To Save or Not to Save – That is the Question

At the Freeport City Council Meeting on August 5 the City Engineer, Shawn Gallagher, discussed the reports on Asbestos and Lead Testing for former City Hall Building (230 W. Stephenson Street) and former Carnegie Library Building (314 W. Stephenson Street) as provided by Fehr Graham. Unfortunately, the reports are not available online for the public to view. Mr. Gallagher gave an extremely poor summary of the reports. The reports were given to the Council for the members to review. This is a case of the blind leading the blind.

Mr. Gallagher also mentioned the geotechnical testing on former City Hall Building (230 W. Stephenson) as provided by Testing Service Corporation. He sounded as if there were no serious issues. Again, the reports are not available online.

No decision can be made on these buildings until the Mayor and Council do the following:

1. Full disclosure online of all reports on these buildings paid for by the City of Freeport which should be done immediately.

2. Firm estimates on the actual cost of restoring these buildings.

3. Disclosure of the sources of funding for the restoration of these buildings. Will it be real estate taxes or some other creative new tax?

Remember this – Certain members of the City Council who have served many years have contributed to the present situation by doing nothing. They have failed to maintain the old library building, and let the City Hall building deteriorate. Can these same people be trusted to make a decision on the fate of these buildings? The answer should be obvious.

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