Representatives from Brookfield United Methodist Church met in closed session with Brookfield Public Library trustees last month to discuss real estate, but neither side is talking about the substance of that discussion at this time.
Linda Sokol Francis and two others, one of whom was the congregation’s building committee chairman, Emil Peluso, met with the library board for about 10 minutes on March 23.
Francis is the Brookfield businesswoman who in 2009 and 2010 purchased several properties on the 3400 block of Grand Boulevard in order to build a new church/community center to house and revitalize the Brookfield congregation.
In November 2010, the village board voted 4-1 to reject Francis’ plan. At the time, Francis said she had no intention of abandoning her plans for the new church. Should the new church be built, it would leave the present church vacant. The congregation intends to sell the church, which is located across Lincoln Avenue from the library at 3541 Park Ave, if the plan to build a new building ever moves ahead.
Neither Francis nor library Director Kimberly Litland would reveal if the March 23 discussion centered on the library potentially purchasing the church building.
Regardless, Francis has not given up on her dream of building a new building for the congregation at Eight Corners. In fact, on Dec. 30, 2010, she began the process of transferring ownership of the Grand Boulevard properties to Brookfield United Methodist Church.
According to property records obtained from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, Francis transferred eight parcels to the church. Five parcels remain to be transferred to the church. That will happen once the two remaining buildings on those lots are demolished.
Francis told the Landmark on Thursday that she hoped demolition would begin on April 1. Keith Sbiral, Brookfield director of building and planning, said he is waiting to receive the Cook County demolition permit and other paperwork before the village can issue its own demo permit.
“I haven’t received any information today,” said Sbiral on March 30, “so my guess is these won’t be issued until next week sometime … if we get everything.”
Once the buildings are demolished, Francis’ plan is to try to convince the next village board to reconsider her proposal for the church/community center.
“I’m waiting for the election to be over,” she said. “Whoever gets elected, I’ll talk to them. We’re going ahead as if they voted yes, except for building the building.”