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Mount Prospect shells out $27,000 for billboards
By Sue Ter Maat | Daily Herald Staff

Mount Prospect is advertising the fact that it was named the best place to raise children by BusinessWeek magazine. The ad can be seen on a shared electronic billboard from the eastbound lanes on I-90 west of the Des Plaines Oasis.


Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

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Published: 1/6/2009 12:01 AM | Updated: 1/6/2009 8:15 AM

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The Northwest Tollway has a new billboard letting everyone know that a business magazine named Mount Prospect the best place to raise kids.

The sign, near the Route 83 exit, is one of four types of signs the village paid for to tout that Business Week said Mount Prospect was the best place to raise kids in the country.

The other three places are in the Ogilvie Metra station in downtown Chicago, Mount Prospect's Metra station in the village's downtown and inside the vestibule of 100 Metra cars.

The signs, costing the village $27,000, will be up between four and eight weeks, village officials said.

"We are doing this because we feel this is a once in a decade opportunity to get the message out," said Maura El Metennani, Mount Prospect's public relations officer.

The village had scheduled a rally shortly after the designation in November at Prospect High School, but that fell through, she said. Now, the village is looking at incorporating the good news into some of its summer events, but nothing has been determined yet, she said.

With great schools, affordable housing and a winning football team, Mount Prospect shot into the national spotlight in November after being named the most affordable place to raise kids in the United States by BusinessWeek.

The issue outlined the top towns across the country in its second annual Best Places in America to Raise Kids issue.

The three most important factors were school performance, affordability and safety. Also taken into account were cost of living, air quality, job growth, racial diversity and access to local parks, ball fields, zoos, recreation centers, museums and theaters.

Other Cook County suburbs - Des Plaines, Palatine, Schaumburg, Skokie and Oak Park - scored highly as well. Working with Onboard Informatics, a Manhattan-based real estate analysis company, BusinessWeek came up with a list of each state's most affordable places to raise kids. Towns with fewer than 50,000 residents were not considered. Also, towns with median household incomes of less than $40,000 and more than $100,000 were eliminated.