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posted: 10/18/2012 12:01 AM

How much is Carol Stream library's property worth?

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Carol Stream Public Library officials will be checking to see how much the library's 7.5-acre property on Kuhn Road is worth -- the first step in the possible sale of the space originally purchased to hold a new library facility.

The library board voted unanimously Wednesday to direct Interim Library Director Marilyn Boria to contact Realtors to obtain the property's fair market value, as well as a contract with the terms and conditions for sale or lease of the property.

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Should the library board decide to sell or lease the land at 480 N. Kuhn Road, the village would have the first right to the land, but if village officials don't want it, the property would go on the market.

"It's a ten step process," said Board President Mike Wade. "We're on step one."

Wade, a longtime opponent of plans to build a new facility on Kuhn Road, has said the library could use proceeds from a sale to "hold taxes down" and increase services to patrons. Trustees Dominick Jeffrey, David DeRango and Jerry Clark have previously expressed preference for selling the land.

In July 2011, Wade, Jeffrey and DeRango were on the losing end of a 4-3 vote to retain the property, arguing that voters rejected calls for a new library in three separate referendums. At that time, an appraisal of the property found it to be valued at $615,000. Wade's resolution had called for the property to be listed at $750,000 -- the original purchase price in 2003.

Now a new board could have the votes to sell the property.

Jeffrey, chair of the library board's facilities committee, said he doesn't propose "taking it at a loss."

"We're not in the business of owning property but we're not going to have a fire sale on it either," Jeffrey said. "We're going to explore options on getting the value on the property and seeing what the market will bear and see who would like to purchase that property."

The library board is proposing a joint meeting with the park district board Nov. 19 to discuss a possible park district lease of the space. Parks officials have expressed an interest in using the land.

Library Trustee Mary Hudspeath, a longtime supporter of a new library facility, said she's not opposed to selling the land -- "just not now" in the current economic climate.

She's expressed a preference for a lease deal with the park district that would allow the property to be tax-exempt.

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