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Article updated: 8/23/2013 7:40 AM

Island Lake trustee questions $30,000 bill

By Russell Lissau

Plans for a new village hall in Island Lake sank after the April municipal election, so a newly received $30,000 bill for services related to the project has surprised some officials.

Trustee Keith Johns, who leads a committee that oversees finance issues, questioned the bill from a consulting firm called Draper and Kramer during Thursday night's board meeting.

The firm was hired in July 2012 to develop plans for a municipal complex at Water Tower Park, which is on Route 176 at Newport Court. Proponents of the plan, including then-Mayor Debbie Herrmann, said the complex could house village offices, a police station, a community center and other services.

But the plan died the night Herrmann lost the mayor's race to Charles Amrich, whose slate campaigned against the project and won election overwhelmingly.

The $30,000 bill was delivered to the village Monday, Johns told the board. Johns, who ran with Amrich, asked why the village is being asked to pay for services on a project that died months ago.

Trustee Shannon Fox, who was on the board last year and was a Herrmann ally, explained the board agreed to pay Draper and Kramer $30,000 regardless of whether the plans became a reality.

But she also accused the company of not turning in some documents that had been requested as part of the project, and she questioned if it fulfilled its end of the contract.

With that in mind, village attorney David McArdle told the trustees to prepare for a potentially costly legal battle if they fight the bill.

After more discussion, Fox said she would contact the firm about the bill and the documents that weren't delivered.

Johns also asked if the $30,000 was budgeted for the current fiscal year. Officials said it was in last year's budget.

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