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Huntley to raze historic but unsound mill building

Huntley plans raze village-owned Sawyer-Kelley Mill have commercial building constructed site historic but structurally unsound structure. | Phocourtesy Landmarks Illinois

Huntley plans to raze the village-owned Sawyer-Kelley Mill and have a commercial building constructed on the site of the historic but structurally unsound structure. | Photo courtesy of Landmarks Illinois

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Updated: January 9, 2014 6:33AM

Huntley — The village will enter into a $1 million redevelopment agreement to raze the historic, but structurally unsound, Sawyer-Kelley Mill and construct a commercial building on the site.

Trustees approved the agreement with CSC Commercial, Inc., of Lake in the Hills. The plan calls for construction of a single-story multi-tenant use building on the 11801 Main St. site that will feature a turn-of-the 20th Century façade in keeping with the village’s downtown streetscape improvement plans.

The $1 million project will require a contribution of $330,000 from the village and will likely bring a net value of $850,000, officials said.

The board heard two proposals for the reuse of the historic mill, which was purchased by the village in 2012. The other was from Nettor Enterprises, Inc., of Hampshire and proposed bringing the mill up to current building codes and offering a mix of rental units and retail spaces in the three-story building. But trustees felt the cost to the village of more than $800,000 to restore the building and the projected final value after construction of $375,000 was not the best investment.

The favored CSC Commercial plan will include a 5,400-square-foot building with varied rooflines giving it a two-story look. A wide, street-side boardwalk would serve for outdoor dining and pedestrian walkways.

Trustee Harry Leopold said judging by the monetary costs alone, the CSC proposal was better for the village. Trustee John Piwko agreed.

“This proposal echoes the circa 1900 photos of the downtown and is in line with what I have envisioned for the downtown. I would ask that they salvage any contents for the historical society to preserve,” Piwko said.

“I am dealing with a heavy heart because the building is historic, but I am leaning toward the CSC proposal because I believe the area needs to be gentrified and we need to bring additional businesses downtown,” Trustee Rhonda Goldman said.

In other business Thursday night, the board:

Approved a site plan modification for the Talamore subdivision Pod 8A which would allow the Ryland builders to construct a four-car garage on the largest of its models like the Newcastle. Petitioners came before the board to seek the modification because potential buyers have been asking for it.

The board approved the modification with the understanding that only models with enough side yard to accommodate the fourth garage bay while still meeting required side yard setbacks would be eligible for the modification approval.

Learned that with the full interchange at I-90 and Route 47 open and running, at least one resident has had some difficulty with the all-electric interchange.

Ken Bergum, a seven-year resident of the village, said he eagerly awaited the opening of the full interchange, but when relatives and friends from out of state visit, they are at a loss as to how to pay the toll with no cash option as they exit on Route 47.

“The only way to pay the toll is with I-Pass, and people from other states don’t have one,” Bergum said. “I think if they put that kind of money into the interchange, why can’t they put in a cash box for people.”

Village President Charles Sass told Bergum they could pay a missed toll online or by phone, or exit at Route 20 in Hampshire as an alternative.

“It is very confusing. Every other state you visit, there is always a cash option,” Bergum said.

Heard about the Ridership Voucher Program with Route 47 Taxi of Huntley. The voucher program will provide senior transportation service to residents of Rutland and Hampshire Townships within the village.

The program began on Dec. 1 and will end when the $6,000 in funding for the program is depleted.

The service schedule runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A one-way trip within the village is $2. There is no charge for the caregivers of riders, however rates are subject to change. The service is limited to seniors age 55 and older who are able to board and exit the vehicle independently. Riders must schedule their rides 24 hours in advance and must cancel 24 hours in advance as well.

Eligible seniors can register with the village by calling (847) 515-5261 or email

to complete the form online.

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