Leaders of the Citizens’ Lighthouse Community Land Trust — pleading last month for more help from the city — claimed their board members would be personally liable for a $20,000 bank loan if the city didn’t come through with the extra aid.

Leaders of the Citizens’ Lighthouse Community Land Trust — pleading last month for more help from the city — claimed their board members would be personally liable for a $20,000 bank loan if the city didn’t come through with the extra aid.

But documents presented for a City Council discussion of the issue tonight show that the loan made by North Shore Community Bank is an obligation of the non-profit organization, not its individual board members.

Wilfred Gadsden, executive director of the land trust, told aldermen during the Feb. 22 Planning and Development committee meeting that if the bank doesn’t agree to renegotiate the loan, then the group would be hard-pressed to survive and that board members had personally guaranteed the loan.

A board member seated in the audience then interjected that most board members are retired and on limited incomes.

City staff has recommended that the aldermen reject the request for more funds by the land trust — saying that the city has already met four requests for funds now totaling $141,600 from the group for the purchase and rehabilitation of a single family home on Washington Street which the group initially bought in a pre-foreclosure short sale for $255,000 and, after doing rehab work, sold for $169,000, while retaining ownership of the land on which the home sits.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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