by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—The Community Congregational Church’s parking lot at Shannon Street and Route 47 might close on April 15, despite efforts by the village and the local businesses to work out a deal with the church.
The Elburn Chamber of Commerce agreed to pay up to $500 for an appraisal of the parking lot, and village officials have shared the results with the church. However, the sign indicating the closure of the lot as of 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, April 15, still stands, and posts have been erected around the church’s parking lot this week.
Elburn Village Administrator Erin Willrett declined to release the results of the appraisal to the Elburn Herald.
According to Willrett, both the village and the chamber made a written request to the church to keep the lot open while the village and the businesses in town work together to try to come up with a solution that will work for everybody.
“We’re all trying to put our best foot forward together to find a solution that is the best of all worlds for the village, the businesses and the church,” Willrett said.
During the Village Board’s executive session on Monday, the board discussed consideration of the purchase of real property, but Willrett said she could not confirm that the discussion was about the church’s parking lot. Discussions within an executive session are not open to the public or the press.
Prior to the session, village officials said that there might be an announcement coming out of the session, but that did not happen. Businesses in the area have asked the village to purchase the lot, to continue to accommodate their customers.
As of press time, Community Congregational Church moderator Sharon Lackey has not returned several phone calls, and Rev. Michelle Prentice-Leslie, the church’s interim minister, said she is a staff person and cannot speak for the church.
According to Willrett, the church council meets on Thursday.
“They have the right to do anything they want with the lot; they own it,” Willrett said