Council to Discuss 5th Avenue Referendum, Orazio’s Sale

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Referendum Question

The topic of the 5th Avenue Redevelopment project will once again come before Naperville City Council at its next meeting. The group will discuss whether or not to put a referendum question on the November 3, 2020 general election ballot.

At the May 5 meeting, Councilman Kevin Coyne proposed adding a referendum question to the ballot in order to gauge the public’s interest in continuing the project at this time. He provided the following example as a starting point for the agenda item:

“Shall the City of Naperville proceed with a 5th Avenue development plan that is substantially similar to the concept presented at the February 15, 2020, 5th Avenue Steering Committee meeting and borrow approximately $_0, 000,000 to pay for improvements to commuter parking, stormwater detention, and additional municipal infrastructure substantially similar to those improvements outlined in said concept plan?”

Options for Council

City staff provided three potential options for council on Tuesday: direct staff to prepare a resolution for a future council meeting, direct staff to schedule a workshop to discuss the 5th Avenue project, or take no action at this time.

State law requires referenda to begin with “Shall”, be one sentence, and be able to be answered Yes or No. The referendum question can be placed on the November 3 ballot up to 79 days before the election.

Orazio’s Sale

Additionally, the city’s 5th Avenue property could get slightly larger. Council will also discuss the sale of 329-333 Center Street, currently occupied by Purple Dog Records and Orazio’s Pub, to the City of Naperville.

City documents indicate the property owners approached the city last fall to see if the city was interested in purchasing the property adjacent to the 5th Avenue Train Station. The two sides negotiated a price of $950,000, though $80,975 will be subtracted from the sale to deal with asbestos in the buildings and to obtain a No Further Remediation letter from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The property is being acquired to enhance commuter experiences so the funds to purchase the property will come from the Burlington Northern Commuter Fund.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.


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