Winfield can extend its borders to North Avenue and corral a large distribution center, thanks to a new pact with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.
Forest preserve commissioners on Tuesday approved an agreement with Winfield that allows the village to annex part of the Timber Ridge Forest Preserve that's west of County Farm Road, between Hawthorne Lane and St. Charles Road.
As a result, Winfield will become contiguous to a vacant 14-acre parcel that could house the proposed distribution center at the southwest corner of North Avenue and Morton Road.
The developer of the distribution center needs water and sewer service from Winfield to build the large facility, but the village couldn't annex the property until its borders were contiguous.
Village Manager Curt Barrett said the forest preserve deal "provides a corridor to get over there."
It also makes it possible for the village to annex Glasshagel Fields Park along St. Charles Road. The park belongs to Winfield Park District.
"So it really is a big expansion opportunity for the village to get up to North Avenue," Barrett said. "For years, we've been looking at how to get there."
Forest preserve officials said the deal allows the district to connect to the village's water main along County Farm at no cost. In addition, the Timber Ridge land Winfield annexes still will follow county and district rules and regulations.
"It's a great cooperative effort between the forest preserve and Winfield," forest preserve President Joe Cantore said.
Barrett said the proposed 270,000-square-foot warehouse distribution facility would be used by companies that buy or rent space to store their merchandise.
Village officials are still working to negotiate an annexation agreement with the developer. If it goes through, Barrett said, the village will benefit from increased tax revenue.
The village is expected to finalize the annexation deal next month and the project then will be reviewed by its plan commission.