Friday, June 22, 2012
Huntley History Buffs Oppose Main St. Building For Parking
Last week the Board approved buying the building at 11801 Main St. Currently housing a gold-buying shop and a cleaning service, it's been, among other things, the village's post office and a milk depot but 120 years ago it started out as the Sawyer-Kelley grist mill.
"This building is a piece of Huntley's history and past," Donna Britton, Chairman of Huntley's Historic Preservation Commission told trustees during their public comment session. "It would be sad to lose this to something as inane as a parking lot."
Fellow Commission member Lonnie Oldham urged the board to look at "adaptive reuse" for the bulding, instead.
However, Village Manager Dave Johnson told FEN later neither Village planners nor the Board have decided to turn the building into a parking lot yet or anything else, for that matter. "There are no definitive plans at this point," he said. Right now the purchase is simply to obtain control of the Downtown property while commercial prices are still tanked.
Separately, the Board approved a consultant's contract to create detailed redevelopment plans for a TIF District proposed to improve Huntley's Downtown. One aspect of the plan would freeze property tax receipts in the TIF District (although not the taxes themselves) for 23 years for the other four taxing bodies whose boundaries include the Downtown. Mayor Chuck Sass said confabs with D158, Huntley Park District and the Huntley Fire Protection District found no objection. However, "I think they might have some questions in the Library District," said Sass. "They're straining."
The Board hasn't approved the Downtown TIF District yet and there will be public hearings about it before it comes to a vote.
In the pic: Huntley Historic Preservation Commission Chairman Donna Britton told the Village Board the building at 11801 Main St. was owned by the same pair who operated the Marlowe Feed store. "It would be sad to see both of those lost in the same period," she said.