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Kaneland Connection: Plan for new fire station wins approval in Elburn

ELBURN – The Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District has the OK to begin building its new fire station on Route 38 in Elburn. Members of the Elburn Village Board unanimously approved the plans Monday night at the Village Board meeting.

The village’s plan commission had recommended the plans, with one member opposing. The property had been zoned as commercial – at one time, it was intended to be used as a bank, but those plans fell through. The station is to be built at Route 38 and First Street, which is to the east of Walgreens and near a group of town houses.

Village Board members said they were happy to keep the fire station in town, even if it meant the loss of future commercial development.

“If you had your druthers, you would like that to be an Ace Hardware,” Village President Dave Anderson said. “But if your house is on fire, you don’t call Ace Hardware. … And I’m not knocking Ace Hardware by any stretch.”

Trustee Pat Schuberg said she likes the location, saying “it’s such a nice, visible site.”

Fire officials say they’ve outgrown the department’s current location at 210 E. North St. in Elburn. They say it is too small at less than 20,000 square feet, and the new station will be more than twice as large, at 41,930 square feet.

Fire Chief Kelly Callaghan said the department will not seek funds to build the new station. The cost – estimated to be between $8 million and $10 million – is expected to be covered by the department. Callaghan has said the department anticipated the need for the new station and had been saving toward the cost.

Fire officials also have said the plans are to sell the current station and be in the new station by the end of 2014.

‘A gathering place’

Also at Monday’s meeting, board member Bill Grabarek said a recent trip downtown to Ream’s Elburn Market inspired him to make a suggestion. He noted the crowds at the hot dog stand outside of the market and then walked past an empty lot to the south on Main Street. 

Grabarek said the lot is “essentially unbuildable” because of the small dimensions, but he thought it might be the perfect place for a picnic table and a bench, as well as a trash receptacle.

“I’d like it to be a gathering place,” Grabarek said.

Village Administrator Erin Willrett said she would get in touch with the property owners and see whether there would be interest for such a plan.

Pancake place opens

Trustees also noted that Brianna’s Pancake House, 151 Route 38, has opened. After months of signs that promised the restaurant was “coming soon,” a new sign, one marked “open,” appears instead.

Also, Anderson said he understands that a new fish market, E&S Fish Market, is opening in the same shopping center. 

Earlier this year in the shopping center, GED Pizza opened in the storefront that previously was operated by Elburn’s Genoa Pizza.

Carpet work shelved for now

Also on the agenda Monday night was a proposal for new carpet in four locations – public works (at a cost of $2,989.50), the police department ($7,859.97), administration ($9,989.95) and the board room ($3,762.10).

The costs were provided by Elburn-based Carpet and Fabric Technicians, and Willrett said the idea was to go with a local company.

But trustees said they wanted some other estimates first, although they also preferred to use a local company.

“I wouldn’t mind seeing a couple of quotes,” said board member Dave Gualdoni, adding he would like to go with a local company, too, but not if it would be substantially less expensive to go with a different company.

Grabarek said he preferred to stay in town as well, but without a comparison, he wouldn’t know whether the price was good.

“I don’t know about carpeting,” he said.

Willrett said other estimates would be sought and brought before the board.

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

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