Vote on Elburn Station set for Feb. 6

By on January 27, 2012

Feb. 2, 2011 Update: This article initially stated the meeting was Jan. 30, 2012, not the correct date of Feb. 6, 2012. The Herald regrets the error.

Board discusses Elburn Station plan prior to vote
by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—The Village Board will have the opportunity to vote whether or not to approve the Elburn Station development at its next meeting on Monday, Feb. 6. Board members discussed the plan at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday before agreeing to place it on the agenda.

The first topic of discussion addressed by the representative from ShoDeen Inc., Dave Patzelt, was water and sewer installations for the development that would tie in to existing infrastructure. Village engineers Rempe-Sharpe recommended oversized pipe, the elimination of two existing lift stations and the construction of a new lift station at Pouley Road. This option would accommodate long-term development, including property north of Route 38 and east and west of Pouley Road, which is beyond the scope of the current ShoDeen project, and would cost the village approximately $600,000.

“Are we going to spend approximately $600,000 on speculation that those properties would develop?” Trustee Bill Grabarek asked. “To consider that in the current economy, how would we finance that?”

Village engineers responded that it would be cheaper to do all the work now rather than piece by piece, and that impact fees from future development could pay for the oversized pipes.

“If the build-out for (the areas not included in ShoDeen’s plan) is 25 years or more, I don’t see the payback (for fronting the costs now),” Trustee Jeff Walter said.

The board agreed that the village does not have the funds at this time to go with the more expensive, long-term option. They agreed that an option that eliminated only one lift station and did not install the over-sized pipes was a better choice at a cost to the village of $261,000.

The next topic of discussion clarified how the Anderson Road project and the ShoDeen development are interwoven. When dirt is being moved to build the bridge, that is the time to create the storm water ponds, put in water mains, sewer, utility sleeves and an access road to the Metra station.

Patzelt said that ShoDeen does not have a signed agreement with Kane County Department of Transportation (KDOT), and that if the bridge does not get built, then ShoDeen would get back the right of way it had granted the county and would change the plans for the development quite substantially.

“We don’t want this plan (the one currently being considered) if we don’t have Anderson Road. We only want this plan if we have Anderson Road,” Patzelt said.

The county is waiting for federal money to come through before they start the bridge work. Grabarek suggested that without federal funds, the bridge by necessity would be much smaller, like other local bridges. He made the comparison between a substantial bridge paid for with federal funds, like the one at Peck Road, with a smaller bridge paid purely with local funds like the one on Harley Road. He suggested that the board make the development plan contingent on a Peck Road-type bridge being built.

“I think we should consider making (approval of the plan) conditional on the federal money being there,” Grabarek said. “Without the federal money, the benefit to Elburn is tenuous.”

Patzelt agreed that a smaller bridge would necessitate a redesign of the land plan.

“A substantial redesign,” Grabarek added.

Additional topics included questions about materials, phasing, multi-family redesignated as retirement, costs to maintain open spaces, and access along South Street to the Metra parking lot.

Walter pointed out that if South Street is used as the connection to Metra, it will become a cut-through street for the large numbers of commuters coming from DeKalb. The street and intersection with Route 47 would need substantial work to accommodate the increased traffic. Those improvements would be at village expense.

2 Comments

  1. EddieLebeck

    January 27, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    This is insanity. How can anyone think this is a good idea?

  2. BBCreekRes

    January 28, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Well Eddie,
    its not a matter of thinking it is a good idea, it is 95% politically motivated.
    Developers are experts at greasing the gears to wheel barrels of profit.
    Our board has spent so much time trying to make this project happen they have forgotten to ask themselves if it should happen. Especially in a shrinking economy!
    I find it interesting that they feel it possible to spend in excess of $261,000.00 up front for new development infrastructure yet we are on the eve of yet another water/sewer rate increase! Compound that by the obvious shortcomings on the police pension fund and you have to ask yourself about the motives involved.
    That is why the the village board is starting to campaign for Home Rule in Elburn as well, it removes the residents/voters from the equation.
    This particular project has had so many changes that it should be turned down completely!
    Shodeen is really not bringing enough to the table. Oh wait, unless you count the tax burden current residents will be forced to absorb.