Mount Prospect buys building for new fire station

 
Updated 5/16/2018 12:33 PM
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  • The Mount Prospect Fire Department moved a step closer to leaving its downtown fire station Tuesday, when village trustees approved the nearly $1.5 million purchase of a former bank building on Rand Road for conversion into a replacement fire station.

      The Mount Prospect Fire Department moved a step closer to leaving its downtown fire station Tuesday, when village trustees approved the nearly $1.5 million purchase of a former bank building on Rand Road for conversion into a replacement fire station. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, 2013

Barring any unforeseen obstacle, Mount Prospect will be moving its downtown fire station to the north side of the village.

Village trustees, with one dissenting vote, agreed Tuesday to pay about $1.48 million for the MB Financial building at 111 E. Rand Road. The building will be remodeled and replace the current fire station and headquarters at 112 E. Northwest Highway.

The village now has a 60-day due diligence period to review the property's environmental suitability and structural condition.

"We have the opportunity to secure a property that we believe has great strategic value to our emergency response mission for the fire department," Village Manager Michael Cassady said. "Given that we were looking to relocate our police headquarters, we didn't feel like we should just ignore fire."

Officials say the new location will mean significant improvements to response times in areas where the fire department has struggled to achieve its four-minute objective. An independent study by the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association indicated there would be major improvement in areas that include Prospect High School, Randhurst Village, the Boxwood neighborhood and the Kensington Business Center.

"There are neighborhoods that we're not even close to our response time objectives on the north end," Cassady said.

Buying an existing building and remodeling it will save the village as much as $3.7 million compared to building a new fire station from the ground up, officials say.

Trustee Paul Hoefert cast the lone dissenting vote. He is not convinced of the need to relocate the fire station, as opposed to the obvious need for a new police headquarters.

"This is $12 million of taxpayers' money that I just don't think we need to spend," he said of the estimated total cost of the project. "We have a very functional building as it comes to fire."

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