Village Issues COD Final Ultimatum
The village is giving the college until Wednesday to submit proof that four buildings are up to code.
The village board unanimously approved a motion that will give the College of DuPage a final chance to reach a compromise over four buildings that are under construction.
If COD fails to submit proof by Wednesday at 1 p.m. that the four buildings comply with a list of codes and ordinances outlined in certificates of compliance, the village will continue to seek a temporary restraining order that will ban occupancy of the buildings.
Village President Mark Pfeffermann said the village is always "open to reasonable alternatives," but he doesn't see any other option at this point if the college fails to submit the certificates.
Those certificates are the first phase in a series of requirements the village is seeking from the college. Before COD can occupy the buildings, officials will need to submit a final round of certificates, in addition to fire and safety inspections.
The college maintains that the buildings are up to code as established by the Illinois Community College Board.
"We are not going to hold classes in these buildings if there is a health-life-safety issue that exists," said Ken Florey, COD attorney, during Monday night's village board meeting. But Florey added that providing certificates is a reasonable approach to the problem. "It's another layer, in addition to the ICCB forms. We have no objection to signing a form."
Even though Florey maintains no code violations exist, village staff and trustees are concerned about the safety of the classrooms since initial building permits were not obtained by the college from the village and inspections were not conducted by the village.
Village Trustee Robert Friedberg was concerned whether the buildings are already occupied by faculty or other staff. Florey sidestepped the question; angering Friedberg.
"Do you think that anybody in this room does not understand what you're saying? Could you just be honest with us and the public who pays for the buildings?" Friedberg asked.
The village motion also includes a provision that will seek to recoup the funds it has spent to make sure the buildings are up to code.
Typically, building permit fees cover the village's cost for reviewing plans. But COD skipped that step and the village maintains it has spent thousands on the issue. Staci Hulseberg, planning and development director for the village, says the dispute with the college has already cost the village between $30,000 and $50,000 for consultant reviews.
"Our budget can't absorb any additional cost," said Mark Franz, village manager. "We all know this is not an ideal situation. This is the best course of action."