Village plans to waive permit fees for Brookfield Library

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By Bob Uphues


Brookfield village trustees later this month are expected to approve an ordinance waiving most building permit fees for the future construction of the Linda Sokol Francis Brookfield Library.

During a brief discussion of the issue at the village board's committee of the whole meeting on June 24, trustees appeared to agree with Village Manager Timothy Wiberg that assessing those fees amounted to a double tax.

"We serve the exact same taxing people," Wiberg said. "It's kind of robbing Peter to pay Paul. They're getting their revenue from the same people we get our revenue from."

The village assesses a 1.75 percent building permit fee based on the estimated total cost of construction. Wiberg estimated that the village's building permit would cost the library about $183,000.

While trustees are likely to waive that fee, the library will still be on the hook for fees associated with third-party plan review, which Brookfield hires out to a firm named B&F Construction Code Services; engineering review, which is handled by Hancock Engineering; and legal review, which is handled by the village's law firm, Storino, Ramello and Durkin.

"The separating line will be anything the village isn't paying out of pocket for," Wiberg said. "The Brookfield Library is fully ready to pay for those fees."

The Brookfield Public Library's architects are close to completing plans to be submitted to the village for its final planned unit development application. Those plans are expected to be in to the village planner by the end of July and before the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission by the end of August.

If everyone hews to that timeline, the village board could approve the final planned development on Sept. 23, which would keep the library board on track to break ground for the new library next spring on land it owns at 3541 Park Ave.

Even if the final approval timeline changes a bit, construction would still be targeted for 2020.

Once the new library is built, the present library at 3609 Grand Blvd. will be demolished to create additional parking and green space.

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Alan Radevski from Brookfield  

Posted: July 8th, 2019 1:40 PM

Mark - I am assuming you don't mean $9,000 per taxpayer. Question, do you know how many taxpayers there are in Brookfield or where to get that info?

Mark McCann  

Posted: July 2nd, 2019 7:57 PM

As a resident of the 3500 block of Park Ave, myself and most of my neighbors support this new library on our block. However, we do not support the library and village boards rushing this through with almost no regard for public safety like they have. Village code requires the library to conduct a traffic impact study (TIS) to measure the impact on traffic and public safety, and the library did....for 2 hours on 2 SUBZERO days in January when the library was forced to close early due to the cold - not exactly "normal conditions" to gauge the impact on safety. This ridiculous traffic impact study did not properly examine pedestrian safety, nor handicapped and bicycle access. It did not examine the condition of infrastructure around the library. Both the library and village boards are aware that the library's TIS violated several professional norms, standards and regulations, including IDOTs, yet they do seem to care, even though there is a middle school a block away. A reputable traffic impact study would have discovered that bicycle and handicapped access will be severally restricted, especially coming from the north, due to the horrible condition of the street and sidewalks. In fact, the library and village are in such a rush to get this approved that it seems nobody bothered to look at the village's own street condition report until an FOIA request was filed. That latest report from 2013 gave the block a condition rating of 2, meaning it has a "remaining pavement life of 2-4 years before the next resurfacing will be required." That was 6 years ago. Any parent whose child goes to SE Gross, frequents the library, lives nearby or gets on/off the bus at 1 of the 4 school bus stops at that intersection should be concerned that the library and village boards are being so callous with public and pedestrian safety by not properly studying it. And that ridiculous traffic study that was conducted during a polar vortex? It cost us taxpayers nearly $9,000.

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