Local

Crystal Lake-based District 47 mulls parking agreement with church

CRYSTAL LAKE – There aren't enough parking spots at Hannah Beardsley Middle School.

Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 staff and visitors end up parking at the neighboring Evangelical Free Church of Crystal Lake, an arrangement that’s worked out for years, school board President Jeff Mason said.

Mason and some district staff have been negotiating with the church to put the arrangement in writing, he told the board at its meeting Monday evening as he requested feedback on a draft agreement that had been put together.

Board member Ryan Farrell, who also is an attorney, raised some concerns, pointing to the short duration of the agreement and either side’s ability to end the contract without cause with just 60 days notice.

The agreement as presented Monday would run through the end of the 2015-16 school year, which considering the district would be giving the church a one-time payment of $15,000 isn’t a lot of time, Farrell said.

The payment would cover wear and tear on the lots for the past couple of years the district has been using 10 to 15 spots on a daily basis, spokeswoman Denise Barr said.

The cost would “certainly be cheaper than building a parking lot,” Mason said.

Farrell agreed, adding it was about being a good neighbor.

However, he also asked that the agreement’s termination clause be looked at, pointing out the annual payments the district would make would occur at the beginning of the school year, and so if the agreement was ended prematurely with the 60 days notice, the district would be out all of that money regardless of how far into the school year the agreement ended.

Barr declined to give further details on the proposed annual payments, including how much they were set at under the draft agreement, since the agreement is still being worked on.

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