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updated: 2/28/2012 6:06 PM

Glen Ellyn approves deal with COD

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A plan to transfer jurisdictional control of the 273-acre College of DuPage campus in Glen Ellyn to DuPage County is now in the hands of county officials.

The Glen Ellyn village board voted unanimously this week to approve a five-year agreement with COD that would keep the college incorporated within the village's boundaries, while the county would have regulatory control over the college, which includes enforcement of county ordinances and building codes.

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Last week, the COD board of trustees approved the agreement unanimously.

Now, the county will have the final say. It's likely some committees will review the deal before the full county board votes next month.

The agreement is the result of a Feb. 7 mediation session with DuPage County Judge Hollis Webster attended by Village President Mark Pfefferman and COD President Robert Breuder. The two sides had been entangled in a legal battle for a year-and-a-half centered on the question of whether the college needed to seek village approvals for its extensive building program.

As the result of the mediated agreement, both sides have agreed to withdraw their respective lawsuits, which both sides say will save taxpayer dollars.

Already, the two sides combined have spent more than $500,000 on legal fees.

Following the village board's approval, Trustee Peter Cooper called the deal a "very practical and ingenious solution to what otherwise could've been a real problem."

"We said early on, from when the college first rescinded the prior intergovernmental agreement, that we don't have to be the ones doing the inspections, but somebody does," Cooper said. "We're confident there's an oversight procedure in place in DuPage County so that students, faculty and visitors will be sure these are safe structures."

The college had maintained that its third-party, peer review inspection process for new buildings went above and beyond any village regulations, but the village argued that the process amounted to "trust me" self-regulation.

Under the agreement, the college will continue to pay village taxes including sales, utility, hotel and motel. The college will continue to get village water and sewer service.

COD officials are exploring getting fire protection service from a new provider. And though the college has an existing police force, the DuPage County sheriff will be the first backup for emergency calls.

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