Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District officials are planning the construction of a third station just three months after the district took its first 911 call. And fire district President Jim Gaffney is in a convenient position to nab some free land to make that plan a success.
Gaffney said he envisions a third station somewhere in the area of Randall and Crane Roads in the St. Charles area. Gaffney expects that area will bustle with activity in the near future. St. Patrick's Church will open a new school on Crane Road this fall. Gaffney said officials at nearby Hosanna Lutheran Church probably will build a new school, too. And St. Charles Unit District 303 also may find the need for a new middle school in that vicinity in coming years, he said.
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He would know. Gaffney also sits on the St. Charles Unit District 303 school board. He said he officially asked school district officials to consider donating land to the fire district for a third station. Gaffney said he also has been in contact with the St. Charles Park District. The fire district seeks at least a half-acre plot to build a satellite station. The station would have a three- or four-person crew with an ambulance and a fire engine, Gaffney said.
"We're talking two to five years down the line," Gaffney said. "But it seems as though the school district is receptive. We're trying to save the taxpayers money. We want to use the taxpayers' dollar in the most efficient way with an intergovernmental agreement. Really we're talking about a piece of land that probably has no value in terms of building a new development out there. This is all just preliminary."
Indeed, the fire district is still in the process of finding a permanent home for its Station 2. Fox River and Countryside has a temporary station outside its coverage area in South Elgin. Gaffney said the fire district staff is "making progress" on the project.