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Local News

Plano City Council OKs lead, asbestos survey in Hugh St. building

Plano Mayor Bob Hausler
Plano Mayor Bob Hausler

An asbestos survey and lead survey will be made on a vacant building at 9 N. Hugh St., in Plano.

City Council members at an earlier meeting approved a request of Mayor Bob Hausler to hire Midwest Environmental Consulting Services of Yorkville for $2,200 to come up with an actual cost of making repairs on the building, so the council could continue discussions on the building’s future.

However, the bid from Midwest was only for $1,550 – $1,050 for the asbestos survey and $500 for the lead survey. The bid was accepted at the May 14 council meeting.

City Council members voted in October of 2016 to purchase the building on a recommendation by the City Council at an earlier Committee of the Whole meeting. The plans to date have been to turn it over to the Plano Historical Society for its use. City Attorney Tom Grant said he has the deed to the property, but it has not been filed with the county because ownership had not yet been decided.

In November of 2016, City Council members in a Committee of the Whole meeting voted to ask the Plano Community Library District Board to endorse the idea of forfeiting the $4,000 in property taxes they are owed by the city on the property. The idea had been presented to Plano Library Board members about a month before and they supported it, according to Tom Karpas, Plano Building, Planning and Zoning director, who said he met with the board.

School board members also voted unanimously to participate after Karpas spoke to them about the idea.  

Hausler told council members at the earlier meeting that he would like them to consider approving a proposed intergovernmental agreement he presented to all taxing bodies who had not received their tax payments or penalties over the past several years from this property. Hausler said the proposal was presented to the other taxing bodies who also are owed taxes from the property. He is hoping all of them will adopt the agreement to forfeit their taxes and penalties so the building can be made available to the Plano Historical Society.

Hausler noted that the city’s only cost would be about $4,000, the portion of the total tax bill that would come to the city. If all taxing bodies cooperate, the city would remain owner of the building, which sits on a 31-by-32-foot lot.

Karpas said the vacant building has been in a state of deterioration and disrepair for several years. He recalled that at one time a dentist office had been in the building.

Hausler said it’s not likely anyone could afford to pay the taxes and then invest money in making the building usable for a new business.

“The renovation and rehabilitation work could be done by the museum officials. They do have a bit of money, but the majority of the work will be in the form of in-kind donations of either labor, materials or both,” Karpas said.

He said the building needs interior work such as painting, repairing of drywall and similar cosmetic repairs of damage done by vandals. A new heating system also will be needed, he added.

The city would hold title to the building because it is buying back the taxes. It would then lease the property to the Historical Society for $1 a year. The city would be responsible for some maintenance such as any future repairs to the roof, siding and similar items, Karpas said.

In other business:

• Karpus told the council that construction of the splash pad at Lathrop Park should be completed by Memorial Day, May 28.

The council approved payment of $69,111 to Copenhaver Construction of Gilberts, Illinois, for architectural work on the pad. But Hausler said some restoration needs to be completed before the park can open. He said they may be able to open the pad and park by June 30, depending on the weather.

The park is located at Hale and North streets.

• Two new employees were hired for the city’s water department on request of Josh Beyer, water superintendent.

Branden Voelkel was hired starting May 15 at a salary of $36,257 and Nick Rossaert starting on May 21 as meter reader at a salary of $36,257.

Reappointments to city commissions and boards also were approved by council members on recommendation of Mayor Hausler. They included Martin Lincoln for two years on the police pension board, John Moisa for three years on the police and fire commission, Cara Brummel for five years on the plan commission and Kurt Dreisilker for five years on the plan commission.

Council member also accepted the resignation of Bruce Smith, who is retiring after two years as a crossing guard. This concurred with a request from Police Chief Jonathan Whowell to advertise for someone to replace Smith.

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