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The vote came two years after voters ordered the township to halt plans to build a brand-new $1.5 million township building on 103rd Street. Instead, voters in 2011 directed the township to renovate its existing facility at 31W236 91st St. and sell the 103rd Street property.
But building code violations that came to light last year put a stop to the renovations, and a newly elected Wheatland Township board came up with a solution they said would be more economical: moving into the highway department building at 4232 Tower Ct. in Naperville.
On Monday, registered Wheatland voters agreed with officials, voting 133-2 to allow the township and the road district to enter into a lease agreement with an option to purchase. The vote will allow staff from the supervisor's and assessor's offices to move into the existing highway department building, which was completed in 2009 for $3 million.
Wheatland Township Clerk Bill Alstrom said early estimates from architectural firm Healy, Bender & Associates show a cost of about $500,000 to renovate the highway building to create additional office space.
"We're hoping that goes down," Alstrom said, noting that officials are committed to making design choices to keep costs as low as possible.
Voters also gave the township the go-ahead to sell or lease the existing township building on 91st Street, which currently sits vacant and was entirely gutted in order to complete required repairs on the code violations. That vote came in at 124 yes, two abstaining and two no votes, Alstrom said, with several electors choosing not to participate in the vote.
The township-owned land on 103rd Street, once slated to be the site of a new township facility, is still for sale.
With the old facility currently unusable, the township is leasing space at a strip mall at 12337 S. Route 59 at a cost of $60,000 per year. The voters' decision will allow the supervisor's office and seven assessor's office employees to leave that site and move into the highway department building.
Supervisor Chuck Kern said renovations on the highway building could be done by July 2014.
Read: Wheatland Officials Want to Take New Building Plan to the Voters