FOX RIVER GROVE – The Fox River Grove Public Works facility is complete, with a garage about four times as large as the old one.
The approximately 11,000-square-foot building features a conference area, private offices and a garage with four pull-through apparatus bays to give public works vehicles easy in-and-out access.
The building is located at Hillcrest and Lincoln avenues, across from the existing wastewater treatment plant and garage that was built in the 1970s, said John Reese, operations manager of public works.
About 14 pieces of equipment – including snowplow trucks that can cost up to $134,000 – can be stored in the new garage, Reese said.
“You spend a lot of money on these vehicles, and they sit outside and they get weathered and stuff like that, and we need them for snowplowing, for emergency services,” Reese said.
Having a larger garage space gives employees room to work on maintenance of vehicles and properly store them, Reese said.
Aside from more garage space, the new facility also will help the village accommodate for future requirements expected from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, said Tim Zintl, operations manager of water and sewer.
The water and sewer plant already has had to accommodate for a phosphorous reduction required by the IEPA, Zintl said. Other changes are expected that would require the village to knock the old garage down and add additional holding tanks, he said.
“We have to expand,” Zintl said. “And so with the old public works garage, we’re limited – we’re landlocked basically.”
The IEPA also recommended the village cover its salt. Previously, it was stored outside with a tarp covering it, Reese said. Now a shed on the property can store 500 tons of salt and keep it dry, he said.
The village looked at several locations before deciding on 1229 Lincoln Ave., Reese said, and ultimately chose this location because of its proximity to the wastewater treatment plant.
A preliminary site plan for the facility was decided on in July, after the village abandoned plans to build at County Line Road the year before, partially because of residents filing a lawsuit.
“The lawsuit was dismissed,” Village Administrator Derek Soderholm said. “And it didn’t go any further other than very preliminary hearings because we decided to pursue this other site.”
Some residents voiced concerns about the facility in October at a Village Board meeting, and Soderholm said there have been only a few minor complaints since construction started. Employees moved into the new facility in January.
The total cost of the project was about $3.9 million, Soderholm said. It was paid for with money the village had borrowed when officials expected the facility to be built on County Line Road, he said.
The public is invited to an open house at the new facility from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 29.