ECC OKs sustainability center agreement with Burlington
By Emily McFarlan Miller firstname.lastname@example.org October 4, 2012 9:32PM
Updated: November 6, 2012 6:28AM
ELGIN — If everything happens “perfectly,” Elgin Community College could begin construction on its planned Public Safety and Sustainability Center in Burlington as early as next spring, according to ECC Vice President of Business and Finance Sharon Konny.
That comes after the ECC Board of Trustees unanimously approved an intergovernmental cooperation agreement with the village of Burlington at a special board meeting Thursday afternoon.
Trustees also approved a reimbursement agreement between the community college and village Thursday. Trustee Robert Getz cast the lone vote against that agreement.
“When we began this, I had no problem doing a loan to the village of Burlington, but I don’t see us giving a gift,” Getz said.
He said the reimbursement would total about $75,000.
Trustee John Dalton said he didn’t see reimbursing the village as a “gift” when costs associated with annexing and zoning the land would be “extraordinary” for a “relatively small town” like Burlington.
“It seems more appropriate all the taxpayers of District 509 share the cost of this,” Dalton said.
The total cost of the project will be about $20 million, Konny has said.
That money will come from the $178 million bond issue referendum narrowly approved for the college’s Facilities Master Plan by District 509 voters in 2009. The Public Safety and Sustainability Center is the last of its construction projects, which also included the construction of the Renner Academic Library & Learning Resources and the Health & Life Sciences Building that opened last school year.
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 college originally had budgeted $15 million for the center in its Facilities Master Plan. But when it came in under budget on a number of other construction projects, it decided to put that money toward expanding the center’s tactical village for the public safety programs and adding a wind turbine for its sustainability program, which had been planned for phase two in the future, Konny said.
“It’s still referendum money. We just moved things within the referendum budget,” she said.
The proposed site for the Public Safety and Sustainability Center is 118 acres on the east side of Burlington, south of Plank Road and north of the railroad tracks. The vice president said the college still has “a lot to do,” including zoning, before it owns that land.
“It’s going to be several months still,” she said.
Trustees had passed drafts of the two agreements in July before they went to Burlington for approval. The Burlington Village Board approved both Monday night at its regular meeting.
For more information about Elgin Community College’s Facilities Master Plan, visit http://elgin.edu/aboutus.aspx?id=9622.