An unavoidable reminder of what Lakemoor officials want to change soon will be removed as they continue efforts to craft a new village image.
The village is requesting demolition proposals for the old village hall, a cinder block box prominently situated in the center of town on the north side of Route 120 across from Lily Lake. The dominant feature was a garage door just steps from the busy thoroughfare.
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Interested contractors on Friday can walk through the 3,000-square-foot former firehouse. Bids are due by 2 p.m. Oct. 31.
"Trust me, the employees have been wanting to do it (demolition) themselves," Village Administrator David Alarcon said.
The village board Thursday is expected to give Mayor Todd Weihofen the authority to accept the lowest responsible bidder, as the next board meeting isn't until Nov. 14. The McHenry Township Fire Protection District will use the building for practice the first week in November and the wrecking crew will follow.
"We want to get moving before the weather hits," Alarcon said.
Village offices moved from the building in May 2012 to a small leased space nearby. That term is for three years, but there is a window after two years in which the village can end the lease. That was done in anticipation of there being a new municipal facility, Alarcon said.
Where exactly that will be and whether it also will house the police department is being determined.
The police department for years had operated in a double-wide trailer across the street from village hall. That was abandoned in early 2012 for new quarters in a building the village purchased in an industrial park a few miles away near Route 12.
"We're in the process of finalizing a land deal. We're deliberating to see whether it will be a joint building or a stand-alone village hall," Alarcon said. The new site will not be where the former village hall stood, but it will be big enough for expansion, he said.
The building and foundation will be cleared. The future of the property, in the middle of a proposed downtown area, is to be determined.
"We're going to look at what we can do with the property, including incentives for potential commercial development," Weihofen said.
The village in recent years has taken action on several fronts to improve its image, market and assets and attract new business.
A revised long-range plan was approved earlier this year, the village's first community/economic development director was hired, and a separate website, www.disoverlakemoor.net, introduced.
A new village hall will be in keeping with that strategy.
"The building has a lot to do with who you are," Alarcon said.