Fire district begins eminent domain process for new station

Published: Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 7:09 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 7:10 p.m. CDT

CAMPTON HILLS – Trustees of the Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District formally took action Friday to start the eminent domain process on a property they want for a station.

The approved ordinance lets the property's owner, a private bank out of Chicago, know that the district is prepared to seek eminent domain for 6N330 Route 25, the former Wise-Hamlin Plastics site, district attorney Ken Shepro said.

The district took this action after the bank didn't accept its offer for the 2-acre property, he said. The offer was made within the last 30 days.

The hope is to settle the case out of court because that likely would be an expensive process requiring experts such as appraisers, environmental experts and engineers, Shepro said. He noted such cases rarely go to trial.

Board President Jim Gaffney has said the district would build a fire station – probably in phases – on the Route 25 site. It would replace Station No. 3 along Gilbert Street in South Elgin.

Chief Greg Benson said several factors are considered when choosing station locations, including road networks, suitability, available properties and proximity to areas incidents are more likely to occur. The Route 25 location is equidistant from Red Gate Bridge and Stearns Road Bridge and would bring units closer to Wayne and Valley View, he said.

The district's other station is in Campton Hills on Route 64, just west of LaFox Road.

The district serves more than 50 square miles in St. Charles, Campton and Wayne townships and portions of the villages of Wayne and Campton Hills.

Kiva Recovery, an alcohol and substance abuse treatment facility proposed for the former Glenwood School, would be in the district's jurisdiction. The district had reached an agreement with Kiva before the Campton Hills Village Board denied the facility's annexation request, Shepro said.

Kiva has indicated it will take its plans to the county.

"We will be part of those discussions," Shepro said.