Lake Barrington village board members have approved demolishing an old farmhouse that came with the purchase of land now devoted to recreation and open space preservation.
Roughly 26 acres that became known as Freier Farm on Kelsey Road were purchased by the village in 2007. The property had been owned by Arthur and Norma Freier.
As part of the $2.1 million transaction, the village received the 1,500-square-foot farmhouse with three bedrooms, 2½ bathrooms, a basement, central air conditioning and more. Lake Barrington officials decided to renovate the structure and rent it for income instead of spending an estimated $15,000 to tear it down in 2007.
But Village Administrator Karen Daulton Lange said the farmhouse now needs too much work to become viable. At a village board meeting Tuesday night, trustees approved a contract with Elgin-based Omega Demolition Corp. for a cost not to exceed $24,958.
Lange said contractors studied the farmhouse in the summer and found problems with the foundation, roof and septic and water wells. Other questions arose as well.
"We also talked about whether the village should be in the rental property business," she said. "And the consensus was 'no.'"
Village board members agreed the house should be offered to the Barrington-Countryside Fire Protection District for potential training exercises before the deal is signed with Omega Demolition.
The last family to occupy the house moved Sept. 30 when a $1,650-per-month lease expired. Lange said the home has linoleum floors as part of "a very mundane 1960s interior."
Voters approved a ballot measure that allowed the village to borrow up to $5.5 million to buy open space for conservation and recreation, with $2.1 million used for Freier Farm in 2007.
Lake Barrington's annual Barn Stomp is held at Freier Farm, which has amenities including a park and community garden.
"Too bad we can't keep the shell to make it look like a farmhouse," Trustee John Schaller said.
An exact age of the farmhouse was unavailable. The demolition is expected to cover two days. Lange said the village will offer some souvenirs to the Freier family, such as bricks from the house.