News

Elburn to keep possession of Filmore Street

The Elburn Village Board has decided to keep a portion of Filmore Street as village property, instead of vacating it and leaving it open to potential new development.

Filmore Street, which is basically a gravel road, is located just to the north and west of the Elburn Meat Market off Main Street, Village Administrator John Nevenhoven said.

Trustees had been weighing whether to vacate the property, in which case the village would no longer have to maintain it, before ultimately voting during an April 4 meeting to keep it. That means the village will have to continue to maintain it, Nevenhoven said.

The Elburn Meat Market purchased a portion of the property at Filmore and Nebraska streets, just behind its Main Street location, in July 2020. The retailer paved the area, which is now being used as an employee parking lot.

Nevenhoven said the issue about maintaining Filmore Street was brought up when the Elburn Meat Market asked the village if it was going to improve it.

“Village staff took a look at it and said, ‘Why should we maintain [the road] for the benefit of one entity [Elburn Meat Market]? We should let them maintain it,” he said. “But the Village Board was hesitant to give up our rights to the property because you never know what kind of development will happen.”

Elburn’s village attorney, William Thomas, said at the meeting that any new owner of the property could do what they want with it.

“If that future owner would decide to restrict anybody else’s access they could do that since it would be privately owned, so it wouldn’t be the village shutting something down if it, in fact, vacated and it came under private ownership,” he said.

Located on the east side of Elburn Meat Market, this Filmore Street right-of-way requires either regular maintenance or paving by public works, which the village will have to keep doing, at least for now.

Citing uncertainty over tomorrows, Village trustees Bill Grabarek and Patricia Schuberg advocated to keep the property.

“I just don’t like vacation because once it’s done you’re never going to get it back,” Grabarek said. “So you’re saying we’re never going to need this again and you never know when you’re going to need it because you just don’t know.”

Schuberg agreed.

“I’d rather hold onto it because we don’t know what the future can bring,” she said. “And we don’t know what with South Street and the meat packing plant and even that truck depot and other developments which will happen. I guess I’d rather hold onto it.”

Nevenhoven said the village will continue to put down fresh gravel on the road, but has no plans to pave it any time soon.

“We have way too many other roads to take care of. We’re not going to put down asphalt or a curb, and I don’t know if we’ll ever do that. It depends on how the area develops,” he said.

Kane County Chronicle editor Aimee Barrows contributed to this report.