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A group of residents who live near a proposed Cadillac dealership in Barrington want the development to move farther from their neighborhood and establish a landscape screen buffer, citing the collective multi-million dollar value of their homes and the haul they bring the village in property taxes.

At its Aug. 8 meeting, the Barrington Village Board voted as part of the multi-item, single-vote consent agenda to accept a recommendation from the Plan Commission for a proposed Motor Werks of Barrington Cadillac dealership, at 18 E. Dundee Road. However, a board vote isn’t expected until next month.

For now, at the meeting, representatives from the dealership and neighboring community shared their concerns with village leaders.

“The [Plan] Commission did approve our project, but wanted to eliminate eight display spots in the front of the building on a diagonal. We would like the board to reconsider and add those spots back in there,” said Deb Gammon, Motor Werks Auto Group chief financial officer, explaining that it’s imperative for Cadillac to display new models.

The company is seeking village approval to build a new dealership and service center at the site, along with related site improvements expected to include, in part, parking, lighting, and signage and landscaping, according to village documents.

Gammon said at the board meeting that Motor Werks Auto Group has adjusted project plans in response to previously raised concerns by neighboring residents, including moving the building back 14 feet to the north, reducing the number of front parking spots, reducing the number of light poles and changing the lighting schedule in the summer and winter months, and increasing the landscaping to 4-foot trees by a planned car wash.

Britt Casey, who spoke on behalf of the neighboring Hillshire Estates subdivision, said residents want to see more done to protect the property values of the homes on the south side of Dundee Road that abut the dealership’s car wash, auto storage area and pending development.

“Our 28 homes represent $34 million in real estate and $150,000 of calculated property tax income,” Casey told the board. “We’re deeply impacted by the development and we’re very concerned.”

Read more here.

220 BOE Photo copy

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • Consideration to Approve the Rejection of the Woodland Demolition Bid
  • Consideration to Approve License Agreement to Install and Maintain Bollards at Hough Elementary School
  • Consideration to Uphold the Recommendation of the District Level Review of Materials

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

Real EstateWhen Deb Cohorst reached retirement age, she didn’t expect to face possibly leaving the rural town she’s loved for close to 40 years. Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s tax hikes have not helped.

“I have lived in Illinois for almost 40 years. My husband was born and raised here in Effingham, and we like it here. We feel like this was a great place to raise our kids, but frankly, I’m worried how much longer we can stay here because we are both retired. And with the rising property taxes and gas taxes, it’s becoming harder to survive on a fixed income,” Cohorst said.

In 2019, Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly passed 24 tax and fee hikes, including a doubled gas tax. During Pritzker’s term, the average family has seen a net tax hike of $2,165 and faces the second-highest property taxes nationally, leaving fixed-income retirees such as Cohorst wondering if they’ll ever see relief.

“Property taxes are another thing that we’re really worried about, and it scares me we may have to move. I have friends in neighboring states, and they cannot believe what we’re paying in property taxes,” Cohorst said. “I am paying more for the property tax on my half-acre lot than my three out-of-state friends’ property taxes combined.”

Effingham, Illinois, is located just southeast of Springfield. The median household income is about $52,551 and 19% of residents such as Cohorst have reached retirement age. The average home value in Effingham is $136,000 and families pay $2,328 in property taxes, or an effective tax rate of 1.7%, which is higher than the national average of 1.1%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“It’s not tens of thousands like some other families pay. But when you’re on a fixed income – and the people in this area don’t earn like what they earn in Chicago or some of the bigger cities, at our wage level, it’s getting harder and harder to keep up as property taxes keep increasing and we’ve seen the effect that’s having,” Cohorst said.

When property taxes cost roughly 4.4% of your income, Cohorst and other retirees have trouble finding spare cash to sustain never-ending tax hikes.

Read more here.

220 Admin

The Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education announced Friday they will both adopt new, less stringent COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC for kindergarten through 12th grade and early education schools.

“Current conditions of the pandemic are very different from those of the last two years, with many available tools to protect the general public, including widespread availability of vaccines for everyone 6 months and older,” IDPH Director Sameer Vohra said in a news release.

The new guidelines, available in detail at CDC.gov, call for quarantines only in “high-risk congregate settings,” and ease social distancing. The CDC continues to recommend masking when community spread (or the potential for community spread) is high.

BH Snow

Temperatures may go as low as minus 20 degrees in January

If you are a believer in the Farmers’ Almanac winter predictions, you may not want to hear what they have to say about Illinois. The publication is warning readers that this winter will be filled with plenty of shaking, shivering and shoveling.

Managing editor Sandi Duncan says the forecast comes from a formula that has been used since 1818.

“It uses a variety of factors, including various cycles involving the moon, as well as the sun, planets position and a variety of other factors,” Duncan said.

Duncan says Illinois will experience the harshest weather at the first of the year.

“For your area, the middle of January looks like brutally cold conditions and could bring temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees,” she said.

The Farmers’ Almanac is issuing a “hot chocolate warning” for people in eastern and southern states. That is because a cold December and a very cold January are expected. They note the good news is that milder temperatures will arrive in February.

Folks in the southeast will also see cold temperatures in January.

“Fortunately for the snowbirds, February will likewise warm the region to near-normal winter season temperatures overall,” according to the Almanac.

Read more here.

Wayne Pigs

Efforts continue to try to capture four pigs on the loose in the Wayne area.

