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Lagattolla: Elburn Station talk to be revived

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 11:46 p.m. CST
Caption
(Al Lagattolla – alagattolla@shawmedia.com)
PAPA G's HELPS SANDY VICTIMS: George Kanakaris, owner of Papa G's in Elburn, poses with Elburn residents Jan (left) and Barbara Carlson on Monday night during "Papa G Gives Back" night. A special menu was served, with proceeds going to benefit charities to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.

ELBURN – The final Elburn Village Board meeting of the year was just about over on Monday night. Holiday well-wishes were exchanged, and Village President Dave Anderson asked whether there were any other issues to bring before the board.

That’s when board member Ethan Hastert brought back the issue that dominated most of the discussion in 2012. Hastert said the board should discuss the Elburn Station project at its next board meeting, which is set for Jan. 7. Anderson said he would put it on the agenda.

Earlier this year, when it appeared the board was headed for a vote, members voted to table the discussion. Since, there has been much talk about how that clouds the future of the project to extend Anderson Road and build a bridge over the Union Pacific tracks. After the meeting, Hastert said the issue must be addressed, saying “we shouldn’t kick this down the road.”

In October, board members Bill Grabarek, David Gualdoni and Jeff Walter voted to table the decision. Walter said the message was that the village was “not ready to do this.” And all were clear that it was not a vote of no.

Developer ShoDeen owns much of the land needed for the Anderson Road project, and without an agreement on the Elburn Station development, it’s unlikely that ShoDeen would sell the land to Kane County. But residents and several board members balked at the plans for Elburn Station, which would call for 2,200 new homes – including more than 1,300 apartments and condominiums.

Most of the opposition took issue with the number of rental properties and the density. Hastert said those are issues that can be worked on.

“We heard what the issues were – nonowner-occupied units,” Hastert said.

The funding for the bridge is in place. But Anderson said it is “very possible” that the funds no longer would be available if the issue isn’t resolved.

“Those federal dollars will dry up, and we’ll never get them back,” Anderson said. “And that is our money, coming back to us.”

Hastert said it is an important issue. He said a bridge is about more than convenience. Rescue vehicles should not be stuck waiting for a train to pass.

“It’s not an inconsequential thing to the village,” Hastert said. “We need an alternative to Route 47. It’s a health and safety issue.”

Anderson said he doesn’t anticipate anything more than discussion on the issue at the next board meeting. But Hastert made it clear he does not want the issue to fade.

“I don’t see who wins if we let it go,” Hastert said.

Bingo at the Lions Club

The Elburn Lions Club has planned a special holiday bingo event for Dec. 28. Doors open at 5 p.m., and early-bird games start at 6:30 p.m. The event includes an “ugly holiday sweater” contest and a white elephant gift exchange.

The Lions Club is at 500 Filmore St., Elburn. For information, call 630-365-6315 or visit www.elburnlions.com.

Read to Succeed with Wolves

For the seventh year, the Chicago Wolves hockey team is sponsoring the Read to Succeed reading program at the Town and Country Public Library in Elburn. This winter reading program is open to patrons with a valid Town and Country Public Library card.

Readers (preschoolers through 12th grade) keep track of their own reading during Read to Succeed, which runs through Feb. 18. Each patron who registers for Read to Succeed will receive a full-day pass to Raging Waves Waterpark in Yorkville. Readers who complete the program will receive prizes from the Chicago Wolves hockey team, Paisano’s Pizza & Grill, Colonial Café, and Noodles and Company. For information, visit www.elburn.lib.il.us.

• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at alagattolla@shawmedia.com.

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