The College of DuPage will remain a tax-paying entity of the village of Glen Ellyn under an agreement ratified by the school’s board of trustees.
On Tuesday, school officials unanimously supported an agreement to end the dispute with the Village of Glen Ellyn, with the caveat that it would pass the college’s attorney review. Earlier this month COD and village officials met with Judge Hollis Webster and hammered out a five-year plan that will keep the school in Glen Ellyn, but under the authority of county officials. Under the agreement, the village will continue to provide the college with water and sewer service and the school will pay all applicable taxes. Glen Ellyn also will continue to maintain Lambert Road and Fawell Boulevard, which both run through campus.
Tuesday’s vote was the beginning to an end of an acrimonious relationship between the village and the nation’s third-largest community college.
Board Chairman Dave Carlin said the intergovernmental agreement was “long overdue.”
“The College of DuPage is happy to be able to forge a new relationship with Glen Ellyn and DuPage County,” Carlin said.
Village leaders and the county board will also have to ratify the agreement before it goes into effect. The deal is set for five years and is subject for renewal three more times for a total of 20 years. If it is not renewed the parties can proceed with de-annexation, but both the village and college would have to agree to terms in order to avoid future conflict and legal costs. Termination of the agreement will require a one-year notice.
The relationship between the COD and the Village of Glen Ellyn has been strained for months as the two sides disagreed over various issues, including building codes. In December, College of DuPage officials voted to sever ties with the Village of Glen Ellyn. At COD's board of trustees meeting in December the trustees voted to give college President Robert Breuder the authority "to take all action necessary to disconnect the College from the Village." Joe Moore, COD’s vice president of external relations, told Patch the relationship between the college and village was “irretrievably broken and de-annexing will provide a new opportunity for a relationship.”
Even when the split looked imminent Carlin said he was always pleased that village and college officials took strong positions in the interest of their constituents and students.
De-annexation meant the school would have to go through the courts. In January, DuPage Circuit Court Judge Terence M. Sheen, who had previously ruled the college may be subject to village building inspections, permitting and approvals, instructed the two parties to seek mediation.
In a statement, Village President Mark Pfefferman called the agreement a “win-win-win-win for taxpayers, the College, the County and the Village.” In December, Pfefferman said the village would not fight de-annexation and believed it had a negative impact on the taxpayers
“With this agreement, we have every faith that the college will remain in the village in perpetuity and that the two institutions will be stronger partners with the county's assistance,” Pfefferman said.
DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin called the agreement “a sound compromise.”
College President Robert Breuder said the school is looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with the village.