Salem Lakes takes library building off the market

This Google Streetview photo shows the building on Second Street in Silver Lake.

This Google Streetview photo shows the building on Second Street in Silver Lake.

The building where Silver Lake once hoped to house a branch of the Community Library has been pulled off the market.

The Salem Lakes Village Board Wednesday voted unanimously to pause efforts to sell the building and explore community uses for the building.

The motion to take the building off the market was made by Trustee Laura Francart, the chairman of the Parks Commission. She said that group has been discussing possible uses for the building, such as a community center or event space.

The building at 209 N. Second St., Silver Lake, was purchased by the village in November 2013 for $200,000 with an additional $50,000 borrowed for renovations. Plans at that time called for the building to house a Silver Lake branch of the Community Library, of which Silver Lake was a member. The Silver Lake branch at that time was losing its lease at another location.

The purchase became controversial after it was completed without the details of the loan coming to the Village Board for approval. A preliminary vote had approved pursuing the purchase.

Plans to have the other Community Library municipalities contribute to the purchase of the building fell through when the other municipalities balked.

The library never moved to the building. Riverview School used it for temporary office quarters in the summer of 2015 while parts of the school were renovated. That fall, the board decided to try to sell the building.

The building’s most recent listing had an asking price of $169,000.

Francart said the Parks Commission does not have a solid plan for the building, but would like to explore options.

“It’s not saying for sure anything is going to happen,” Francart said.

The idea of exploring options seemed to be favored by other board members.

“We might as well look at some other options,” said Trustee Doug Randolph.

Village President Bruce Nopenz said, “Having that building sit vacant isn’t helping anything.”

Trustee Patrick Dunn said, “If we can use it for something, why not?”

7 Comments

  1. Following the Money says:

    A complete audit of the original 200K, 50K and every penny since then spent on this white elephant needs to be done and published before any new deals are made on the building.

    Additionally the original pre-purchase value and who made out on this sweetheart deal the first time should be re-told.

  2. What does the contract say? says:

    What does the contract say?
    Right now, this structure is an ASSET for the Village of Salem Lakes.
    It hasnt been depreciated fully.
    It would fall into the contract bucket for actions only after the upcoming election.
    The contract freezes contracts in place which in this case would freeze the selling contract until that expiration Date is reached.
    When reached, decisions rest with the new board.
    What this temporary board wants and what it can do is questionable until after 4-4.
    Election day is coming.
    I hope you intend to vote.

  3. Jeff Albrecht says:

    This building was a terrible purchase for taxpayers done so while violating state laws and with a Kenosha County DA that turned his back in the people he was supposed to protect when it came to enforcing that law. Not only were the citizens on the hook for the $250,000 loan plus interest on the debt but now cannot even sell it at fire-sale price of $169K!
    That being said, in the business world it is known as a sunk cost. Cannot turn back the clock and have to make the best of a very poor situation considering best-use of the asset you have.
    The board is right in considering other options for it’s use and I applaud Ms. Francart for her motion and the board for backing it up.
    However there should be a needs assessment for all Salem Lakes properties – there may already be one by Mr. Casey. It appears that the new village may have excess property assets even without this white elephant.
    There is another cost associated with this property to be considered. That being opportunity costs – that opportunity that the municipality may be missing by hanging on to it. Chiefly it is lost tax revenue and a possible addition of a business which may employ people and further benefit the community’s growth. Further the Silver Lake board wisely paid off this note in late 2016 so were the building to be sold the money generated would go back into the village coffers to be used for other needed projects or a welcome reduction of property taxes.
    In other words let’s not confuse needs with wants.

  4. SL Goverment says:

    Just remember the Sliver Lake board of 4years ago. They are the ones that made all of these bad calls. That is way we voted them out and we have the board we have now. Our board now has done a great job and are still cleaning the mess up.

  5. ROGER JOHNSON says:

    I believe the DA turned his head on a nother matter like at the MARINA on a FRIDAY NIGHT so we should not throw stones.

  6. To: Following the money says:

    it’s great you are so interested in doing an audit on the 200K and the 50K. But maybe, just maybe, we should first be concerned with and audit on the $2.2 million the current board neglected to mention to the residents when they were out crying about the Village of Silver Lake going bankrupt?

  7. 2.2 ?? says:

    Its probably less 200K now since they paid off the White Elephant loan. And which “savings” account did that come out of?

    Still want to know who the seller was? And was it sold/purchased at the correct value at that time?

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