it happen that it would go on the tax rolls," Reaves previously told Patch. "I understand where that fear is coming from."
If attempts at securing private financing fail, Reaves and the board must then decide if they'll turn to a referendum—a measure that would make moving forward with the project more complicated.
"To get something like this passed is difficult," Reaves said.
The use of private financing to build the complex would take 100 percent of the burden off of taxpayers, Reaves said. If the complex were to fail, citizens would not be forced to help pay the village's debt.
Reaves said in March that he hopes to see the Lemont Sports Complex come to fruition during his next four years as mayor.
"There needs to be an economic vehicle that runs and brings people into Lemont," Reaves said.
The board is required to file for a referendum by Jan. 9. Reaves said he hopes to have more information by the Dec. 16 Committee of the Whole meeting.
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