Deadlock over site for C.P. library persists

Homeowner still refusing to sell despite condemnation threat
2010-01-20T00:00:00Z Deadlock over site for C.P. library persistsBy Kathleen Quilligan - kathleen.quilligan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5331 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | Since a protest in late October, there has been no news about the Crown Point Community Library's search for a new home.

"Everything's pretty much the same," said library director Lynn Frank.

Merrillville attorney Brian Smith also said there was no update in the dispute between his client, Perkin Stang, who owns the house at 801 W. Joliet St., and the library which wants that property to build a new library building.

In September, the Crown Point Community Library asked the Lake County Council for permission to condemn the house on 5 acres west of downtown for a new larger library and media center. The council voted in favor of the library's request to sue under Indiana's eminent domain law to have a judge set a price.

Frank has said the library would prefer to negotiate the purchase of the land rather than head to court. She also has said the current library needs a new facility since the current building houses double the items it was built to hold.

Library Board member Patrick Schuster has said the library looked at other locations, but the site at the corner of Joliet Street and Chase Drive was the only one the library could afford.

However, Stang and his family have said they do not want to sell their property and have passed out petitions and staged the October protest at the library's Crown Point location to voice their displeasure.

The Stangs erected a sign in the home's yard that says, "County keep out. Private Property. Support Homeowner Rights for Home Ownership."

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