Rolling Meadows lays off two; new fire station in jeopardy

Posted2/11/2010 12:01 AM

A staffing plan that includes two layoffs was approved Tuesday night by the Rolling Meadows City Council, but the city's severe financial difficulties caused aldermen to divide over building a bike path and put a new fire station in question.

The revised staffing plan cuts almost $300,000 from the city budget, said City Manager Sarah Phillips. It includes two layoffs in the police department - the records management supervisor and the senior community service officer.


This covers about half the money that the city will lose in a year because of the abrupt closing of Sam's Club.

Phillips said the $300,000 figure also includes two more employees that the city knows will be leaving, but she refused to say what departments they are in or the reasons for their departure except they do not involve retirement or layoffs.

In addition, a few part-time and seasonal positions are being eliminated and it will take a while for the city to fill a vacant patrol officer's position, she said.

The city manager had said earlier that staff was also looking for nontax ways to enhance revenue, such as renting city land for a billboard.

In other business involving money, the council voted 5-2 to continue plans to build a bike path along Plum Grove Road from Kirchoff Road to Bryant Avenue. The city and the Palatine Park District will each pay 10 percent of the costs, with the remainder coming from a federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant.

The city's share is expected to be about $20,000.

Aldermen Larry Buske and John D'Astice voted against the project, saying they could not support it while laying people off.

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Alderman John Pitzaferro pointed out that there is not a sidewalk in that area.

Fred Vogt, director of public works, agreed to come back to the council before finalizing contracts for construction.

The council tabled a motion to hire Christopher B. Burke Engineering of Rosemont for about $29,000 to do an environmental assessment for the proposed fire station at 2301 Algonquin Road.

Several aldermen spoke against spending the funds. At the suggestion of Alderman Barb Lusk, the council decided Fire Chief Ron Stewart should check whether delaying the project six months would put a federal grant for building the station at risk.