CL Library Architect Fees Exceed $700,000

We now know that the Crystal Lake Library Board has spent $2 million buying up property around the library for the big new building the public keeps turning down.

(See Crystal Lake Library and Real Estate Company.)

What the proposed library property would look like from above.

Early architect billings.

My FOIA requests have also revealed that the Library Board has paid their architect, Engberg Anderson, over $700,000–over $703,000 to be more exact for the new library the voters turned down 55.6% to 44.4%.

At $8,000, architectural firm Engberg Anderson was tied for largest donor to the Crystal Lake Library “YES” Committee campaign, providing almost a third of proponents’ referendum promotion funds for its $30.1 million proposal.

Proposed Crystal Lake Library designed by architectural firm Engberg Anderson.

(See CL Library Architect Donates $8,000 to Library Yes Committee.)

To date neither the Library Board nor its boss, the City Council, has passed an ethics policy forbidding vendors from making campaign donations.


CL Library Architect Fees Exceed $700,000 — 11 Comments

  1. These people should be held criminally accountable for this open theft.

  2. Nothing too good, no price too high for the taxpayers to be fleeced.

  3. UnFreakin’ believable.

    What part of ‘no’ don’t they understand.

    We don’t want your stinking Library at over $300 more in real estate taxes per year!

  4. “If you build it they won’t come, but we will have our names on a plaque.”


  5. Wonder if a local contractor could have fixed up the library pretty nice for 700,000.

  6. Make that $2.7 million, adding in the price of paying (double market value)for real estate.

    And don’t forget to add $30,000 per year of lost property tax revenue due to those purchases?

    What can be done?

    Municipal rulers are not exhibiting concern for taxpayers.

    Are there any other alternatives for self-defense against this rogue tax-taking group?

    (75 ILCS 5/2-6) (from Ch. 81, par. 2-6)
    Sec. 2-6. A public library established by any city, village or incorporated town under this Act may be disestablished if the library has no bonded indebtedness and the municipality is wholly included within a township which has a library established under this Act. Disestablishment may be effected in the following manner:
    When 25% but not less than 100 of the voters of the city, village, or incorporated town present a petition to the clerk thereof asking for the disestablishment of the public library, the clerk shall certify the question of whether or not the public library shall be disestablished to the proper election authorities who shall submit the question at a regular election in accordance with the general election law. The proposition shall be in substantially the following form:
    Shall the …….. YES
    library be ———————————
    disestablished? NO
    If a majority of the votes cast upon the proposition are in favor thereof, the library shall be disestablished. If less than a majority of the votes are in favor of the proposition, the disestablishment shall not occur.
    If the disestablishment is authorized under this Section, the board of trustees of the library shall immediately proceed to close up the business of the library. If a vacancy occurs on the board before all of the business affairs are completed, the vacancy shall not be filled except that if all positions become vacant, the corporate authorities of the incorporated town, village, or city concerned shall act as the board to close up the business of the library. In closing up the affairs of the library, the board shall sell all property and equipment of the library and pay all debts and obligations; however, if the city, village or incorporated town whose public library is being disestablished is wholly within a township or townships having a township library or township libraries, the board or boards of which agree to assume all debts and obligations of the library being disestablished, all remaining property and equipment may be transferred to the township library.
    (Source: P.A. 84-770.)

    (75 ILCS 5/2-7)
    Sec. 2-7. Dissolution for failure to perform duties.
    (a) If the board of trustees of a public library established under this Act has failed to perform its duties and functions under this Act, then a petition for dissolution that is signed by at least 1% of the electors in the municipality or township may be filed with the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the public library, or the predominant portion thereof, is located. The petition must (i) clearly define the territory embraced in such public library, (ii) set forth the name of the public library, and (iii) set forth sufficient facts establishing that, within the 3-year period immediately prior to the filing of the petition, the board of trustees:
    (1) failed to hold regular meetings of the board;
    (2) failed to pass an annual appropriation ordinance

    or to levy taxes for the purposes of the district; or
    (3) failed to perform the duties and functions

    imposed by law.
    (b) Upon the filing of a petition under subsection (a), the circuit judge shall set a date and time for a judicial hearing on the petition. At least 20 days prior to the hearing date, the clerk of the circuit court shall give notice of the time and place of the hearing by publication in one or more daily or weekly newspapers having a general circulation within the municipality or township.
    (c) If, at the hearing under subsection (b), the circuit judge finds that the petition meets the requirements of subsection (a) and that the allegations set forth in the petition are true, then he or she shall enter an order dissolving the public library. If the public library is dissolved by the circuit court under this Section, then the affairs of the public library must be disposed of in the manner as provided in this Act.
    (d) Within 60 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, the duly elected members of a board of trustees of a library established under this Act may meet and appoint a sufficient number of persons to establish a quorum to conduct business. Those appointed shall serve as though elected and hold office only until the next regularly scheduled election for library trustee.
    (Source: P.A. 96-500, eff. 8-14-09.)

  7. An accompanying action to dissolution may be the re-establishment of this library under Township management.

  8. Susan I offered that solution quite a while back. No one cared then. Now that they are upping the ante once again, can we get this rolling?

  9. I think it is worth consideration. It would be like a company re-org.

    Maybe first step is to start writing a petition header.

    Start amassing local support.

    Contact Chicago reporters about the egregious use of taxpayer funds by CL rulers.

    If you get enough attention paid to the problem, the only remaining solution left open to struggling survivors gets a life of its own.

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