Bradley

Village of Bradley officials say the plan is to renovate the former Bradley-Bourbonnais Chamber of Commerce site to house the village’s second fire station.

BRADLEY — At a cost not to exceed $75,000, the Bradley Village Board approved the hiring of Kankakee-based architect Bright Architecture.

The board unanimously approved the contract and the firm has already developed preliminary design concepts for the project expected to be in the $800,000 range.

In addition to the architect, the village administration will also be hiring a project manager within the next 30 days or so, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Watson said at Monday’s village board meeting.

The project manager will oversee the project from beginning to end.

Doug Bright, president of Bright Architecture, said at the meeting that it is a wise move to have a project engineer. He said that engineer can bring specifics to such a project.

“[Architects] can give an idea of what it could cost,” he said, noting that is not the architect’s role.

Bright did note as a resident of Bradley in the Hunter Run subdivision along Armour Road east of Illinois 50, the distance for quick response times are simply too far.

“I’ve lived in Bradley for 29 years. This has been needed for a long time,” he said.

That sentiment was also expressed by former Bradley Fire Chief Steve Wilder. Wilder, who served as chief from 2000-08, said there have been many starts and stops regarding the development of a second fire station.

“It seemed like it always got put on the back burner. Don’t let it go the back burner anymore,” he said during the public comment section of the meeting. “Please keep this alive. If not, you are punishing only those on that side of town.”

Preliminary plans call for a 3,500-square-foot garage to be added to the former Bradley-Bourbonnais Chamber of Commerce site at 1690 Newtowne Drive, a property the village has owned for several years.

The village is also considering constructing a community room onto the former chamber building for use by outside organizations, but that concept has not been finalized.

At issue is response time for fire and ambulance calls. While response times are to be in the 4- to 5-minute range, according to industry standards, the village response times for north and northeast Bradley — the farthest points from the station — are in the 8- to 10-minute range.