The Kane County Board on Tuesday hired a firm to figure out the fiscal impact of developing a recreational complex at the old jail site and Settler's Hill landfill in Geneva.
It did so 19-6, with Cristina Castro, Bonnie Kunkel, Jim Mitchell, T.R. Smith, Deborah Allan and Melisa Taylor voting against. Hollie Lindgren was absent.
"I am not against it (redeveloping the sites)," Mitchell said. "It's premature until a concept plan is approved."
Kunkel led the argument, backed by Allan, that the county should do environmental studies before it does fiscal studies. The fiscal study is supposed to estimate the cost of operating any amenities in the plan, and Kunkel believes that can't be accurately estimated until the county knows about potential problems putting things -- such as an amphitheater, sledding hills, golf course, running trails and a fishing lake -- on top of the landfills at the site at Fabyan Parkway and Kirk Road.
She also thought the rest of the board should first consider comments the public made at a hearing Monday on the concept plan. Some residents wanted the woods taken out of the concept plan.
"It's disrespectful to the people who came last night, and it's disrespectful to the taxpayers," she said of the board voting so soon after Monday's hearing.
The $39,000 fiscal impact fee is to be paid for from landfill fees, not property taxes, board member John Hoscheit said.
Monday night, Fabyan Property Utilization subcommittee chairman Mike Donahue told people at the public hearing that it wouldn't make sense to study environmental impact until the county knew for sure what would be built where on the sites, and that the fiscal study would help answer that question.
Waste Management, the operator of the landfill, outlined the precautions that must be taken regarding settling of the landfills, the ability to monitor and collect methane gas, keeping the cover of the landfill undamaged, water leaks in to the landfills, security of the landfills' equipment and access by operators.
Tuesday, Donahue said that he intends to propose formation of a Fabyan Woods Restoration Group to come up with a restoration plan for the woods on the east side of the Fabyan Forest Preserve. Many people have protested the inclusion of the woods in the recreational complex site plan and have said the Kane County Forest Preserve District has not maintained or secured the woods. Mountain bicyclists have cut their own paths through the woods. Even though official mountain biking paths in the woods were removed from the plan, residents fear that multiuse trails will disturb the peace of the woods. They also believe areas set aside for mountain biking in the concept plan are too close to the woods and will tempt riders to still ride there.
The Fabyan Property Utilization subcommittee meets at 11 a.m. today in the county board room at the Kane County Government Center, 719 S. Batavia Ave.
Plan: Some board members say environmental study should be done first