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Council Offers Little Friends Incentive for Kroehler Mansion Preservation

At the November 19 Naperville City Council meeting, council voted to allow Little Friends to demolish the Kroehler Mansion in order to sell its property for full value, but asked them to wait and see if a better solution could be found.

A New Incentive

At their most recent meeting, the dais voted 6-2 to tender up to $562,000 to the nonprofit if they accept an offer that would preserve the 100-year-old structure.

However, Little Friends could still accept an offer that would demolish the mansion.

“What we’ve been very clear in our communication is we’re going to accept what is the best opportunity and offer for the organization Little Friends,” said Mike Briggs, president and CEO of Little Friends.

Kroehler Mansion Insurance

The city also added to the resolution that if a bid is accepted that includes the mansion, the purchaser will need to insure the mansion. That will likely create an even larger gap between a bid with the mansion and a bid without.

If Little Friends accepts an offer that would preserve the mansion, some felt public money shouldn’t be involved.

“We talked about this last time and I haven’t changed my mind,” said Councilwoman Theresa Sullivan. “Using public money for this private transaction is just a bridge too far for me to go on this.”

However, Mayor Steve Chirico pointed out that it’s not unlike other private organizations the city has helped in the past.

“The DuPage Children’s Museum is one,” he said. “Safety Town is a second. I think the Carillon was kind of forced upon us, but we used SECA money to save a public amenity.”

Source Still Unclear

Council’s vote did not specify where the city would get that money, but some on the dais suggested either the Food and Beverage Tax or the SECA fund, as the Kroehler Mansion is a cultural amenity.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.


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