Lake Zurich residents prefer rebuilding Paulus Park Barn with a new floor
Lake Zurich residents want to rebuild and expand the fire-ravaged Paulus Park Barn with a one-story, 9,000-square-foot addition, according to the results of village surveys.
The village has been soliciting feedback from residents for much of the year about improvements they would like to see to the barn and other areas. So far, 1,263 members of the community have been surveyed through virtual community engagement sessions, community committee meetings, online feedback forms, phone surveys and more.
Kyle Kordell, assistant to the village manager, said it was important to the village board and staff to get community feedback on the future of the barn, which housed administrative offices and various programs. It was gutted by a fire in November.
"It's everybody's barn, not just ours," Kordell said.
Earlier village estimates stated the preferred option would cost the village about $1.2 million to $3.7 million.
Kordell said the village board will consider adding an advisory referendum question to the November ballot asking residents whether to increase local sales taxes by 0.5%. Kordell said an increase of that amount is expected to generate about $2 million annually, which would be used to fund the community's preferred enhancements at the Paulus Park Barn as well as other projects, such as improving Fire Station #1 which was built 38 years ago.
Kordell said the board could make a decision on the referendum at its Aug. 17 meeting.
As part of the village surveys, residents were presented with four options for the Paulus Park Barn: rebuilding the barn using primarily insurance money and about $500,000 in village funds, rebuilding the barn along with a one-story addition, rebuilding the barn with a two-story addition, or demolishing the barn and building a new larger building.
The preferred option for the Paulus Park Barn would add a large multipurpose room with partitions, as well as more restrooms and an exterior patio. According to a village analysis of the feedback, the plan has strong support among all demographics, especially middle-aged adults, seniors, females, moderates and minorities.
Kordell said just to get the barn -- which was built in 1968 -- rebuilt and up to code with proper sprinklers and a new water line would cost more money than the village's insurance company provided.
"We would be spending money just to get the barn up to code," Kordell said. "That means we'd spend a lot of money just to have the same building we had before."