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posted: 4/2/2012 6:11 PM

East Dundee will seek approval for new fire station

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  • East Dundee officials would like to relocate fire operations from the building on Third Street, which dates to 1950, to three acres at Routes 25 and 72.

      East Dundee officials would like to relocate fire operations from the building on Third Street, which dates to 1950, to three acres at Routes 25 and 72.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer


If you live in the East Dundee Fire Protection District, you can expect to vote in a referendum in November on whether you would pay for a new fire station.

If voters endorse what's expected to be a $4.25 million measure, the fire department would move out of its current station near village hall and build its new station on three acres on Route 25 the village will purchase next week for $650,000 and would donate to the district.

At the same time, the police department would expand into the fire district's building and embark on an upgrade of its own. The expansion would include room for state-of-the-art jail cells, processing areas and interview rooms.

"There's a lot of moving parts here, aren't there?," joked Interim Village Administrator Bob Skurla.

The police department operates out of a small space in village hall that Chief Terry Mee says is crowded and cramped.

For example, police interviews usually take place in somebody else's office.

"We have no public report writing area or report writing room," Mee said. "There's certainly no modern representation of a modern police facility here."

According to a feasibility study that examines whether the police department could use the fire district's quarters, renovating the fire district's space would cost around $2 million. Building anew would cost $4.21 million, according to the study, which was completed by Elgin-based Dewberry Architects Inc. Village officials haven't yet determined how they would pay to repurpose the old fire station, but Skurla said the project would qualify for financing through the tax increment financing district in which it sits.

The fire protection district includes all of East Dundee and parts of Hoffman Estates and Barrington Hills, Skurla said.

The fire district's proposed location on the northwest corner of Route 25 and Route 72, north of the River Valley Shopping Center, would it put closer to the eastern portions of the district and cut down on response times.

For example, it sometimes takes 15 minutes to get to the upscale Arboretum shopping center at Routes 72 and 59 in South Barrington, which falls within the fire protection district.

As well, it's tough to negotiate sharp turns and to take off from the current station going up a hill, Skurla said.

Skurla acknowledges that in this tough economy, the district is in for an "uphill battle" to win voter support.

If the measure fails, East Dundee officials would turn those three acres into a park.

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