MOUNT PLEASANT — Following the outcry from a few neighbors, the Mount Pleasant Village Board voted Monday night 5-1 to press the pause button on rezoning a plot of land on Emmertsen Road for an emergency medical service station for two weeks to get some questions answered.
Village Trustee John Hewitt was the only one to vote against putting the project on hold.
The South Shore Fire Department, which serves Mount Pleasant, Sturtevant and Elmwood Park, has proposed the station, which would house an ambulance, for a site on Emmertsen Road, just south of Spring Street.
Funding to buy the property, which is 3,800 square feet, has already been approved but that is contingent on the board approving rezoning the property.
Before the board voted to delay the decision, Village Clerk Stephanie Kohlhagen recognized and certified a rezone protest petition in opposition of the EMS station.
It would have required five board members to override the petition but no vote was taken.
Village Trustee Gary Feest said there are questions about financing the construction and staffing that need to be answered.
“Personally, I have no problem with the location,” Feest said. “There has been some due diligence that I feel has been lacking in this project.”
Feest said he would like the board to get together with South Shore Fire Chief Robert Stedman to discuss the project further.
The size of the building, Feest said, requires more clarification about the overall financial impact about the project.
“I’ve had no projections given to me on the total out-build costs of this project. I’ve had no recommendations from staff on whether this is a totally affordable idea with six new firefighters hired full-time and what that will do to affect the budget in future years. I’ve had a lot of estimates given my way,” Feest said.
On Thursday, residents had an opportunity at a public hearing to voice their opposition or support for the project, with the majority of those speaking against the proposed location for the EMS station.
The Village Board consulted with a real estate broker who has been working with the village and informed them that the village has until the end of the month to approve the rezoning. But if the board cannot approve the rezoning and needs another extension, the owner of the property would have to sign off.
Resident Don Lloyd, who spoke at the public hearing and organized the petition, said he has never objected to the station, just its location.
“Once this (EMS station) is erected, we are stuck with it for life,” Lloyd said.