$5 Million Shed???

Item 7 on Tuesday’s Batavia City Council Committee of the Whole Agenda is discussion geared toward purchasing property for $5 million. Bonds would be issued that would be paid with an INCREASE IN PROPERTY TAXES. The agenda document basically says they would like to purchase prime industrial property to store stuff, in other words, to use as a shed. That’s $5 MILLION…for a shed:

“Our Public Works Department works in a cramped environment and stores many pieces of equipment outside in the elements that would have a longer life if we were able to store them indoors…. These space and storage issues have not been brought to Council’s attention because, up to now, the only solution would be to purchase land and build a new facility. The situation does not warrant this at present, and it would not be the best use of the City’s resources to construct such a facility….”

So instead of constructing an inexpensive post frame building (Menards has materials for a 30’ x 40’ x 10’ building for $9300), the City is thinking of spending $5 MILLION PLUS INTEREST of taxpayer money to buy a big building they don’t really need, to use as a storage shed. Not only that, but the property’s assessed value is only $3 million (from Kane County Property Tax Inquiry).

They try to justify the purchase by saying they can let the Food Pantry and Clothes Closet and the Toy Drive use the space too, but the Food Pantry and Clothes Closet already have space the City gives them rent-free, with utilities paid by taxpayers, and the Toy Drive only operates right before Christmas, with private businesses (especially BEI) having stepped up to help after the City demolished the Baptist Church the Toy Drive had used for years.

The cost to the owner of a $300,000 home would start at $24.40 (subject to change with changing home values)/yr, for 20 years!

PLUS, the City would be taking prime industrial property off the tax rolls. Last year that property brought in over $86,000 in property taxes. When there are less properties to pay taxes, the remaining property owners have to make up the difference, meaning your property taxes would go up even more!

PLUS, since Batavia is committed to buying a fixed amount of electricity from its disastrous Prairie State power plant deal, and industrial customers use far more energy than would a storage shed, turning it from industrial use to City use means homeowners would have to pay more in electric bills to cover the cost of the unused electricity.

Let the City Council know what you think of this idea. Contact info here: https://www.cityofbatavia.net/233/City-Council-Committee-of-the-Whole

Please attend the virtual meeting if you can at 7pm Tuesday, 2/2. Agenda with virtual meeting registration info here: https://www.cityofbatavia.net/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_02022021-1677?html=true

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3 Responses to $5 Million Shed???

  1. Kathy L Evangelista says:

    This property would have multiple uses including the Interfaith Food Pantry and Clothes Closet which services all of Batavia and Batavia Township. The current space that they are in does not meet the needs of the clients and is at risk from a crumbling retaining wall. There are over 1200 of your neighbors and community members who are served by this agency. Please don’t boil it down to ridiculous ideas that this is a $5mil dollar shed.

  2. seektruth says:

    I don’t mean to sound like a grinch, but charity ceases to be charity when money is not voluntarily given. This is billed in the meeting agenda as primarily storage space for the City. Use by the Food Pantry/Clothes Closet is ancillary. It will be a City (taxpayer) owned building.

    That the City has given the Pantry free use of its current space and taxpayer-provided utilities is already very generous. But the Pantry is, after all, a private 501(c)(3). The City should not be in the business of buying properties for millions of taxpayer dollars so that charities can have a free place to operate.

    Why is this charity singled out for preferential treatment? Why doesn’t the City buy a building for every charitable organization? Or how about buying buildings for churches, as they help lots of people too? It is simply not the job of government to prop up private charities.

    Let those who wish to be charitable give their money freely to their charities of choice. Government should not be forcing money from people, under penalty of losing their homes, to support private operations of government choosing.

  3. Kathy L Evangelista says:

    The Batavia Food Pantry and Clothes Closet is open and available to ALL residents of Batavia and Batavia Township. SeekTruth, you can place an order for Tuesday and, as long as you are a Batavia resident, you can go to the Food Pantry once a month and the Clothes Closet twice a month. It is a community organization serving ALL of the COMMUNITY. It is not a church that is specific to one faith/denomination or an agency that has an income requirement. If you feel the $$ is too much, come once a year to Food Pantry – and consider it $24 for a cartful of groceries. And it is not just Food Pantry that is “singled out for preferential treatment.” The space will also house RSVP which supports senior citizens (https://bataviarsvp.org/), ChipIN Batavia (https://www.chipinbatavia.org/), and the Access Toy Drive (a 70+year institution in Batavia).

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