Fire service agreement or not, Elk Grove Village to begin approval process for data centers
Amid a breakdown in negotiations with the Elk Grove Rural Fire Protection District, Elk Grove Village officials Thursday announced they plan to proceed anyway with the annexation and public approval process for a data center development in the unincorporated area.
Village officials previously made the data center approvals contingent upon an intergovernmental agreement for fire and emergency medical services there, setting a July 28 deadline for the fire district board to vote.
But fire board members -- all of whom live in the Roppolo residential subdivision and have pending sales contracts with the developer -- contend the issues are separate. They said they'd be violating conflict-of-interest provisions in state law by voting on the agreement as drafted.
Village officials on Thursday took steps to begin the zoning entitlement process for Stream Data Centers' proposed multibillion-dollar development -- a three-building data center campus with electric substation -- along with annexation of 36 acres. A public hearing before the plan commission is set for 7 p.m. Aug. 21 at village hall. The proposal ultimately would go before the village board.
"The decision to move forward is based on the village's view that Stream Data Centers, as well as the nearly 50 homeowners who have not been part of the district's decision-making process, should not be victimized based merely on the district's indecision, inaction and shortsightedness," village officials wrote in a news release Thursday.
Fire district attorney Ross Secler said earlier in the week that negotiations stalled after fire board trustees raised concerns with the proposed pact at their July 20 meeting.
"The district has suggested ways for the village to alleviate those issues, but those suggestions were rejected," Secler wrote in an email. "Nevertheless, the district remains committed to reaching a viable, legal agreement and solution with the neighboring municipalities to secure long-term fire and emergency service for the unincorporated district territory at a fair value and cost."
Officials from Elk Grove Village, Mount Prospect and Des Plaines have been in talks with the fire district for six years over a deal that would see their municipal fire departments take over service in the area now covered by the district. That includes 57 single-family homes in the Roppolo neighborhood north of Landmeier Road, four mobile home parks along Touhy Avenue and Elmhurst Road, and several industrial and commercial properties on either side of Higgins Road.
Annexations by the towns, and the resulting shrinking tax base, have left the district nearly insolvent. Elk Grove Village officials said Thursday they believe the district likely will be bankrupt in the coming year, amid a deficit of $915,874 in the 2022 fiscal year.
They added that they are "stepping away" from the negotiating table, leaving it up to the fire district and state officials to provide life-safety services to residents and businesses.