Rolling Meadows 3rd fire station in jeopardy

Updated 3/24/2010 10:33 AM

A long-discussed third fire station in Rolling Meadows seems less likely, now that the City Council has rejected a bid for an environmental study of the property.

The fire station, which was first proposed in 2004, would be built on land the city owns at 2301 Algonquin Road.


Aldermen, concerned over the cost of putting up a new station, rejected 5-2 the environmental study bid from Burke Engineering of Rosemont.

They said they didn't want to waste $29,000 if the station wasn't going to get built at all.

A few years ago bids from $1.5 million to $1.8 million came in for a station designed with the help of a class at Rolling Meadows High School, said Fire Chief Ron Stewart.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security would pay for just over half of the project - up to $1.1 million. The city also has a state grant for an additional $100,000.

Mayor Ken Nelson said he hopes the station project is not dead, and he expects the council to discuss it at a committee meeting on May 18.

"I think we need it," he said. "There are still misconceptions. It is not going to be a full station. We would reallocate some of our equipment so we can have better response time to parts of the city."

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City Manager Sarah Phillips says modifications to the building plan might lower the overall costs. The depressed economy may lower costs as well, she added.

To qualify for the federal grant the project must be finished by October 2012. If construction is not completed by that time, officials would not look kindly on this delay early in the process, a Homeland Security official told Stewart.

Stewart said many other municipalities face similar quandaries over proceeding with construction projects.

Phillips said if the city ever uses state or federal money to build anything on that site an environmental study will be required.

Alderman John Pitzaferro said residents have told him they don't want to spend money on a third fire station now. He does not think one will be built within the grant time frame.