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Residents question City Council about Helen Baker site

A handful of Glencoe citizens attended Monday night’s Glencoe City Council meeting to express their concern over the city’s proposal for the Helen Baker site.
Joe Schrempp and Ron Koester addressed the City Council during the public input section of the meeting on behalf of the residents present
Schrempp lives right next to the Helen Baker school. “Reading the paper, it said that only one person called in and opposed to that (project). We believe we were not contacted (or given the opportunity) to oppose it. What I did this past weekend is I hit the pavement and went to about 100 homes. There was not one — not one, mind you — that was for it. And we feel we should be contacted before you guys spend all the money for all the planning and then try to shove it down our throats. And that’s what we feel, as a group, is what you’re doing.”
Mayor Randy Wilson said he appreciated the fact that the residents were at the meeting to voice their concerns and explained what the city’s role in the proposal has been thus far.
“We did a (housing) study and as soon as that was done we had a developer come to us and say they would like to put an apartment complex there. We don’t own it; all we’re doing is responding to the developers,” said Wilson.
As a reminder, the developer is requesting that the city help with demolition and redevelopment costs as well as acquisition of the land. The city, in turn, has requested that the Glencoe-Silver Lake (GSL) School District help cover some of the redevelopment cost with the $300,000 it has set aside in their project budget. The city would then bond for the estimated remaining sum of $460,000.
“We have not taken a stand in any fashion but we have listened to the developer,” said Wilson. “So, in fact, we don’t own the property, all we’re doing is responding to a request. We haven’t made any decisions.”
For more from the City Council meeting, read the Oct. 18 print edition of The Chronicle.