Saia truck terminal in Grayslake open for business despite legal challenge

  • The SAIA truck terminal on Peterson Road in Grayslake began operations in mid-February.

      The SAIA truck terminal on Peterson Road in Grayslake began operations in mid-February. Mick Zawislak | Staff Photographer

  • SAIA trailers lined up at the truck terminal on Peterson Road in Grayslake.

      SAIA trailers lined up at the truck terminal on Peterson Road in Grayslake. Mick Zawislak | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/28/2016 5:48 PM

Court action is pending but the controversial Saia Inc. truck terminal in Grayslake is open for business and continuing to expand its ranks of employees.

"The village has issued a temporary occupancy permit for the facility and a final occupancy will be issued once a few punch-list items have been completed on the two buildings, but overall everything is moving forward," said Kevin Timony, assistant to the village manager.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The permit was issued Feb. 12, and trucks have been entering and leaving the facility at the former Roppelt farm at the southwest corner of Peterson and Midlothian roads. The Georgia-based company had planned to be open and operational by the first quarter of this year.

Fifty-eight people now work at the company's newest Chicago-area terminal and that number could double at full operation, according to spokeswoman Jeannie S. Jump. Terminals in Bloomington, Teutopolis, and Burr Ridge in Illinois are among 147 operated by Saia in 34 states.

Meanwhile, the village of Mundelein recently filed a motion in Lake County circuit court for a preliminary injunction as the most recent action in a lawsuit brought in October 2014 against Grayslake and the company. The site borders Mundelein on the south and Libertyville on the east.

Arguments from both sides are scheduled to be presented Friday.

"If we succeed on Friday, the judge will set a date for the evidentiary hearing on the preliminary injunction question," Mundelein Village Administrator John Lobaito said. A trial date for resolution of the case has not been determined.

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In August 2014, the Grayslake village board annexed and zoned 33 acres for the $14 million, 100-dock terminal and a repair and maintenance facility. Those steps were repeated last summer at Saia's request to address alleged defects in the original notice for rezoning.

Mundelein officials and several residents have questioned the validity of the annexation and zoning, and contend the use is incompatible with the surroundings. Concerns also included noise, heavy truck traffic, the safety of people using an adjoining bike path and diesel emissions.

However, construction continued unabated despite the legal challenge. Within a week of the occupancy permit being issued, Mundelein filed for an injunction to stop it from operating.

Saia, which specializes in less-than-truckload and other services, reported 2014 revenues of $1.3 billion.

@dhmickzawislak

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