Put-call agreement a bad deal for taxpayers

Opinion

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How did we get into this latest financial pickle ("Taxman gives ultimatum on Colt building," June 1)? On Aug. 6, 2001, by a 4-3 vote, President Trapani and Trustees Carpenter, Ebner, and Gockel executed a "put-call" agreement. Trustees Hodge-West, Kostopulos and Turner voted no.

This agreement gives Sy Taxman's Chitown Development $4,959,750 relating to purchase of the Colt building at 1138-1146 Westgate St./1125-1133 Lake S. This will happen if the village and Taxman cannot agree on a development plan by June 30.

Other village expenses involve transfer taxes, Chitown's attorney fees, appraisal, environmental and engineering services, survey costs, title and recording fees, Chitown's lender fees and costs.

One month after the village signed the agreement, Taxman acquired the Colt building on Sept. 19, 2001 from Westgate building c/o Marc Realty. On Feb. 25, 1998, Evanston Ridge, c/o Marc Realty had purchased the building from LaSalle National Bank, a co-trustee, for $1.7 million. In three-and-a-half years, the price increased $3,259,750.

Maybe our present board needs to hear from former trustees who voted against this agreement that seems weighted in Taxman's favor against Oak Park taxpayers.

Barbara Alexander Mullarkey
Oak Park

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