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Article updated: 8/8/2013 12:44 PM

Carol Stream Library surveying residents on land use

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The Carol Stream Library board is asking residents for opinions on whether to sell the 7.5-acre property it owns on Kuhn Road that once was intended for a new library.

Patrons at the library began filling out a survey this week that asks their preference regarding future use of the property at 2N540 Kuhn Road. The survey also is available on the library's website.

The options presented in the one-question survey are:

• pursue sale of the property for a commercial development, currently a proposed two-story, 120-bed nursing/rehabilitation center;

• maintain the land as open space by pursuing an intergovernmental agreement with the park district for a neighborhood park;

• retain the land until a strategic plan for the library has been developed to determine the future public use of the property or use of the proceeds realized from the sale;

• or pursue options two and three concurrently.

Those who take the survey also are provided with a section to give additional written comments.

Each participant will be required to provide their name, address and phone number to verify the survey was taken just once, according to library Director Susan Westgate.

Only those 18 and older can take the survey, she said.

To encourage participation, respondents will have the opportunity to be entered in a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card, Westgate said.

The survey will be available in person at the library, and online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PZCNF9G, until Sept. 15.

The library's September newsletter, which is sent to all households and apartments in the village, will contain the survey link, as well as a QR code that mobile phone users can scan to take the survey. The newsletter is expected to arrive in homes mid- to late-August, Westgate said.

Results from the survey will be presented to the library board Sept. 18.

Westgate said there's still a possibility the library could hold a town-hall meeting on the issue with the board.

The board voted unanimously last month to agree to formally solicit community feedback on the controversial issue, which has divided the current and former boards.

The land was purchased in 2003 for $750,000 with intentions of building a new library there, but residents rejected proposals for a new facility in three separate referendum questions. That prompted former library board President Mike Wade to propose the land be put up for sale.

It was listed for $1.8 million, and an initial offer of $1.225 million was proposed to the board by ManorCare, a Toledo, Ohio-based nursing home company. Both sides negotiated to get the latest offer to $1.35 million.

A contract is currently pending and under review by attorneys for both sides.

But the process has taken place in the midst of a turnover in the board majority, resulting from a divisive election in which Wade's five-person Support The Library slate was defeated by current board President Jim Bailey's five-person Support the Library slate.

Bailey, the lone trustee from the old board to vote against putting the property on the market, and several new trustees have expressed reservations with a sale.

Two Wade allies who remain on the board, trustees Dominick Jeffrey and David DeRango, have continued to push for a sale.

Bailey has said new board members are bringing themselves up to speed on the issue and doing their "due diligence" in looking into possible uses for the land.

One option being considered is for the Carol Stream Park District to lease the land -- perhaps for $1 a year -- and maintain a passive park there.

Park district officials have said any number of things could be placed in the park, from benches and picnic tables to gardens and shade structures.

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