Brookfield board OKs preliminary library plan

Final approval could be years down the road

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By Bob Uphues


The Brookfield Public Library's board of trustees cleared a significant hurdle Monday night in its bid to build a new library campus at the intersection of Grand Boulevard and Park Avenue, setting the stage for the library to draw up final plans for the property.

Without throwing their actual support behind the library's proposal, Brookfield's village trustees voted unanimously to approve the library board's preliminary planned development application for a new library campus. In addition, the village board approved the library's petition to give them up to seven years to make their plan a reality.

"We're not saying to put up a building," said Trustee Michael Towner, one of two trustees to speak about the proposal before the board voted to approve it. "We're saying you can do this planned development."

Trustee Kit Ketchmark stated that before any final plan would be approved by the village board, he'd like to see some changes to the plan as it stands now. In particular, Ketchmark said, he'd like to see changes to the north side of the proposed library, which looms over the residential property next door.

In addition, Ketchmark said he'd like to see more work done to improve traffic circulation within and around the library campus area. The library board changed its original plan by shrinking the parking lot and rerouting traffic around the parking lot to connect Lincoln Avenue with Grand Boulevard.

While the library's architect has argued that the new plan creates an extension of Oak Avenue around the parking lot, some have argued that the Oak Avenue extension is simply a wider path through the parking lot, since the extension would be flanked on both sides by parking.

Ketchmark said he'd also want more complete information on which government agency would be responsible for what at that site. The library has proposed that the village be responsible for maintaining the Oak Avenue extension and adjacent parking spots.

"Those issues would need to be worked out before the village board could give final [approval]," Ketchmark said. "It may be years and years down the road, if ever. And ultimately those are issues that may not be able to be resolved, but this does not give final approval."

Library bought church in Nov.

The ball is now back in the court of the Brookfield Public Library board, which will meet on Dec. 19 to plan its next move.

Library officials also revealed Monday night that the board took something of a gamble last month, quietly purchasing the former Brookfield United Methodist Church property on Nov. 13, according to information obtained from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

The library board reportedly was scheduled to close on the property on Oct. 31, but that was delayed as church officials gathered documents necessary for the closing. The library board reportedly asked the church to wait until the village board's vote on their preliminary plan on Dec. 10, but the church wouldn't budge.

After meeting in closed session for about 40 minutes on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 10, the library decided to move ahead with the land purchase. On Dec. 8, the Brookfield Plan Commission had voted to recommend that the village board approve the preliminary planned development. According to a press release issued Tuesday morning by the library, the board paid $589,185 for the property, using cash reserves.

One of the decisions the library board expects to hash out on Dec. 19 is whether or not to demolish the church building immediately.

After that, the library board will have to work with its architect to nail down final plans for the campus, including building materials and obtaining concrete cost estimates. Preliminary estimates for the new campus, including the 38,500-square-foot library building have put the cost at between $9.5 and $12 million.

It could be up to five years before a final planned development application comes back to the village's Plan Commission.

"The board of trustees is very sensitive to the economic climate," said Library Director Kimberly Litland. "The board is merely looking to the future in showing possibilities of what may be done."

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Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

For a Greener Tomorrow II from Brookfield  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 2:34 PM

Thanks for endorsement "X" however no need to defend greener. We all know by their polluting and claims of sound investing who the real stooges are. One waits for his monthly VA check while the other waits for his monthly AARP magazine.

Jim Sima from Brookfield  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 9:57 AM

The library board appears to me as pretty reckless with the taxpayers money. The first blunder was buying a house which we now own and cant sell.And now this gamble of buying the church property without the plan being approved?I personally know that next election I will be voting against any of the existing board seeking re-election.Enough is enough.


Posted: December 16th, 2012 4:48 PM

Dr x:he brought it on him self by making stupid statements.

DR X  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 4:13 PM

John and Mark why pick on Greener Tomorrow. Brookfield has all sorts of Characters that deserve your wrath much more. Try going after the library board directly if you our so against their policies. Ask about any security measures that might need to be put in place in wake of the latest school shootings, these tragedy's can happen anywhere and we should know with all the money being spent, if children will be safe there. Stick to constructive criticism.

mark roegner from brookfield  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 11:10 AM

greenie gets his money the old fashioned way he waits for his government check each month and uses his food stamps and goes to food pantrys. leeching off the american people.


Posted: December 15th, 2012 11:53 AM

Greenie:are you that Occupy Wall Street loser who got cracked over the skull during the protest downtown?That would certainly explain your condition.Theres a reason they call that stuff you're injecting dope you know.

For a Greener Tomorrow II from Brookfield  

Posted: December 15th, 2012 9:19 AM

John what amazes me is not your lack of knowledge regarding the environment but your lack of knowledge of knowing anything. Also what 's up with this pen-pal comoradity you imply in all your posts? Are you implying that Mark is an alley oil polluter in which you proudly admit and claim to be? This past election has called for your retirement of forming an opinion on any subject matter. As for local government better get prepared in April for a run by the GREEN MEAN MACHINE.

