Moving north

By on May 16, 2013

Elburn and Countryside Fire District to build new station
ELBURN—The Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District will build a new main fire station on the corner of Route 38 and N. First Street, once the purchase of the 2.9-acre lot is completed.

According to Elburn and Countryside Fire Chief Kelly Callaghan, the Fire District has outgrown the 20,000-square-foot station on North Street in Elburn, which was originally built in 1960.

“The current building is quite outdated, and we’ve grown out of it,” he said.

The district has been planning this move for 10 years, and began looking for a new location about three or four years ago, Callaghan said. The property is currently owned by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which took over when the bank there was forced into receivership.

The purchase will take place through a confidential agreement with the FDIC for the property, meaning that the Fire District cannot disclose the purchase amount. Also, according to FDIC guidelines, the transaction must take place within 60 days.

The new building will be 40,000 square feet, giving the district the room it needs for updated equipment and staffing levels. The new location will also give the Fire Station access in all directions.

The cost of the project will be between $8 and $10 million, and according to Assistant Chief of Fire Operations Tate Haley, the district already has the necessary funding.

“We have been rolling money into a capital improvement fund, so we won’t need to have a referendum or to raise taxes,” he said.

The Elburn & Countryside Fire Protection District’s service area, which spans 75 square miles, includes the villages of Elburn, Lily Lake, Virgil, Campton Hills and Mill Creek subdivisions. The boundary on the north is Ramm Road, and the southern boundary is Scott Road, with the eastern and western boundaries fluctuating.

“This location is more central to your district,” Village Board trustee Patricia Schuberg noted.

Callaghan said the district plans to include a community room in the new building, in which the Cub Scouts would be able to meet, and the building can be designated as an emergency operations center for use in disasters.

The current main station is located at 210 E. North Street, with a satellite station located at 39W950 Hughes Road, immediately outside the Mill Creek Subdivision.

The fire station on North Street will be sold, and the ambulance building across the street will be saved for training purposes.

“While I hate to lose some retail space, I’m glad they’re going to stay in Elburn,” Village Board trustee Bill Grabarek said.

All trustees agreed to the district’s plan, although Village President Dave Anderson said he wants to make sure that the current building is sold, in order to get it back on Elburn’s tax rolls.