The Illinois Secretary of State Express Facility, formerly located within Orland Park’s Village Hall, will not be reopening.
Secretary of State facilities across the state had been closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced a reopening plan for facilities. The plan did not include the Orland Park Express Facility.
In December, after more than 25 years of providing rent-free space within Village Hall, the village asked the Secretary of State to enter into a lease agreement and provide the taxpayers of Orland Park proper indemnification and insurance to protect against undue liability.
Instead, the Secretary of State countered with a relocation of their Orland Park facility to a larger facility in the community, which would include expansion of services to enable driving tests and Real ID services.
The village worked with representatives from the Secretary of State’s Office, and several commercial property owners in the village, to identify spaces meeting the Secretary of State’s needs.
The village pledged to make the transition easy by offering to allow the operations to remain within Village Hall rent-free until their new space was outfitted and their move could be completed.
Eventually, the Secretary of State confirmed they were in negotiations with a property owner in Orland Park and would be opening a full-service facility that would include Real ID, road tests, and license plate stickers. The property owner also offered to provide rent-free facilities while the full-service build-out occurred.
While these lease negotiations were being finalized, COVID-19 ramped-up and the decision was made to temporarily close all of their locations.
Later, village representatives were informed the office would not be able to reopen due to social distancing requirements. The Secretary of State removed their equipment and indicated their intentions to relocate to a new location within the community, which they estimated to take place within two to three months’ time.
“I understand the dire financial situation in which the State of Illinois has found itself,” said Mayor Keith Pekau. “However, the residents of Orland Park and surrounding communities deserve a full-service Secretary of State facility. For a quarter-century, the taxpayers of Orland Park provided the Secretary of State’s Office rent-free facilities in exchange for a very limited number of services. In addition, the taxpayers of Orland Park contribute approximately $250 million in tax revenue annually to the State of Illinois. I urge the Secretary of State to provide a full-service facility that provides Real ID, road tests and license plate stickers.”