McHenry Fire district considers adding 5th station

McHENRY – The McHenry Township Fire Protection District is considering a $500,000 land purchase to build a fifth fire station along Route 31 in McHenry, across from the Shah Center.

“We’re in the due diligence period right now,” said Jim Militello, district board attorney.

At Thursday night’s district board of trustees meeting, board officials announced plans to explore buying the vacant 7-acre parcel as a potential site for the district’s fifth station. The district has about $7.9 million set aside in reserves for future building projects.

Militello said the “pending contract” with the unidentified property owner allows the district time to review its options before closing.

Under the agreement, the district has 45 days to decide whether to move forward with the purchase.

“We’ve been looking at additional stations for two and a half years,” Fire Chief Tony Huemann said.

The McHenry Township Fire Protection District boundary covers 56 square miles, traversing multiple municipalities.

Aside from McHenry Township, the district covers portions of Nunda Township and rural McHenry County, and the municipalities of Bull Valley, McHenry, Holiday Hills, Johnsburg, Lakemoor, McCullom Lake and Ringwood.

The district currently has two stations in McHenry, one in Johnsburg and one in Lakemoor.

District officials are interested in the site on Route 31, across from the Shah Center, 4100 W. Shamrock Lane in McHenry, for its location, which would help the district better serve the southern portion of its boundaries, Huemann said.

“We’re constantly looking to improve service to our residents,” Huemann said. “Our goal is to respond to every incident within six minutes.”

Meanwhile, there was no development on a long-delayed project for Station 1, at 3610 W. Elm St. in McHenry.

Officials had planned for a $3 million expansion and remodeling project at Station 1. However, bids exceeded the estimated cost, with the lowest bid at $4.4 million, and the board suspended those plans.

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