If the Carol Stream Public Library board decides to sell its 7.5-acre property on Kuhn Road, the village would get first dibs on the land, officials said this week.
Discussions to sell the site resurfaced at a meeting of the board's facilities committee earlier this month. The land at 480 N. Kuhn Road was purchased in 2003 to build a new library, but voters rejected such plans three times.
Now there's a majority of trustees on the board who oppose a new library and want to sell the land.
Britt Isaly, the library's attorney, said the village, as the corporate authority, would have the first right to buy or lease the site before the library solicits offers from others.
"If they put it out for sale that's fine, but the village has to say whether it wants it or not," Isaly said.
After soliciting the village's interest, the library could then put the property on the market and work with a Realtor, or sell it at auction, Isaly said.
Board President Mike Wade originally said the library might have to seek an intergovernmental agreement with the village to use its home rule authority to put the land up for sale. But Isaly said such an agreement would only be needed if the library is using the village's home rule powers for financing or borrowing.
Village President Frank Saverino offered several ideas for potential uses of the land, should the library board vote to sell it. Considering the proximity of College of DuPage's satellite campus at 500 N. Kuhn Road, the land just to the south would give COD an opportunity to expand its campus, he said.
"Expanding that building would be ideal. They keep building and building in Glen Ellyn," he said. "I'm so glad to have them here in Carol Stream. Their current building is too small. Here's an opportunity to expand it."
Five years ago, there were discussions about the library selling land to the college to use as extra parking space and last year COD officials toured the library's property.
But on Thursday, COD spokesman Joe Moore said the college is no longer pursuing a potential purchase of the land.
Saverino also said a school or fire department use "would be perfect."
The property's previous owners, Richard and Betty Lou Kammes, sold the land to the library with the desire it be maintained for public use.
But Saverino also said he wouldn't be opposed to a private developer buying the site because "what we need right now is tax-bearing stuff."
"Do I believe they should sell the property? If you're not going to build anything then why would you hold onto the property?" Saverino said. "I just don't want to see them fire sale it out for nothing."
Wade said the facilities committee also will look into a potential lease deal with the park district to use the space for trails or other recreational uses, though board members indicated they might not be interested if the park district's offer isn't particularly large.