The Lake in the Hills Village Board met in a special meeting last week to discuss the fate of a village-owned horse stable on Pyott Road.
The village administration is looking to the Village Board for direction on what to do with the equestrian center, which is located on 9.5 acres of the Larsen property, 1109 Pyott Road. It includes two indoor riding arenas, 57 stalls and an attached hay and storage barn. There also is an outdoor riding arena and an office.
In the past, the horse stable was rented out but has been sitting vacant for several months since its former tenant, Somerset Sport Horse Equestrian Center, moved out and left the facility in disarray.
Since February, village staff has had little luck in finding a renter.
The village has had two people inquire about the facility — one discussed putting in a paintball facility while the other expressed interest in opening a horse therapy business, Shannon Andrews, administrative assistant for the village of Lake in the Hills, told the Village Board during Thursday's meeting.
"These inquiries have not gone any further," Andrews said.
During the meeting, trustees hashed over a variety of options for the facility, from tearing down the stable to preserving it as a static, historical display to creating some sort of veterans’ memorial on the property.
Trustee Stephen Harlfinger, who grew up in Lake in the Hills, said the stable should be preserved to provide a historic presence in the village.
"Years have gone by and people have discussed Lake in the Hills not having an identity … there is not a lot of history when it comes to physical buildings in this village," Harlfinger said. "The barn itself to me is the gem of that property."
Trustee Paul Mulcahy said he recently had the opportunity to walk the grounds of the Larsen property, which consists of 27 total acres. The Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Interfaith Food Pantry recently moved into a refurbished pole barn on the property, which also has a pond and a gazebo.
Mulcahy said preserving and maintaining the equestrian center would be costly.
"I understand the history of this, but I don't know. I tend to lean toward the best thing to do is remove it," Mulcahy said.
The most popular option among trustees seemed to be to create some sort of veterans’ memorial on the property.
In the end, the trustees decided it was best to revisit future options at the end of summer and directed the village to continue to try renting out the facility.
If there were no tenant in place by the end of August, trustees would revisit what should be done with the stable.