OAK PARK, Ill. — Oak Park will use $500,000 of unspent federal funds to help offset the cost of housing migrants in the village.
The final amount, however, is half of what was originally proposed.
As in most communities and neighborhoods around the city, how best to handle the cost of migrants brought out people on both sides of the issue. The vote came after several hours of debate.
In the end, the village did approve $500,000 to be spent on the growing cost of providing emergency care for about 160 asylum seekers in Oak Park — which was a compromise after some trustees expressed reservations about approving $1 million.
The village also extended it’s emergency declarations from December for an additonal 60 days, that should get the village through the cold winter months.
The money is coming from unspent federal pandemic money.
The emergency declaration will also allow the village to tap into any available county, state and federal government.
This is the second time this month the village has voted to provide funding to help migrants with temporary housing and other emergency humanitarian needs.
At their last meeting, the board voted to dedicate $300,000 additional.