As originally published on the Kane County Chronicle, dealer Ralph Helm is expanding his lawn equipment business and opening a new location in Elburn, IL. Currently there are two other locations for Ralph Helm Inc. Lawn Equipment Center in Crystal Lake and Elgin, IL. It is uncertain, however if Helm will be to open his dealership in the location that he's scouted.
Earlier this year, Helm became part of a Forest Preserve District of Kane County push to purchase land at 1001 S. Main St., which is on Route 47 in Elburn. When the Elburn Village Board at first voted down the forest preserve district’s quest to establish its Natural Resources Department at the site, the district came back with a plan to have Helm buy part of the land for his business.
The forest preserve proposal that included Helm received more support from Elburn’s board. Another buyer for the property has since emerged and officials say that it is unlikely that the forest preserve would be involved in that location. Helm says that he is hoping to work out a deal with the new buyer to open his dealership in that location.
Drew Frasz, a Kane County Board member and forest preserve district commissioner, originally advocated for the district to locate its department at the Route 47 location. After the village board’s initial rejection, he started looking for other options, including a site south of Elburn. He said if the new buyer would locate a business at the Route 47 site and then welcome Helm’s business, it would be ideal. His other location would be located on Stover Drive, which is an industrial area west of Route 47.
Helm said the Stover Drive location isn’t ideal, but he hopes that it is temporary. It’s 8,500 square feet, smaller than his other locations. Also, the Route 47 site would have significant visibility. Helm hopes to have the new Elburn location up and running by March at 820 Stover Drive, Unit A, in Elburn. In the meantime, Helm says that he is eager to establish a presence in the Elburn community. There is another dealership in Elburn, owned by Rob Houtz, but he plans to retire in the spring. Helm hopes to hire the majority of Houtz's current employees.