DOLTON | Village officials on Wednesday officially took over the one-time MB Financial Bank building at 14122 Chicago Road to serve as Village Hall.
Village President Riley Rogers spent the past year negotiating a deal with MB Financial, and the Village Board gave its approval to the deal in July.
Arlo Kallemeyn, a village spokesman, said the existing Harper Municipal Building at 14014 Park Ave., named for onetime Village President Thomas E. Harper, dated back to the early 1890s and had developed structural problems that made it unusable for the long-term.
Those problems included mold and plaster walls that were chipping away.
The bank facility, by comparison, “is a modern building in good condition,” Kallemeyn said.
Some work will have to be done to alter the structure to suit government needs, but Kallemeyn said the two-story structure has ample private offices to accommodate different departments. He also said the drive-through that is part of the bank will be kept intact so people can pay their water bills and other municipal fees without having to get out of their cars.
There will have to be some work done to accommodate computers and other information technology needs of village government, and MB Financial says it will contribute $10,000 to cover the cost of technological upgrades.
State Sen. Napoleon Harris, D-Harvey, was able to obtain a $50,000 state grant for Dolton from Neighborhood Redevelopment programs to help cover the alteration expenses, while the Village Board also approved providing up to $10,000 toward the cost of the move.
Although transfer of the property and keys to the building were provided on Wednesday, Kallemeyn said it likely will not be until the end of the year before local government agencies are moved into the new structure.
Among those present for Wednesday’s ceremonies was South Holland Village President Don De Graff, who also is an executive with MB Financial. De Graff said the bank initially wanted to donate the property to a local charitable organization, but then decided to go with the village when Rogers expressed interest.
This is not the only area former MB Financial facility to become a government structure. In South Holland, village officials purchased a former MB bank to be remodeled into a new headquarters for the South Holland Police Department.
That structure is scheduled to open sometime around March.