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2017 Kane County Chronicle Best of the Fox

$25M estimated cost for new Geneva library

'It's going to be an excellent library'

Published: Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 1:16 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 4:25 p.m. CDT

GENEVA – The Geneva Public Library board on Nov. 17 unanimously approved a resolution stating it would need $24.9 million in bonds to pay for a new building on property the district already owns at 10 S. Sixth St. in Geneva.

The four-page resolution also states the bond would be spread over a period of 20 years.

Board President Robert Shiffler said the nearly $25 million figure “is our current estimate.”

“It covers total construction costs, architectural costs, furnishings, bonding fees, escrow,” Shiffler said. “We are continuing to work on that number and finalize it for the public hearing and the board meeting on Dec. 22.”

The library board will have a public hearing at 7 p.m. Dec. 22 at the library, 127 James St., Geneva.

Shiffler said the board’s regular meeting will follow the public hearing, and a vote is expected to put the question on the April 4 consolidated election ballot.

If the prospect of a nearly $25 million bond issue gives taxpayers some pause, Shiffler said that number is an estimate and likely will be reduced by the time of the hearing.

Shiffler said he would not release a breakdown of how the estimate breaks out in terms of its component costs.

“We put a maximum number out there – it won’t be any higher than that and may very well be lower than that,” Shiffler said. “I’m fairly confident the number is going to change … [but] I hate to [put] numbers out there that are being continually massaged.”

Should the nearly $25 million referendum pass, it would increase property taxes, Shiffler said.

A house with a $300,000 market value would see an annual tax increase of $100 to $110, Shiffler said.

“We are going to put the story out there identifying the value people are going to get for the money, and they will have to decide if it’s worth it,” Shiffler said. “It’s going to be an excellent library, and it will meet the ongoing needs of the community.”

The cost estimate for the building construction and architectural fees was provided by the architectural firm StudioGC, while the bond costs and impact on property taxes was provided by Ehlers, an independent municipal financial advisory company, Shiffler said.

Library officials are seeking to build a new facility. The current building has no parking, lacks enough space, and its age makes it energy inefficient.

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