Library purchases DeKalb Clinic Building

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The DeKalb Public Library (DPL) has purchased downtown property from the DeKalb Clinic for a purchase price of $1.8 million, according to Gary Cordes, the attorney for the library. Cordes made the announcement to members of the local media who came to attend a regular meeting of the DPL Board of Directors held at the library. A closed session meeting took place from 5pm until 8pm. When the closed session ended and the public meeting was to begin Cordes took the media to a private office to make a special announcement.

Cordes could not remember exactly when negotiations between the library and the DeKalb Clinic began but he believed they started about a year ago. The DPL had also looked at property adjacent to the Jacob Haish Memorial Library, owned by Ronan-Moore-Finch Funeral Home as well as property near the corner of Hillcrest and Route 23, according to Cordes. There was also discussion with DeKalb School District #428 regarding the new high school (under construction).

The DPL has the $1.8 million needed to complete the purchase of the DeKalb Clinic property, according to Cordes. He said that the DPL will be seeking TIF funds from the City of DeKalb to help with demolition costs. The DPL will also seek to raise money through private donations.

Cordes said that plans include building a new library designed to meet pressing needs for more space and provide the library with necessary infrastructure to accommodate a changing demand for library services. He did not believe the DPL will need voters’ approval through a referendum because debt repayment for construction will be made without an increase in the library district’s tax rate.

Construction financing would be through tax-exempt Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB’s) issued through the City of DeKalb by the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA). According to an IFA handbook on its bonding programs local government units and non-profit organizations are eligible for such financing. Local use of such financing includes the Kishwaukee Family YMCA who used the program to obtain $950,000 to finance new construction and refinance an existing mortgage.

As follow up…

DeKalb Public Library
309 Oak Street
DeKalb, Illinois 60115-3369
815-756-9568

Attn Dee Coover:

Pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, I request access to and copies of:

1) All public notices as required by 5 ILCS 120/2.02(a) and 5 ILCS 120/2.02(b) including copies of advertisements/announcements placed in the newspaper of general circulation (5 ILCS 120/2.03) for the following Special Meetings which were held in Closed Session: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2008; FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2008; SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 2008; FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2008; FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2008; SATURDAY, JULY 26, 2008; WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 2008; WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2009; WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2010; and WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 2010.

2) Minutes and correspondence in fulfillment of 5 ILCS 120/2.06 (d) “Each public body shall periodically, but no less than semi‑annually, meet to review minutes of all closed meetings. At such meetings a determination shall be made, and reported in an open session that (1) the need for confidentiality still exists as to all or part of those minutes or (2) that the minutes or portions thereof no longer require confidential treatment and are available for public inspection.”

3) The “Letter of Intent” approved during closed session at the Special Meeting of the Board of Directors held on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 under Agenda item 3.

Pursuant to 5 ILCS 140/6 I formally ask that all fees be waived as the purpose of this request is in the public interest.

If my request is denied in whole or part, I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act.

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,

Mac McIntyre
Publisher/Editor
DeKalb County Online

Meetings of Interest:
SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 2008
9:00 A.M.
1. Meet at the Library- Roll Call
2. Travel to Remote Sites – Visit to Other Libraries
PURPOSE: “Possible Property purchase or acquisition” 5 ILCS 120/2(2)(5)
(Entire Meeting will be in Closed Session. No Public action is expected).
3. Return to the Library-Adjournment

AGENDA
SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
5:00 P.M.
1. Roll Call
2. Approve levy request
3. Closed Session
Recommended Motion: “Approve letter of intent”. 5 ILCS 120/2(2)(5)
4. Recall to Regular Meeting
5. Adjournment

6 COMMENTS

  1. Trustees and Library Director are toast. I don't see how they can get out of this one. OMA also calls for video or audio recording of closed meetings. That evidence should disclosed whether actual action on purchase occurred during closed session. Any person, as well as the states atty or atty genl can file a legal action against the violating body within 60 days, as I remember. What's next? Link to OMA explanation: http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/government

  2. It would be difficult for the City of DeKalb to claim they had no knowledge of this. When I arrived at the library the closed session meeting was ending. Rudy Espiritu attended the closed session portion. According to Elena Grimm's report the transaction was approved in public session at the Library Board's June 9, 2010 meeting. So then, why was the closed session to discuss the transaction needed? And then somebody explain how interviewing architects for future work on a proposed new construction library fits the Open Meetings Act exceptions for closed session under 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(1-24)?

  3. DeKalb City Council took out it's last loan for downtown renovation and with that, promised that if the downtown TIF underperformed, they would raise our taxes to pay for it. THIS OFFICIALLY makes the downtown TIF underperform and basically assures a tax increase will likely be necessary to pay for downtown renovations. I stood up at City Council and warned them of this. All I got back was blank stares.

  4. Yes, both properties were purchased for $1.8 million. The contract has been signed, according to Gary Cordes. It appears this contract was consummated during closed session but Cordes denied that. According to a report filed by the Daily Chronicle's Elena Grimm, Dee Coover, executive director for DPL said the contract was approved in public session at its June 9, 2010 meeting. However there is no mention of any such action item on the published agenda for that meeting. There was a "recommended motion" to approve a Letter of Intent on a published agenda for a Special Closed Meeting held Nov. 18, 2009. I have FOIA'd for a copy of that letter.

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