ELBURN – The Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District on Monday night took a step toward moving to a new home. If all goes well, the fire department could be located on Route 38 by the end of 2014.
Fire Chief Kelly Callaghan and Assistant Chief Tate Haley brought the plan to Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting in Elburn. Trustees appeared pleased with the plan, with details to be hammered out by the village’s planning commission.
The fire department now is located at 210 E. North St. in Elburn, at a site that Callaghan said is too small, at less than 20,000 square feet.
“It’s quite outdated,” Callaghan said. “We’ve grown out of it.”
The proposed headquarters would be more than twice as large – 41,930 square feet.
Plans would call for a community room, Callaghan said, in which groups such as the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts could meet. It would be at Route 38 and First Street, on the north side of Route 38 and to the east of First Street, which would put it to the east of Walgreens and near a group of town houses.
Callaghan said the department is not seeking funds to build the new headquarters. He said the cost is expected to be between $8 million and $10 million and that the department has been saving money in anticipation of the move. Callaghan said the property had been owned by a bank, but that the fire department was dealing with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
As for the current fire station, Callaghan said the plan is to sell it.
Elburn Village President Dave Anderson said that is essential.
Trustees asked whether nearby residents might have issues with the sound of sirens, but Callaghan said since the fire trucks would be leaving, they wouldn’t hear the sirens for long. Trustee Patricia Schuberg said residents certainly would be among the safest in town, with the fire trucks so close.
Trustee Bill Grabarek called it a great location, and Anderson said it was a “progressive opportunity.”
Blackberry Creek impact fees
Also on Monday, Elburn trustees began the process of reducing the impact fees for the Blackberry Creek subdivision, so the fees will be in line with those that will be in place for Elburn Station.
Some trustees feared that higher impact fees at Blackberry Creek would hurt development there, once building begins at Elburn Station. Development at Elburn Station cannot begin until the Anderson Road bridge project is complete, possibly as early as December 2014.
Trustees were looking to change three fees in particular – administration, police and public works – although trustees want to talk about other fees as well.
Current fees at Blackberry Creek are $897.93 for administration, $359.17 for police and $359.17 for public works. At Elburn Station, such fees are set to be $332 for administration, $412 for police and $309 for public works. The fees are one-time fees.
“That rolls it back to 2004 fees,” Building Commissioner Tom Brennan said.
Discussion will continue at future meetings.
• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.