College of DuPage officials have called for a special meeting tonight of the board of trustees to formally consider disconnecting the college's 273-acre campus from Glen Ellyn.
The meeting comes just hours before a village-imposed deadline of Dec. 1 goes into effect in which village officials have said they would begin to strictly enforce local ordinances and codes at COD.
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At the college's Nov. 16 board meeting, Glen Ellyn Trustees Peter Cooper and Carl Henninger said the college would be subject to citations and stop work orders if ongoing construction projects don't comply with village codes.
Their declaration came after a DuPage County circuit court judge's decision earlier this month indicated that the college may be subject to village building inspections, permitting and approvals.
After that board meeting, COD President Robert Breuder called the village trustees' statements "threats," while also promising to bring a resolution for disconnection to the COD board at its next meeting.
He said a less formal relationship between the two sides could be productive and in the best interest of the village and COD.
The board could have considered the resolution at its regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 15, but there had been some speculation that the issue might be taken up earlier at a special meeting. In May, the board voted to authorize the college's attorneys to look into the disconnection process.
"I think this was a large enough issue that the board wanted to deal with it in its own right," said COD spokesman Joe Moore. "They want to make sure there's ample time to weigh a question of this magnitude."
Glen Ellyn Village President Mark Pfefferman said the village intends to go ahead with plans to enforce village codes beginning Thursday -- no matter the decision of the COD board Wednesday night. He did acknowledge that the number of citations and stop work orders the village issues could be significantly less, depending on how long the legal process for disconnection takes.
The college can seek deannexation in two ways: by directly petitioning Glen Ellyn, or by filing a petition for deannexation in circuit court.
A policy statement adopted by village trustees in June said the village wouldn't object to deannexation as long as it wouldn't lead to parts of the village being isolated, the village doesn't incur any out-of-pocket expenses, and the village receives utility easements for its water and sewer systems.
Pfefferman said that while the village wouldn't fight deannexation if those criteria are met, he still doesn't think it's in the best interest of taxpayers.
The village stands to lose about $500,000 a year it receives from COD in fees related to water, sewer, gas and electric, and sales and telecommunications taxes, college officials have said.
"It sends the wrong message: If you do not like the rules, you leave, even after you've gone to court three times and the court doesn't support (your) premise," Pfefferman said.
The village has said it would still provide COD with water and sewer service "at the same unincorporated rates as the village's neighbors pay" if the two sides are able to put together an annexation agreement. If there's no agreement, the village could charge up to double the incorporated rate, according to the village's policy statement.
COD officials have said they could consider connecting the college's utility system to an outside provider, such as Illinois American Water.
Breuder has said the amount of time and money the college would have to spend to effect deannexation would be minimal.
There are six requirements the college must meet under state law:
• The land must be 20 acres or more;
• It must border a municipality;
• No part of the municipality can become isolated as a result;
• "Growth prospects and plan and zoning ordinances" can't be disrupted;
• There can be no substantial disruption to sewer systems, street lighting, water mains, garbage collection and fire protection; and
• The municipality can't be "unduly harmed" by the loss of future tax revenue.
The COD special meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the college's Student Services Center, in Room 2200. The board is expected to meet in closed session and return to the open meeting at 8 p.m., when trustees will formally consider the resolution for disconnection and take comments from the public.