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Illinois’ General Assembly, which had finally approved a budget but failed to act on an amendment regarding property tax freezes, should take a harder look at itself, Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin said during a recent interview.

“What is ridiculous is the General Assembly that hasn’t had the ability to deliver a balanced budget in years and refuses to address the public pension debacle that is a large contributor to the tax burden are the ones pointing to other entities as the problem,” McLaughlin told the Lake County Gazette.

Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin

McLaughlin said he has some experience doing what lawmakers in the Illinois General Assembly need to be doing. “As a village president that has reduced our Barrington Hills levy four out of my five years in office I am all for a freeze,” he said.

“However I would prefer a 15 percent reduction from all taxing bodies that make up our property tax bills – school districts, townships, community colleges, library districts, fire districts, abatement districts and others,” he said. ” Elected and appointed officials need to understand that Illinois taxpayers are in serious trouble. We are declining in population as people give up and move out of our state.”

To read the full article in the Lake County Gazette, click here.

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IDOT IL 62 Study“BARRINGTON, IL – A public meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 9 to discuss road improvements proposed on Illinois Route 62 in Barrington Hills. The Illinois Department of Transportation will accept public comments at the meeting and written comments that are mailed or submitted online until Dec. 1.

IDOT didn’t specify what improvements are planned on the main Barrington Hills thoroughfare except that they are planned between Illinois 25 and Illinois 68, a stretch that covers most of the village. Preliminary engineering and environmental studies have already begun.

The hearing, planned from 4-7 p.m. on Nov. 9 at the Barrington Park District, 235 Lions Drive in Barrington, will introduce the project, obtain public input and inform those in attendance about additional public involvement opportunities.

Exhibits will be on display and an audio-visual presentation will be shown during the open-house format meeting.

The official public meeting record will include comments heard in person, mailed and ones that will be submitted online here.”

The original press release in the Barrington Patch can be seen here.

In addition, IDOT has set up a website for the project which does not include any further details, but we will continue to monitor it for any updates.  We did note that the logo (above) for the project contains a horse, trees and a bicycle.

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 “NO TRESPASSING” signs have been posted at the entrances to the largest new forest preserve in Cook County.

“Forest Preserve of Cook County does not have possession & has no right to enter this property or permit others to do so,” the warning reads on a locked gate at Horizon Farm, a rolling, 400-acre horse farm in Barrington Hills.

The notice was posted by Rich and Meryl Squires Cannon, who assert they are the true owners of the land after they won an Illinois Appellate Court decision in a long-standing legal battle over the prized property.

The court ruled that there is a legitimate question as to whether the Cannons were fraudulently pressured into the mortgage that led to foreclosure of their property. As a result, a lower court must reconsider whether the Forest Preserve District can foreclose on the property.

The shutdown is the latest development in a yearslong feud between the couple and the district. It could be years more before the dispute and the fate of the land is resolved.

To read the full article in the Chicago Tribune, click here.

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10417449_769532546411634_1435493151060102459_nKaneCountyConnects.com recently published an article summarizing tax levy information for all municipalities within the county.

According to the website, the total Kane County levy went up less than 1 percent — about .85 percent, to be precise — according to information provided in the county’s annual Property Tax FAQ document.  As a possibly not-so-fun fact, this is the first increase in Kane County’s extended levy since 2010.

So, how did your individual city or village government do year over year? As you can see by the chart below, some went up quite a bit, some actually went down.

Leading in percentage increase this year is Sleepy Hollow, whose levy went up from $537,188 to $772,502. Obviously, that’s not a lot of dollars in comparison to big cities like Aurora, but the percentage increase of 43.99 percent is tops in Kane County this year.

Barrington Hills’ levy actually went down — from $6,197,303 to $5,32,440, a decrease of $14.12 percent. Others that were lower year-over-year include the villages of Algonquin and East Dundee. Four Kane County communities — Big Rock, Campton Hills, Kaneville and Lily Lake — don’t levy any taxes at all, so their percentage change gets the highly touted “not applicable” designation.”

To see all the Kane County tax levy information and the full article, click here.

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Explore the contrast between vintage firefighting equipment from prior generations and today’s state-of-the-art fire service operations Saturday, September 9th, when the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District welcomes community members to a combined Antique Fire Truck Show and Open House at Fire Station #1 (22222 North Pepper Road, Lake Barrington).

The open house will take place from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., with the antique truck display available until 1 p.m. Admission is free for family members of all ages.

This year’s event will feature:

  • Antique fire truck displays
  • Fire station tours
  • Touch-a-Truck
  • Firefighter ‘meet & greet’
  • Emergency dispatch services overview
  • Local business booths

To read the full feature story in Living60010.com, click here.

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Fifty acres of sunflowers bloomed in northwest Barrington Hills this week to create a unique carpet of bright yellow.

But in addition to providing a vibrant visual along the village’s country lanes, these sun-worshipping plants play a practical role in the conversion of the nearly 700-acre Barrington Hills Farm to purely organic. Among the criteria for such certification is the soil must be found to be chemical-free — and sunflowers are among the species that can help expedite that process, experts say.

J.R. Davis and his wife, Dawn, took control of the farm four years ago and have spent the last three working to purify the soil. They see themselves carrying on the vision of the late Barbara MacArthur, who with her late husband, Alex, ran the Strathmore Organic Farm at the same location on Spring Creek Road in McHenry County. Barbara MacArthur, who died last year, was a passionate pioneer of organic farming, decades ahead of its rising popularity today.

To read the full Daily Herald article, click here.

Editor’s note:  The Daily Herald incorrectly identifies the fields as being in the McHenry County section of Barrington Hills.  Readers will recall that most of the property controlled by the Farm’s trust was de-annexed from the Village during the last decade, and these fields are actually located in unincorporated McHenry County.

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pavement-markingThe Village of Barrington Hills announced that tomorrow, Thursday August 10th, the west end of Merri Oaks Rd about 500 feet east of Ridge Road is expect to be CLOSED from 7 am to 8 pm for paving. Traffic will be rerouted, but please plan your commutes accordingly.

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