Excerpts from the Journal-Topics.com:

Mount Prospect trustees approved borrowing $12.1 million to purchase land for new police and fire headquarters locations. Trustee Paul Hoefert, a member of the board since 1991 who approved the existing shared police and fire headquarters on Northwest Highway 25 years ago, continues to voice concerns about the village’s effort to move the police to the Kensington Business Center and Fire Station 13 to a site on Rand Road, as being too quick and costing too much. It is projected to cost $40 million to renovate the existing building at 799 Biermann Court in the business park to accommodate police and to retrofit Fire Station 13 operations for the site at 111 E. Rand Rd.  The rest of the board did not see it that way.

If it is determined in the future that the two projects should not move forward, the village manager said the village would sell the properties it just acquired. Many of the board members said moving the departments would ensure better and safer policing for officers due to a lack of space in the current station, and better response times for firefighters.

Before the current police and fire headquarters was built 25 years ago, the village went out to referendum twice, developed an ad hoc committee, hosted many forums and obtained a lot of community input prior to any construction.

“To say that citizens have been involved and informed this time, I would disagree. And if there were 10 meetings, no one has been aware,” Hoefert said. “We know we need to do something, but it is a matter of what we do. Since we got the space needs study Nov. 28, which took two years to get, we have been moving at lightning speed, and in my mind, the people of Mount Prospect need to have their voice heard, but have been left out of the process. There has been no real time to bring them in.”

The $12.1 million that is being borrowed will go toward water and sewer improvements worth $4.93 million with the remainder to acquire property at 799 Biermann Ct. in the Kensington Business Center for a new police headquarters, and at 111 E. Rand Rd. for a new Fire Station 13.

The village anticipates this borrowing to cost $6 million in interest, which would be paid back over the next 25 years if not sooner. Finance Director Dave Erb said the borrowing would not impact the village’s tax levy. Water/sewer revenues and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) incremental revenue would be used to pay back the $12.1 million plus interest, Erb said.

It is expected in the fall that trustees will approve more bonds, in the amount of $21.8 million, and additional bonds next spring worth $15.8 million to help with construction and furnishing the two facilities. In total, the projects are expected to cost around $77 million, which includes interest.

A resident with a home market value of $350,000 would pay approximately $205 annually to fund the two stations over the next 25 years. If these two projects were not occurring, the debt service portion of the tax levy for property owners would have been reduced in the years to come. Instead, taxes will not increase, but will remain level over that period of time.