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Local

Fire district celebrates station groundbreaking

Chief Greg Benson (in white) stands with members of the Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District and the Kane County Sheriff's Office on Friday during the groundbreaking ceremony for Fire Station No. 3 at Carl Lee Road and Route 25 in St. Charles Township.
Chief Greg Benson (in white) stands with members of the Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District and the Kane County Sheriff's Office on Friday during the groundbreaking ceremony for Fire Station No. 3 at Carl Lee Road and Route 25 in St. Charles Township.

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – The Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District on Friday celebrated the groundbreaking of a new, centrally located fire station in St. Charles Township.

The fire station will replace Station No. 3 on Gilbert Street in South Elgin, which was always intended to be a temporary facility, fire district officials said. The new station also will be named Station No. 3.

It is located on the former Wise-Hamlin Plastics factory property at Carl Lee Road and Route 25 – a location Fire Chief Greg Benson described as “strategic.” He said it is equidistant from Stearns and Red Gate roads, giving the district good access to the west side.

“It’s a great spot,” Board of Trustees President Jim Gaffney said.

He and Benson also said the new station is in an area once served by the Fox River Estates Fire Department.

“We’re basically bringing a fire station back to where it started,” Gaffney said.

Bill Miceli, a former firefighter with the Fox River Estates Fire Department, attended the ceremony wearing his shirt from the old fire department. The 79-year-old said he never thought a fire station would return to the area.

“It’s a miracle,” he said.

Pam Turriff, a nearby resident, said the community is looking forward to the addition.

“We’re thrilled to have them in the neighborhood,” she said. “We look forward to working together.”

The fire district is repurposing an existing structure for its apparatus bay and is building living quarters at the site, Benson said. The facility will have a room accessible to the community, he said, adding space also will be available to members of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.

Weather permitting, construction is expected to be finished by Feb. 1, Gaffney said. He said the project will cost about $2.2 million, which includes acquisition of the property.

The fire district also has bought property at Crane and Bolcum roads in St. Charles Township for Station No. 2. Gaffney said the district is about five to seven years away from pursing that.

Station No. 1 is at 40W361 Route 64 in Campton Hills.

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