After months of consideration, Campton Hills trustees voted Tuesday night 4-2 to deny a plan to convert a former school into a private, 96-bed drug treatment center.
Voting against the Kiva Recovery Center were trustees Laura Anderson, Susan George, Al Lenkaitis Jr., and Mike Millette.
Lenkaitis cited a postcard survey conducted by the village in which three quarters of respondents opposed the plan for the former, 120-acre Glenwood School site.
"We need to look at that and be a representative government," he said.
Audience members cheered loudly after it became apparent the plan was going to fail and heckled trustees who supported it.
Residents, who packed meeting after meeting, argued that the center would burden the village's emergency services, damage the village's reputation and pose a safety risk if patients left the property.
Kiva officials offered to pay an additional $200,000 a year for police services, agreed to numerous constraints on whom they could accept for treatment, and pledged to install a state-of-the-art security system.
Kiva officials said the facility would be aimed at recovering professionals and cost $30,000 a month for treatment. They said no one would be detoxed on site but acknowledged meth addicts would also be treated there.
Kiva brought the plan to the village in the late summer, and it was unanimously recommended by the village's plan commission in November, but trustees had the final say in the matter.
"This is probably one of the most difficult discussions, issues we've had since we became a village," Millette said. "I don't need a referendum to see that the weight of public opinion is against (Kiva)."
Trustees Jim Kopec and John Strauss voted in favor of the project, saying it would benefit the community and society; Village President Patsy Smith votes only to break a tie.
Strauss characterized resident fears about Kiva patients as "wrongheaded."
"If it goes to (the Kane) county (board), it will be approved," Kopec said.
Kiva officials declined to comment after the vote, but their attorney urged trustees to sign off on the plan earlier in the meeting.
"We have worked tirelessly to accommodate every legitimate concern that was raised, whether we agreed with the concern or not," said attorney Steven Elrod.