Despite efforts to catch them, four pigs remain on the loose in the Wayne area.

“A live trap has been set up in the area,” Wayne Police Chief Tim Roberts said in an email on Thursday. “We continue to receive sightings and attempts have been made to corral them into a fenced-in area with no luck. A larger group of people is being put together to be available so they can be guided to an enclosure.”

The pigs have been on the loose for more than a week. They had initially been seen around the western portion of Army Trail Road from approximately Robin Lane to Fox Glen Drive. Roberts is still hopeful the pigs can be caught sooner rather than later.

“We still feel confident that we will be able to catch them in due time,” he said.

Kelly Owens, founder/president of Wayne-based Hands & Hooves Riding, Rescue & Rehabilitation, has joined in the efforts to capture the pigs. Hands & Hooves is located on Army Trail Road in the vicinity of where the pigs have been seen.

Somebody called me and said these pigs are right around the corner from you,” Owens said last Friday. “I am also a humane investigator with the Department of Agriculture, so I get a lot of calls about loose animals. My job now is to just try to catch them, which is going to prove hard because they don’t seem to be very trusting of people.”

One of the reasons it has been hard to catch them is because they are fast. “They can take off and run like a dog,” Owens said.

More here.

Related:Meanwhile, in the stately Village of Wayne: Police working to corral pigs on the loose

tenor

District 220: “Families are highly encouraged to have their students ride the school bus or carpool”

“As many of you are aware, Hart Road is currently closed from US Route 14 (Northwest Highway) to Main Street (Lake Cook Road) until November.

In order to ease traffic in the area and make sure students arrive safely to school this fall, the district is working with the Village of Barrington, Barrington Police Department, and Barrington Transportation Company, in order to provide the option of shuttle buses and permitted parking spots for Barrington High School students at various locations throughout the village. BHS will send out more details to families next week.”

Earlier this week, the Daily Herald published:

Gridlock alert

Barrington Hills drivers should expect delays on County Line Road between Haegers Bend Road/Elgin Road and Hart Road as crews resurface pavement and construct new sidewalk ramps. Work wraps up in early December.”

Moon

This is a photo of a moon at over 98% full. The image was taken one day prior to the supermoon, or a moon that appears larger due to being the closest to earth in its elliptic orbit.

One of the year’s most prolific meteor showers will coincide with the final supermoon of 2022, joining forces for a rare celestial show Thursday night.

The Perseids meteor shower, which occurs annually when the Earth moves through the trail left behind by the Swift-Tuttle comet, can lead to 60 to 100 meteors per hour at its peak.

Stargazers will have to do a few things to give themselves the maximum opportunity to see it, though.

The peak of the show happens to fall on the same night that the “Sturgeon Moon” will be in the night sky, meaning that the extra light from the moon could potentially wash out some of the fainter trails of the meteors as they move through the atmosphere.

Fortunately, for those interested in spotting meteors, there are a few things you can do to see them.

First, the peak of the show will occur at midnight Friday, meaning that the “radiant point” of the meteor shower will be higher in the eastern horizon and the moon will be lower in the western horizon, providing for darker skies.

According to forecast models, the skies should be partly-to-mostly clear Thursday night and into Friday morning as a dome of high-pressure continues to exert its influence over the area.

Residents should also try to get away from city lights as much as possible to see the show, facing toward the east once they find dark enough skies to see the meteors fall.

Finally, officials at the Adler Planetarium are advising residents to give themselves plenty of time to adjust to the darkness. It can take the human eye 20 to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness, and once it does, you’ll likely be able to see several meteors per minute.

Read more here.

(Morbidly obese) Gov. JB Pritzker, second from right, unveils the 2022 State Fair BUTTER COW. Also pictured are Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, (also obese) first lady MK Pritzker and Ag Director Jerry Costello II. (Capitol News Illinois photo by Peter Hancock)

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker and Illinois State Fair organizers unveiled the 101st State Fair butter cow Wednesday, an unofficial kickoff of the fair which begins Thursday and runs through Aug. 21.

The sculpture – by Iowan Sarah Pratt – consists of more than 800 pounds of recycled butter in the shape of a cow munching on a sunflower. It also pictures a farmer tending the land and growing sunflowers, one of which was eaten by the cow.

The theme of the 2022 fair and butter cow is “Grow with Us.”

It’s a nod to the state’s agriculture industry as well as $58.1 million in construction that is planned at the fairgrounds, according to Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello II. The renovations are funded by the state’s Rebuild Illinois capital infrastructure program, approved on bipartisan lines in 2019.

Pritzker, at the unveiling Wednesday, said the theme for the year was fitting for Illinois, pointing to job growth and infrastructure investment.

Rebecca Clark, who was named the new fair manager this year, said the theme also touches on the fair’s agricultural roots.

“That theme is really indicative in so many ways out here on the fairgrounds, from the improvements that you see on the grounds to the youth exhibitors that show year after year in our celebrated barns,” Clark said.

Read more here.

Aug R&B Meet

The Village Roads & Bridges Committee meets for the first time in four (4) months this afternoon at 4 PM.  The two topics on their agenda are:

  • 2022 Road Program Update, and
  • Detour Traffic

A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

Related:Roads & Bridges Committee meeting canceled (again),” “County Line Road work to begin in Barrington Hills Monday,” “Hart Road in Barrington closing for five months beginning June 2

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