No comment from Homewood for now regarding Hazel Crest statement

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No comment from Homewood for now regarding Hazel Crest statement

February 22, 2021 - 20:59

When Hazel Crest Village President Vernard Alsberry Jr. announced last week that the village board had decided to oppose the plan to redevelop Calumet Country Club into a distribution center, the statement changed the political dynamic surrounding the project.

For the past 18 months, Hazel Crest declined to take a position on the matter. Homewood officials have opposed the redevelopment plan since the summer of 2019, but on Jan. 26, the board of trustees voted to enter into a settlement agreement with the developer, Diversified Partners. The company had petitioned the court to disconnect the former country club from the village of Homewood.

Initially, Homewood officials signaled that the village would issue a statement in response to Hazel Crest's change in position on development issue. 

However, Mayor Richard Hofeld said over the weekend that on the advice of counsel, village officials decided against commenting on the matter at this time. He cited ongoing litigation as the reason, referring to the settlement agreement. 

The agreement has a number of requirements the village needs to fulfill, including support for a Class 8 property tax relief designation, establishing a TIF district at the property and providing an advance on TIF-generated revenue. If the village fails to abide by the agreement, it will pay a $250,000 penalty and Diversified Partners will be able to disconnect the property from the village, leaving Homewood with no say over the features of the project.

Formalizing the disconnection process according to the agreement is on the board of trustees' agenda for Tuesday's regular meeting. The board will consider a resolution authorizing the disconnection of the former Calumet Country Club property from the village. 

In a memo to the board, Village Manager Jim Marino noted that the resolution does not authorize immediate disconnection of the property but prepares for that step if it becomes required by the agreement.

In other business, the board will consider:

  • A resolution honoring Police Chief Bill Alcott for his service to the village. Alcott recently announced his retirement. 
  • A resolution adopting the village's 2021 emergency operations plan.
  • A budget amendment to account for the 183rd Street traffic study recently approved by the board. 
  • Appointments: Daniel Wetworth to the Ethics Commission, Tom Grant to the Rail Committee, Bill Woelfel to the Rail Committee and Anthony Douginas to the Storm Water Resource Committee. 

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and will be conducted remotely via Zoom. The public is invited to monitor the meeting using the information below.

Members of the public may comment on agenda items or other subjects related to village business by email to [email protected] or by placing written comments in the drop box outside village hall.

Comments received by 4 p.m. on Tuesday will be read into the record of the meeting.

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