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updated: 11/20/2013 12:35 AM

Rolling Meadows pledges fire station decision by April

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Rolling Meadows leaders will decide in April whether to move the downtown fire station or repair or rebuild it.

The council made that pledge Tuesday after hearing a recommendation from Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote that downtown station be moved to New Wilke Road near Central Road and that the city's other station eventually moved to Hicks Road between Euclid Avenue and Kirchoff Road.

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Franzgrote said moving both stations would provide the best response times for the entire city.

While New Wilke's location on the eastern edge of the city presents political issues with neighboring towns, it is the only north-south street east of Route 53 that goes all the way from Euclid to Golf Road, Franzgrote said. The department's statistics show that 85 percent of the department's calls are east of Route 53 or immediately west of that highway.

Aid pacts with Arlington Heights and Palatine and the locations of fire stations in those communities entered into the recommendation, he said.

The fire station at 3111 Meadows Drive in downtown is 50 years old, and aldermen describe its condition as an "embarrassment" to the city. The other station at 2455 Plum Grove Road west of Route 53 is 33 years old and in better condition.

Rolling Meadows officials have spent years discussing what to do about fire stations.

The city once had a grant toward the cost of a third station, but the council decided during hard economic times that it could not afford the additional expenses of building and staffing the station.

Aldermen charged Franzgrote with making recommendations that involve just two stations and no increased staffing. The chief showed the council five scenarios for station locations. They are posted on the city's website at ci.rolling-meadows.il.us.

The council and staff plan to get information about the possibilities to residents in the next few months, with methods including town-hall meetings and open houses at the downtown station.

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