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Kane County clerk would open satellite office in Elgin’s Schock Centre under deal being put together

An agreement under which the Kane County Clerk’s Office would open a satellite office inside the city of Elgin’s Edward Schock Centre is being drafted, giving county residents a way to skip the trek to Geneva when clerk’s office services are needed.

Both Mayor Dave Kaptain and County Clerk Jack Cunningham have wanted to a satellite office in Elgin for the past decade, and now “we’re closer now than we’ve ever been,” Cunningham said.

If approved, it will join the satellite office already open at 5 E. Downer Place in Aurora.

Cunningham’s office handles elections, tax records and vital records, including birth, marriage, and death certificates, and passports. Marriage certificates can only be issued in person so couples must go to Geneva or Aurora to obtain one.

When the clerk’s office first considered opening a satellite office, Kaptain pushed for it to be in Elgin, arguing the city has one of the largest growing senior populations in Kane County. It’s hard for older residents to drive all the way to Geneva to obtain records or pay their taxes, he said.

But Aurora won out because it has a larger population.

Kaptain and Cunningham continued to entertain the idea of a second satellite office in Elgin as a boon to northern Kane residents, and when Advocate Sherman Hospital didn’t renew its physical therapy office lease at the Schock Centre, space suddenly became available, they said.

The 10,000-square-foot, first-floor location has a large enough footprint to accommodate the city’s early learning programs, which are part of the Parks and Recreation Department, as well as the satellite clerk’s office, the mayor said.

Elgin has hired Berna Architects & Design to put together a design plan for the space at a cost of $160,000.

“It’s perfect,” Cunningham said of the location. “There’s bus service and adequate parking space. It’s an ideal location. It’s superior to the one we have in Aurora.

“We’re also trying to get some other county offices in there. I know some have indicated (they want to have) a presence there, but we’ll have to see where that goes.”

Cunningham’s team is working on the agreement with city staff. Both the Elgin City Council and the Kane County Board would need to approve the deal before it could be enacted.

“I’m optimistic at this point,” Cunningham said of the agreement moving forward.

The mayor is even more optimistic, saying that once an agreement is in place, the new office could open as soon as November — in time for the general election.

It’s been a long process getting this point, he acknowledged.

“I think it’s like someone who’s just run a marathon. You are happy when you get to the finish line,” Kaptain said.

Gloria Casas is a freelance reporter for The Courier-News.

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