For a Greener Tomorrow II from Brookfield  

Posted: December 15th, 2012 9:04 AM

Just like business did not build their own it was was the roads built by government. that built them are your investments. It was not your knowledge or solid companies it was an unregulated wall street that made your fortunes. It's only a matter of time before the government nationalizes all those loop holes called 401k and roth. As said early better to wilingly share than be mandated to share by government. The 80's are gone Mark.


Posted: December 14th, 2012 10:25 PM

Mark I've got a feeling "Greenie" spends his days stoned out of his mind,in front a tv.Another youthful slacker trying to justify his existence with video games and illegal substances.

mark roegner from brookfield   

Posted: December 14th, 2012 9:06 PM

i have worked hard in my life and for you to say otherwise is an inslut.i have earned my wealth by hard work and investing in goo solid companys unlike other people that wait for there monthly check from the government welfare department.

For a Greener Tomorrow II from Brookfield  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 2:39 PM

John & Mark- Why is it that you insist on keeping money not ligetimately earned. You both probably have your tooth fariy quaters still tied up in a passbook savings accounts. The money and investments you made are BS and have our environment and assured future debt for others left to pay. And you are proud of that. Shame on you and all your carbon cronies who think wealth is determined by the size of your wallet. Better to give freely than have taken by force and yes that day is coming.


Posted: December 14th, 2012 2:16 PM

Greenie loves spending people's money.Just as long as its not his.From raising taxes,building libraries,tearing down the water tower and who knows what else.Since he's already admitted he's a self professed enviro whack job,he must also believe everyone's got a money tree out back.Of course living at home with mommy and daddy has probably done this to him.

DR. X  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 12:31 PM

When they tear down the Church, does that mean my Marriage is annulled, and if so, do I least get a free library card.


Posted: December 12th, 2012 5:48 PM

What part of BROKE don't these people get. Stop spending stupid.

Mike Zaruki from Brookfield  

Posted: December 12th, 2012 7:57 AM

Why is the library "gambling" and "quietly" purchasing property with public funds? Where is the library board going to come up with $12 million? Does it have this in its cash reserves? Do the people of Brookfield, who will ultimately pay for this, get to vote on it? Or do we just get this shoved down our throats?

mark roegner  

Posted: December 11th, 2012 8:55 PM

for a greener tomorrow 11 why dont you use your real name so we know what a real idiot is.

For a Greener Tomorrow II from Brookfield  

Posted: December 11th, 2012 6:51 PM

Beth I agree with you. I too have an issue with the lack of space at our library. We do not have to move to another community to enjoy a good read while we can have it in our own town. Time has come for the town of Brookfield to move us in the right direction. Even if that means raising taxes to do it.


Posted: December 11th, 2012 4:54 PM

Beth:we've got enough free loaders in Brookfield as it is.Move to LaGrange if you're not happy with our facilities.

Basic Services? from Brookfield  

Posted: December 11th, 2012 3:06 PM

Beth - You consider all of the items you just posted as being "basic services"? Meeting rooms, teen groups, story hours.....really? I have news for you - NONE of those things are basic services, and you're just looking for more free stuff for you and your family on somebody else's dime. Forget it!


Posted: December 11th, 2012 2:50 PM

No mention in this article about the 2012 property tax levy proposed by the Village Board to help pay for the new library. Yet another tax increase! Brookfield's property tax increase in 2011 cost me thousands in additional escrow dollars and increased mortgage payments!! This Board is out of line proposing (and likely imposing) ANOTHER increase, especially to pay for a library that many don't want. Bottom line, we can't afford it!

mark roegner  

Posted: December 11th, 2012 11:10 AM

beth using the library is not a basic service its a previledge a lot of towns dont even have a library. you want to spend $12 million dollars of taxpayer money so your daughter can read a book. all schools have libraries use those.


Posted: December 11th, 2012 11:02 AM

Have you paid a visit to the library lately? If you're commenting without knowing how badly the library is bursting from the seams, how often my daughter can't get into storytime, then that's really too bad. Brookfield residents deserve better, in spite of what the quibbling politicians say. My family regularly visits the library and wants more. More space for children, a spot for teenagers and how about study rooms like we see in other libraries. Why shouldn't we have these basic services?

Truthteller from Brookfield  

Posted: December 11th, 2012 10:36 AM

One thing is for sure...this is an arrogant plan from an arrogant person.

mark roegner  

Posted: December 11th, 2012 10:18 AM

again the library is putting the cart before the horse. just like the house on arden ave. which they lost 200k on. they buy the church with no new library approved by the village board.

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