A fast track design and building consortium headed by Draper and Kramer made a presentation to the Lakewood Village Board Tuesday night.
They didn’t cinch the deal, but made a favorable impression.
The Village Board decided it wanted more input from residents, which would be sought at the next meetings.
Only residents Tom Wilbeck and Cal Skinner made comments after extensive questioning by the Village Trustees.
Financing was a key topic.
Costs could range from $165 to $286 a square foot. The most expensive was for the Lisle Village Hall.
Having been burned for twenty years on the alternative revenue bonds sold by the 1992 Village Board, current members were adamant that no borrowing would be approved that would require a tax increase.
The 1992 Village bought the pitch that bonds backed up by property taxes would be cheaper than those backed solely by the golf course.
When the golf course revenues did not provide enough money to pay off the debt, property taxes had to be increased. Many have estimated the annual increase in property taxes to be about $500 a year for twnety years because of that 1992 decision.
Debt certificates were discussed. They could cost up to a half a percent more and would be backed by the full faith and credit of the Triple A rated village government, but could not force taxes higher.
Debt certificates could be sold without a referendum.
If adequate money were not available to repay the debt certificates and other village expenses, however, other expenses would have to be cut in order to pay off the borrowing.
Discussion ensued around using the lake front property where the current village hall is located.
With about 100 feet of waterfront, the property could be cut into two lots and sold for an estimated $750,000 a lot.
Alternatively, the property could become the only waterfront restaurant in Crystal Lake. That would supply the village with both property tax and sales tax revenue.
The cheapest village hall mentioned by the developers had a $4 million price tag, but making an estimate of the square footage and using the cheapest ($165) per square foot figure, one trustee estimated the cost might be $2-3 million.
A formal needs evaluation would be part of a no-cost Phase 1.
Village Administrator Catherine Peterson pointed out that the Village Board “used to have a nice room,” but space needs of the growing village forced a move of meetings to Red Tail Golf Course.
That was supposed to be a “3-5 year solution.”
“Now, we’re going on 5-10 years.”
Confidentiality in processing those arrested and, sometimes, having a place for their distraught families other than the waiting area in the Village Hall portion of the building, was mentioned after the meeting as a significant reason for the need for more space.
The first phase of the proposed project would be free to the village. It would include a needs assessment and an evaluation as to the reasonableness of staff requests.
A second phase would cost $30,000 to 50,000 for consultants to do soil borings, preliminary environmental work, etc.
Construction could be completed within 18 months, if the village board decided to move forward.
The finance advisor from Stern Brothers & Co. said the time was favorable for long-term borrowing. The general contractor on the team added that construction costs were low.