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Crystal Lake Park District seeks more time to buy property

LITH board to vote whether to extend annexation agreement

Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 11:22 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 4:15 p.m. CDT

LAKE IN THE HILLS – A delay in the removal of two billboards is causing the Crystal Lake Park District to need more time to close on a purchase of 27 acres of land at 8917 Ackman Road.

In March, the Lake in the Hills Village Board agreed to annex the land to allow the park district to potentially build a recreation center and aquatic center.

However, the park district had 120 days to close on the land, or its agreement with the village would become null and void.

The 120 days has expired, according to a memo from Lake in the Hills Community Development Director Dan Olson.

The park district has asked for more time to complete the purchase.

Park district Executive Director Jason Herbster had previously said he expected the park district to close on the property for $625,000 in April.

Herbster said two small billboards remain on the property and have to be removed before the park district takes ownership of the land.

The removal of the billboards is being worked out by the current owner of the property and the billboard owner, Herbster said.

“We’re hoping this will wrap up pretty quickly to keep things moving along,” Herbster said.

Village staff has proposed setting a new deadline of Jan. 22 for the park district to close on the property.

The Village Board is scheduled to vote on the matter at its meeting Thursday.

Herbster said he hopes the district is able to close on the property within the next month, and the January deadline is meant to avoid needing to extend the annexation agreement again.

Herbster added there is no issue with the financing for the project and that associated paperwork is ready to go, but has yet to be executed.

Whatever is built on the land will depend on the outcome of an attitude and interest survey, and whether a potential future referendum passes, park district officials have said.

If the park district builds a recreation center it could have a fitness center, a gym to play basketball, walking track, banquet space, preschool classrooms or multipurpose rooms.

If something is eventually built, residents of Lake in the Hills would pay a fee that is no more than the midpoint between a park district resident fee and nonresident fee to use the facility.

To attend

What: Lake in the Hills Village Board

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Village Hall, 600 Harvest Gate

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