Viking Dodge in Play for Community Center?

That’s what it looks like.

I filed the following Freedom of Information request with the Crystal Lake Park District:

“Expenditures made and work product from evaluating Viking Dodge’s potential purchase.”

I’ll give the park district credit. I got an answer in a day.

Unheard of responsiveness.

(It’s been a week and I still have nothing back from my request for information about BMB Communications Management’s offer of $6 million to erect a 1,500 foot tall, highest self-supporting broadcast tower on earth.

(None but the insiders have seen what this tallest structure in Illinois will look like.)

Except what I got from the park district was a denial based on the records I had requested being exempt under a part of state law referred to as 5ILCS 140/7(1)(s).

I was told I could appeal to Park Board President Mike Zellman whom Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley he had know since grade school.

So, what’s this 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(s) exemption. Here’s what’s in the statutes:

(s) The records, documents and information relating to real estate purchase negotiations until those negotiations have been completed or otherwise terminated. With regard to a parcel involved in a pending or actually and reasonably contemplated eminent domain proceeding under the Eminent Domain Act, records, documents and information relating to that parcel shall be exempt except as may be allowed under discovery rules adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court. The records, documents and information relating to a real estate sale shall be exempt until a sale is consummated. (Emphasis added.)

While I didn’t get the answer I wanted, I did get the information that the Crystal Lake Park District is considering buying Viking Dodge.


Why would the park district be contemplating purchasing Viking Dodge?

When speaking to Crystal Lake senior citizens the end of January Mayor Shepley said,

“The park district is looking at one near where you are sitting.”

The meeting was held in the Senior Associates headquarters next to the Crystal Lake City Hall on Woodstock Street.

He talked about Oak Manufacturing, but he could just as easily have been talking about Viking Dodge.

Shepley also talked about a swimming pool.

In “a pre-existing building.”

I can’t see a swimming pool at the old Oak Manufacturing factory or at Viking Dodge.

I can see a swimming pool at the old Cub Food store. It’s even conveniently located right next to Vulcan Lakes. Knock a door and some well insulated windows through the back wall, move a hill and there is direct access to the proposed lake front park.

I don’t know if Viking Dodge is having financial problems.

Goodness knows enough car dealerships are.

Extreme Ford has vacated the old Conlin-Collins Ford dealership.

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