A number of Schaumburg Township and Roselle residents near a trucking firm's proposed new headquarters in Schaumburg scrambled Monday to meet a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' deadline for public comment on a wetland mitigation permit needed for the project to go forward.
Jeny Mills of Roselle's Turnberry Manor subdivision said concerned residents like herself received details about Experior Transport's proposal only after Christmas -- well into the Army Corps' monthlong comment period.
The subdivision, she added, includes manor homes for which one door provides access to four separate residences, and it appears only one information packet was distributed for each building.
Perhaps most concerning to her was a sentence of the Army Corps' solicitation of comment: "It is presumed that all parties receiving this notice will wish to respond to this public notice; therefore, a lack of response will be interpreted as meaning there is no objection to the project as described."
Alsip-based Experior wants to build its new headquarters on 55 acres near the southwest corner of Irving Park and Rodenburg roads. The company initially entered into a contract in September 2018 to buy the site from Schaumburg for $5 million, but last year offered to increase the purchase price to $7 million, if the village could help make the development more cost-effective.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District have found that $15 million to $20 million of wetland mitigation beyond what Experior had planned would be necessary for the facility.
Village officials are studying whether the site is eligible for a tax increment financing district that could generate the necessary funding within about 10 years, rather than the allowable 23 years, Schaumburg Economic Development Director Matt Frank said.
The headquarters would create 200 jobs in Schaumburg and generate more than $425,000 a year for the village through taxes on truck and fuel sales, officials say.
On Tuesday night, the village board may vote on an extension of the purchase contract to the end of 2021. That would allow the Army Corps and village more time to consider the proposal.
In the meantime, more than 800 nearby residents have signed a petition opposing the project.
"I have a 3-year-old son," Mills said. "I want him to be able to go outside and breathe fresh air."
Paulina Poplawska, who said her home on Long Avenue is closer than anyone else's, is concerned about the loss of natural area and potentially the value of her home.
"We bought this house to have good schools and for the view," she said. "A lot of people live here and not a lot of people know about this. It's too close to home in my opinion."
Village officials say the site's proximity to the Schaumburg Regional Airport, Elgin-O'Hare Tollway and Metra station make it a good fit for Experior. But Mills and Poplawska worry the development, which would include a gas station open to the public, will also bring crime.
Frank said the village's review of the project will offer neighbors an opportunity to air their concerns. Impacts on neighbors could be reduced through landscaping, fencing, lighting and other requirements, he added.