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Local

DeKalb City Council approves contracts with library, Park District as Nehring move continues

The DeKalb Public Library's Yusunas Meeting Room will host DeKalb City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission meetings, which will occur at least three Mondays of each month, according to recently approved i two separate intergovernmental agreements.
The DeKalb Public Library's Yusunas Meeting Room will host DeKalb City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission meetings, which will occur at least three Mondays of each month, according to recently approved i two separate intergovernmental agreements.

DeKALB – City staff are moving along with the plans to move City Hall downtown to the Nehring building and have begun laying out rules with participating entities such as the DeKalb Public Library and the DeKalb Park District.

The council Monday unanimously approved two separate intergovernmental agreements related to the move, which will relocate city government offices from the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St., to what is known as the Nehring building at 164 E. Lincoln Highway.

The library’s Yusunas Meeting Room will host City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission meetings, and the Park District is set to convey ownership of the former bank built in 1892 to the city for $1.

“Three different boards are involved in this whole process,” City Manager Bill Nicklas said Monday.

According to the agreement, the library will not charge room rental fees for city use, and the city will install all infrastructure needed to allow meetings to be televised. Upon termination of the agreement, that infrastructure would become the library’s, documents show. The contract runs through Dec. 31, 2020, and will be automatically renewed on a five-year basis thereafter.

The library’s board will vote on the matter during its Aug. 14 meeting.

On July 19, the Park District board approved the preliminary transfer of the building to the city, allowing the entities to begin drafting the intergovernmental agreement with caveats for keeping the historic core of the building.

“The district is concerned we honor the historic character of the building,” Nicklas said. “I know the council feels likewise, and I feel likewise.”

City Council also discussed holding meetings in other areas around the city, provided proper digital hook-ups were available to televise meetings as is currently done in the Municipal Building.

“We’re already moved the [Finance Advisory Committee] to the police department,” 4th Ward Alderman Patrick Fagan said. “I’ve been to [Planning and Zoning] meetings. There’s less people there than there is in here now. Those could easily be done over at the police department.”

Third Ward Alderman Tracy Smith voiced strong approval of the move and said the library will be a good spot for meetings.

“As far as tech goes, the library has some of the best fiber optic connections in this city,” Smith said.

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