Though it has become the source of contention and confusion, and now a lawsuit between District 200 and the village government, the calculations to help figure out how much each Oak Park school district is owed in tax increment financing payments from a 2003 “carve-out” agreement is no where in site. It hasn’t been found in a file folder, desktop computer or under a stack of papers.

“No one knows where it is,” said Peter Traczyk, president of the District 97 Oak Park elementary school board.

Most of the participants who helped draw up the carve-out agreement and two footnotes within it that address the payment provisions are no longer in their respective jobs or elected positions. But Ade Onayemi, former president of the District 97 school board, insists that the formula did not just disappear.

“When we put this together, we made sure to have everything in place for the next group of [officials] to be able to work from,” he said.

But so far, documents, notes or a spreadsheet have not surfaced from those early negotiations. Traczyk is also baffled that there were no supporting documents attached to the original 2003 agreement with the calculations.

“That would be very helpful,” he said, somewhat sarcastically.

-Terry Dean

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