A $400,000 loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is expected to remove any question marks from the marketing and development of a 54-acre site the village of Schaumburg owns in its largely industrial southwest corner.
The loan is part of an agreement with the IEPA that Schaumburg trustees approved Tuesday for the environmental cleanup of the Murzyn-Anderson property at the southwest corner of Irving Park and Rodenburg roads.
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The loan would either be repaid as part of the sale price to a developer or simply be written off by the IEPA if the land isn't sold within 15 years, Schaumburg Village Manager Ken Fritz said.
In either case, the village will not be responsible for reimbursing the money.
The village has long disputed the IEPA's classification of the site as contaminated because its only prior use was as farmland, Fritz said.
Nevertheless, the IEPA has particular standards it must adhere to after having found some poor soil conditions on the site during an environmental test, he added.
Village officials also spent two years fighting to get the site's former classification as a landfill removed from the IEPA's records. Fritz said this was a mistake stemming from a brief period of illegal dumping there during the 1970s.
Schaumburg received a $43,000 grant from the state in late 2011 to do an environmental study of the site.
The village spent a total of $7.8 million gradually buying the site from the Murzyn and Anderson families between 2003 and 2007.
The purchase was considered important as a way of keeping one of the largest undeveloped sites remaining in the village as a single unit -- thus keeping alive a greater number of potential uses.
At 54 acres, the site is slightly larger than the 45 acres on which the village built the Renaissance Hotel and Schaumburg Convention Center at the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway and Meacham Road.
Nevertheless, the village hasn't identified a specific use -- though its proximity to Schaumburg Regional Airport rules out any kind of residential development, Fritz said.
But between the IEPA's concerns and the state of the economy, the village hasn't yet begun marketing the site in earnest, Fritz added.