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Article updated: 9/24/2013 1:53 PM

Geneva Library drops purchase of former Cetron factory

The Geneva Public Library has dropped plans to build a new library on the site of a former factory.

The Geneva Public Library has dropped plans to build a new library on the site of a former factory.

 

LAURA STOECKER | Staff Photographer, 2008

The Geneva Public Library has abandoned plans to buy the former Cetron factory on Richards Street.

The Geneva Public Library has abandoned plans to buy the former Cetron factory on Richards Street.

 

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2010

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The former Cetron factory on Richards Street won't be the site of a new Geneva Public Library.

The library board voted 6-0 Saturday to drop the purchase, which it had approved in September 2010.

"It was hard," library board President Esther Steel said of the decision.

She said the library's attorneys advised her not to discuss the specifics of the information the board received while performing "due diligence" about the site, including results of testing for the presence of environmental hazards. She also declined to say whether the library or the seller had paid for those environmental tests.

The factory shut down in the mid-1980s. It manufactured vacuum tubes, light bulbs and electronic parts.

The board voted in July 2010 to buy the building for $2 million. The purchase also included an office building and a house.

"There are just some on the board that felt strongly we should look at a different site," Steel said. She also noted that the board's makeup has changed substantially since the vote to buy. The board has four different members than it did in 2010.

Steel declined to mention other sites of interest other than the former Sixth Street School and city hall, which have already been discussed publicly. The library has a right of first refusal should Kane County decide to sell Sixth Street School, which now houses the Kane County Regional Office of Education.

Part of the delay in acquiring the Cetron site was due to problems determining who owned the parcels that made it up. The property had been bought by a real estate developer but went into foreclosure.

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