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Burlington moving ahead on safety center

Updated: December 8, 2012 6:30AM

BURLINGTON — Elgin Community College’s proposed $20 million Public Safety and Sustainability Center is moving closer to reality with an upcoming town hall-style meeting and preliminary plan presentation scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Burlington Fire Protection District station, 154 South St.

“The town hall meeting is for the purpose of sharing the plan with the residents and getting their feedback,” Village President Kathy Loos said.

The sustainability center, if approved, will serve as a training facility for police, firefighters and other first-responders. It will also have a component for truck driving training and classroom facilities. The center is proposed to be self-sustaining and produce a limited environmental footprint.

Although ECC obtained the village’s permission to present a final plan at the same time as the preliminary plan, village engineer John Whitehouse announced in a memorandum to the village board that “due to scheduling issues the existing property owners,” ECC is no longer pursuing both approvals at this time.

“The final phase I development plan will be applied for and processed separately,” Whitehouse said in his memo.

The center will be will be built on 118 acres on the east side of the village, south of Plank Road and north of the railroad tracks.

After the town hall meeting, there will be several meetings between the plan commission and the village board to review facts and supporting documents regarding the project. The final approval by the village might take place as early as the Dec. 17 board meeting.

In other business this week, the board is gearing up to complete three projects deemed high priority.

Trustees gave consent to advertise for bids on the projects: railroad culvert rehabilitation and storm sewer replacement; well house rehabilitation improvements; and miscellaneous water system and buffalo box (underground water valve) repairs.

Loos announced that a $150,000 Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grant and a $30,000 Kane County riverboat grant will be used to fund the needed projects.

The board emphasized the importance of completing the railroad project before the end of the calendar year. The well house project can be completed during the winter months and is not weather-dependent, according to the engineer’s report. Loos noted that the water system and valve repairs can be completed in the spring of 2013 after the other projects have been done.

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