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Trustees target March vote on Elburn Station

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

ELBURN – Village trustees debated the details of the long-discussed Elburn Station development Monday night, but no vote was taken as a few issues still need to be ironed out.

Village President Dave Anderson said he anticipated that the vote on the annexation for the ShoDeen development would be placed on the agenda for the March 18 village board meeting.

Trustee Jeff Walter brought up a list of changes in language, which Anderson said he would bring back to ShoDeen. And there was some talk on a pedestrian bridge that is planned for part of the project.

The board also heard from residents for and against the development. Resident Walter Geisler wondered why the issue couldn’t be placed on a ballot as a referendum. He said he believes many residents would not want the project. Anderson said he would gladly put it on the ballot, if everyone else had done the same amount of work on the project as the board had done.

Another resident, Fred Houdek, said he disagreed with Geisler and thought most residents did want the project.

The bulk of Monday night’s discussion centered around board member Bill Grabarek’s concern that what ShoDeen would pay for the pedestrian bridge – an amount capped at $450,000 – would not be enough. He said the bridge likely would cost more than the $900,000 that ShoDeen estimated, and he was concerned that the village might have to shoulder more of the load. He also was concerned that ShoDeen had said the village would need to complete the work on the pedestrian bridge within three years of the completion of a key phase of development.

The plan calls for the village and the developer to split any grant money on the bridge project that exceeds the $900,000 figure. Grabarek said that might result in the village paying more than its $450,000 share, but fellow trustees said that was not so. Also, they said there wasn’t much concern about the time limit on the pedestrian bridge, as the village would have ample time – Anderson said it would be at least 10 years – to complete the pedestrian bridge, which could be started well before ShoDeen began constructing houses.

ShoDeen may not begin building until the planned extension of Anderson Road is complete. That extension includes a bridge that will provide a crossing of the train tracks. The millions in federal funds tied to that project have created urgency for the project. Officials have been concerned that, if the debate continued to drag on too long, that the federal funding could be lost. Trustee Jerry Schmidt, concerned that a vote would not take place until next month, asked Kane County board member Drew Frasz, who was in attendance, whether that would affect the funding.

“We can live with weeks,” Frasz said. “We just can’t live with months.”

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