Daily Herald - Suburban Chicago's source for news This copy is for personal, non-commercial use. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution you can: 1) Use the "Reprint" button found on the top and bottom of every article, 2) Visit reprints.theygsgroup.com/dailyherald.asp for samples and additional information or 3) Order a reprint of this article now.
Article updated: 2/18/2013 3:50 PM

Is Carol Stream Library Board on verge of selling Kuhn Road property?

By Christopher Placek

The sale of a 7-acre site once intended for a new library in Carol Stream could be imminent.

The Carol Stream Library Board is expected to discuss a potential sale of the property Wednesday during the closed session portion of its monthly board meeting, according to an agenda posted Monday.

While discussions about a potential sale will take place behind closed doors, the board is expected to return to open session afterward where it could take formal action on what was discussed, library Director Susan Westgate said.

Sheryl Duncan of Realty Executives, whom the board hired in November to sell the property at 2N540 Kuhn Road, said there's been a "wonderful response" from potential buyers.

Duncan wouldn't say how many interested buyers there have been or how many formal offers have been made.

She did say the property officially remains on the market. It is listed for $1.8 million.

The village, as the library's corporate authority, would have the first right to buy or lease the land. Village Manager Joe Breinig has said officials are choosing to reserve that right until other offers have been made in order to get a better idea of what the market determines the property to be worth.

Breinig has said the village board may be resistant to having the property be used for residential units.

Meanwhile, park district officials have suggested they be given a right to purchase the land in the future, according to a Jan. 15 letter from park board President Brenda Gramann to the library board.

The park board is proposing, as part of a potential lease deal for the property, that it be given the right of first refusal to buy the property when the library finds a buyer. Likewise, Gramann's letter states, the park board is proposing it be given the opportunity to offer to buy the land at any time during the term of the leasing arrangement.

The library would retain the right to accept or reject the park district's offer, Gramann wrote.

Even though the village has the right of first refusal, Breinig said, the village board could choose to waive that right if it so chooses.

Members of the library and park boards met in November to discuss using the land as park space while the property is on the market.

Library board President Mike Wade has said there's a consensus of library trustees who would favor a lease deal until the point the property is sold.

However, Gramann's letter also asks library board members if they want to wait until after the April municipal elections to proceed because "it's possible that any new board members may have different ideas on how to structure the (intergovernmental agreement)."

Both sides could avoid rewriting the agreement or starting over if they wait until after the election, she wrote.

A total of 10 candidates on two competing slates are vying for five open seats in the April 9 library board election. The Support the Library Carol Stream slate includes Trustee Jim Bailey, a longtime proponent of a new library facility, who has opposed selling the Kuhn Road property. The Support Your Carol Stream Library slate includes Wade, a longtime opponent of a new facility who proposed the property be put on the market.

The park board is also proposing the leasing arrangement be multiyear, but suggested it not be for more than 20 years.

And it suggested the annual lease fee be $1, which Gramann said "allows the property to serve the residents without moving money from one public purpose to another."

"The park district board and the library board serve the same constituents and are equally sensitive to taxpayers' costs," Gramann wrote.

The library board is expected to discuss Gramann's letter during the open session portion of Wednesday's meeting.

Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.