At a Special Meeting held at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 23, the Barrington Public Library District’s Board of Trustees voted to cease negotiations with the Village of Barrington on a proposed Intergovernmental Agreement, relating to the re-routing of Lake Zurich Road to intersect with U.S. Route 14 (Northwest Highway) at the existing traffic signal at Berry Road. The proposed Intergovernmental Agreement included the permanent sale of a parcel of Library District land of more than 2.5 acres from the Library to the Village for highway purposes, as well as a request for additional Library District land of more than 2.5 acres to be used as a temporary construction easement for the length of time of construction. The final vote on the motion to cease negotiations with the Village was 4-2, with one abstention.

In their discussion prior to the vote, Library Trustees cited a wide-ranging list of concerns including: the safety of both the realigned Lake Zurich Road and the redesigned Library parking lots; increased difficulty in entering and exiting the Library campus, which sees an average of 1,000 daily visitors; impaired use of the remaining land, particularly in terms of future library expansion; lack of control over design and execution of the end result; and destruction of the Library’s park-like setting. Also noted was the significant difference between the appraisals of Library District property that had been obtained by the Library Board and the Village of Barrington. The appraisal obtained by the Library District put the total value of the land being requested for permanent sale, and the land being requested as a temporary construction easement, at $3,975,000, with the Village’s appraisal placing the value around $1.4 million. Several members of the Library Board expressed a desire to see other options considered for controlling traffic and improving safety at the intersection of Lake Zurich Road and U.S. Route 14.

Approximately 120 community members attended the meeting. Board President Don Minner opened the meeting by introducing the Library’s new Executive Director, Jesse Henning. Minner also thanked the Village of Barrington for their patience throughout the review process, noting that the Village “diligently answered our questions, and kept the dialogue open with us.” Minner also thanked those in attendance, as well as community residents who had shared their opinions and input concerning the proposed Lake Zurich Road realignment with the Board over the past few years.

Minner then opened the meeting up for public comments. Community members, including Mayor Karen Darch, various representatives from the Village of Barrington, and other government officials, addressed the Board for over an hour. After all public comments were noted, the Library Board began its discussion of the proposed Lake Zurich Road realignment project and Intergovernmental Agreement.

Library Board Vice President Carolyn Clifford began her remarks by noting both the difficulty of the decision at hand, and her respect for the leadership of the Village of Barrington. Clifford then made an extensive presentation relating to the Board’s legal and fiduciary responsibilities, as well as her concerns over the safety and viability of the proposed project, and its long-term impact on library operations and possible future expansion.

After Clifford’s presentation, the remaining six Library Trustees spoke about their own questions and concerns, before taking the vote to end negotiations. Voting to end negotiations were Clifford, Board Treasurer Carrie Carr, Board Secretary Barbara Pintozzi, and Trustee Denise Tenyer. Those voting to continue negotiations were Minner and Trustee Denise Peters, with Trustee Bill Pizzi abstaining from the vote.

For more information on the Library Board's review process on the Lake Zurich Road proposal, we encourage you to view these important documents (appraisal, plats of survey, impact studies) and this list (PDF) of frequently asked questions and responses.