Plainfield library seeks money for expansion: Referendum changed for second go around

The Plainfield Public Library District has seen the district’s population grow by 400 percent over the past 27 years. A referendum on the ballot on April 4 will allow the library to expand at its Illinois Street site in historic downtown Plainfield.


Architectural Rendering courtesy Plainfield Public Library District The site plan, developed by Nagle Hartray, shows the current building, plus the one-story addition, planned for the north end of the site. Additional parking will be added at the rear of the property, along Route 59.

By Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff

Voters will see another referendum on the ballot next week regarding the Plainfield Public Library District, as the district works to update the downtown library on Illinois Street.

The $25M building bond and operating rate referendum question was developed after district trustees reviewed months of feedback, following the defeat of a referendum in 2016.

Two previous measures put to voters to issue bonds to construct a new library were defeated in March of last year, prompting the board to revise the plan and place it on the ballot this spring.

The plan includes renovating the current 27,000 square foot building and adding a 23,000 square foot addition. Complete specifications will be developed upon passage of the referendum, with input from the public.

The referendum is a way for the library to seek permission from voters to raise the limiting rate, so the district can purchase building bonds to renovate and operate the existing building, while saving for future development.

Per the district, the revised plan addresses 400 percent growth within the community over the past 27 years, adding a larger building and upgraded library services.

The ballot question authorizes a limiting rate increase that would cover the cost of building bonds. The bonds would fund a renovation and addition, property acquisition, equipment, library materials and furnishings as well provide dollars to operate the expanded library.

The limiting property tax rate increase allows the library to issue General Obligation Alternate Revenue bonds to fund the costs of the renovation and addition to the building, its contents, and the purchase of additional property.

The operation of the expanded building also is funded by this increase to the library’s limiting tax rate of 0.1754 percent, or just over 17 cents per $100 of home value, to a total rate of 0.3775 percent.

The estimated total cost to the average homeowner in Plainfield is $10.67 per month or $128 per year for a $237,000 home, the current average home sale price.

For the 2017 levy year, the approximate amount of the additional tax extendable against property containing a single-family residence and having a fair market value at the time of the referendum of $100,000 is estimated to be $58.47.

The limiting rate increase equates to a 1.84 percent increase in a homeowner’s total tax bill, per the library. The library is currently 2.12 percent of the total tax bill of Plainfield residents.

Per last year’s failed referenda, the library needs an estimated $10 million replace and upgrade various library systems within the current building. The library was also built before the American Disabilities Act, meaning that upgrades are required to bring the building into ADA compliance.

If passed, the expanded library will include community meeting rooms, study spaces, quiet rooms, additional programming, more books, and expanded hours.

Information about the plan was mailed out to district residents. Complete information about the plan and planning process is available on the Library’s web site,

Five candidates will vie for four open seats as Plainfield Library Trustee.

Those candidates are Jason M. Puetz, Vicki M. Knight, Patricia Lynn Miller, Ryan Gilles, and Lisa Schmidt. 

Plainfield Public Library District Referendum Ballot Question

Shall the extension limitation under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for the Plainfield Public Library District, Will and Kendall Counties, Illinois, be increased from the lesser of 5% or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index over the prior levy year to 88.5% per year for the 2017 levy year?


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