Kane OKs financial study of Fabyan site plan
By Matt Brennan For The Beacon-News September 11, 2012 5:38PM
Updated: October 14, 2012 1:05PM
GENEVA — The Kane County Board Tuesday green lighted the next step in a plan to bring a new music venue, cross country trails, mountain biking paths and other attractions to the Settler’s Hill property along Fabyan Parkway in Geneva.
The board voted 19-6 to proceed with a $39,000 fiscal impact study that will shed light on what costs and revenues the county can expect with the project. Market and Feasibility Advisors LLC of Chicago will conduct the study.
“The idea is for this to be a revenue neutral or positive venture,” board member Mike Donahue, R-Geneva, said. “This will not be a drain or a drag.”
Donahue heads the Fabyan Project Utilization Subcommittee, which has been working on a plan for the project for about a year. The study will help guide the county in the process of planning, he said.
The county held an open house and public hearing for the project on Monday. The subcommittee plans to evaluate that the public input at a meeting Wednesday.
Board member Bonnie Kunkel, D-Aurora, said that she would be against supporting spending $39,000 before assessing the public input from Monday’s meeting.
“It’s disrespectful to the people who came last night, and it’s disrespectful to the taxpayer,” she said.
Kunkel also suggested that the board further evaluate the environmental impact of building on top of a landfill. She wanted to see environmental studies done before the subcommittee proceeds.
“We need to nail down the environmental problems, and get those things out before we find out what the owning and operating costs are,” she said.
County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay said that the fiscal study would not commit the county to moving forward with the project, but it would help to clarify things.
“You can’t answer the questions you want answered because you won’t take the steps to move forward,” she said.
Eighteen people spoke out against the project at Monday’s public hearing, according to Donahue. The vast majority of those comments were because of plans in the Fabyan Woods, north of Fabyan Parkway, along Route 25.
Donahue said that the plans for the woods are now restorative only. He also plans on asking residents to be part of a restoration work group that will evaluate the options they would like to see for the woods portion of the project.