Burlington gives green light to proposed ECC safety center
By Denise Moran For The Courier-News October 2, 2012 10:28AM
Updated: November 4, 2012 6:15AM
BURLINGTON — The village board has approved an agreement with Elgin Community College for the college’s proposed $20 million Public Safety and Sustainability Center to be built in Burlington.
The board also approved a reimbursement agreement between the village and the college.
According to Sharon Konny, ECC vice president of business and finance, the proposed facility will be built on 118 acres on the east side of the village, south of Plank Road and north of the railroad tracks.
“The total budget for the project, including the amount for purchase of the property, is $20 million,” Konny said. “We are in the early design phase. We might break ground by next spring.”
ECC looked at 33 municipalities before selecting Burlington as its site. The proposed facility will provide training for police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics. The facility also will serve as the location for ECC’s truck driving training courses.
The project will be paid for through a $178 million bond issue narrowly approved by ECC district voters in 2009. The college already has used some of that money for other projects, including a new library.
Burlington Fire Protection District Chief Craig Whyte applauded the village board for approving the safety center project.
“This is a golden opportunity for a world-class facility,” Whyte said. “It will be an international facility that will benefit our region and our state. Speaking from the Burlington Fire Department’s point of view, to have this facility in our vicinity is incredible. Know that this will be a good, solid facility built to 2012 fire codes. Burlington alone could never have afforded it. This is a tremendous opportunity.”
Village President Kathy Loos told the board, “I think you made a very good decision.”