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Fans of McHenry Outdoor Theater, the only remaining drive-in in the suburbs, can rejoice that its owner has long-term plans for the future with a bunch of upgrades and improvements.

Scott Dehn, who has operated the theater for years, announced on Feb. 20 on Facebook that about two months ago he exercised his option to buy the property at 1510 Chapel Hill Road in McHenry.

“The threat of redevelopment is now nonexistent,” wrote Dehn, whose company Golden Age Holdings, LLC, is listed as the property owner by the McHenry County Treasurer’s office.

Dehn said he’s planning to install a new screen for “the brightest and most crisp resolution” ever projected at the theater; add stone, gravel and rock to the parking lot and grade it to eliminate potholes; and add speakers to the exterior of all buildings.

Read more here.

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Some Village signs (such as the one pictured at left) might be prohibited under the proposed sign regulations.

Notice is hereby given that a Public Hearing will be held on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. by the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Barrington Hills at the Village Hall, 112 Algonquin Road, Barrington Hills, IL, concerning the Zoning Board of Appeal’s proposed text amendments to the Village’s Zoning Ordinance, Title 5 of the Village Code, specifically to amend sections setting forth regulations regarding signage on property in the Village.

A copy of the Zoning Ordinance and the proposed amendments are available for examination at the office of the Village Clerk at the Village Hall, weekdays between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. All interested parties are invited to attend the Public Hearing and will be given an opportunity to be heard. Written comments on proposed text amendments to be made part of the record of this proceeding will be accepted in the office of the Village Clerk through 5 PM, March 9, 2020. 

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Pritzker’s plan would replace Illinois’ flat tax with a graduated income tax projected to increase revenue by $3.6 billion a year, chiefly by hiking tax rates on the top 3% of all earners.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s speech Wednesday was billed as his annual budget address. But it was much more than that.

The budget part of the speech held few surprises and was far less ambitious than last year’s agenda. After a first year in which Pritzker passed gambling and cannabis legislation and a $45 billion infrastructure plan, the governor is taking a breather this year, relatively speaking.

The key part of Pritzker’s address was the governor’s pitch for a constitutional amendment that would enable him to change the state’s tax structure and make wealthy people pay more.

“This budget is a bridge to the future,” Pritzker said. And from there, he went on to lay out the benefits, as he sees them, from the graduated income tax.

Read more of Friday’s Tribune op-ed here if you missed it.

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Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered a state budget address Wednesday acknowledging a “challenging” picture of Illinois’ finances and offering improved funding for government services if voters adopt his graduated income-tax plan.

Pritzker’s $42 billion budget proposal would provide $1.4 billion in additional funding for schools and public safety if voters in November pass the graduated-rate proposal, which would replace the state’s constitutionally mandated flat income tax.

“As important as these investments are, we cannot responsibly spend for these priorities until we know with certainty what the state’s revenue picture will be,” Pritzker said.

The proposed constitutional amendment, Pritzker’s signature initiative, would raise an estimated $3.6 billion on an annual basis. If it is adopted by voters, Pritzker has said rates previously passed by the legislature would boost the income-tax burden on the wealthiest 3 percent of taxpayers, with the other 97 percent paying at least the same or less.

Read more here.

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Tolls along the Longmeadow Parkway will become a reality after a Tuesday morning vote by the full Kane County Board. The vote ensures completion of the newest bridge to span the Fox River in the far northern portion of the county. The bridge will open in 2022.

Kane County has its first toll bridge, though a last-minute amendment could have added tolls to two other county bridge crossings.

Tolls along the Longmeadow Parkway will become a reality after a Tuesday morning vote by the full Kane County Board. The vote ensures completion of the newest bridge to span the Fox River in the far northern portion of the county. The bridge will open in 2022.

That last-minute amendment came from county board member Chris Kious, who said the Longmeadow Parkway tolls represent an unfair cost to his constituents. He pointed to the Stearns Road and Fabyan Parkway bridges as two county projects that allow toll-free crossings.

“By passing this (toll), you are subjecting the residents of the northernmost part of this county to pay an extra tax/user fee for the use of this Kane County bridge, which they have to use to access each side of their own villages,” Kious said. “No other roadway in the county has such a toll.”

Read more here.

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Hickory Hill Park in Carpentersville will be undergoing a major overhaul thanks to a $363,800 park improvement grant.

Dundee Township Park District is one of 85 recipients statewide to receive funding from the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant program administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, district officials said.

The 13.36-acre Hickory Hill Park, located at 770 Navajo Drive, has a baseball diamond but little else as far as amenities, district Executive Director Dave Peterson said.

Planned improvements include a bike repair station, basketball court, playground, picnic shelter and a nine-hole disc golf course. The baseball field will be replaced with free-play soccer areas.

Read more here.

Editorial note: 770 Navajo Drive is the address of District 220’s former Woodland Early Learning Center.

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Appropriation Ordinance of the Village of Barrington Hills, Illinois Public Notice is hereby given that at 6:30 PM on Monday, February 24, 2020, a public hearing will be held by the President and Board of Trustees for the Village of Barrington Hills, Illinois (located in Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry Counties) in the MacArthur Room at Barrington Hills Village Hall, 112 Algonquin Road, Barrington Hills, Illinois for the purpose of considering the proposed Appropriation Ordinance of the Village of Barrington Hills for the Fiscal Year Commencing January 1, 2020 and ending December 31, 2020.

All interested parties are invited to attend and will be given an opportunity to submit oral or written comments and suggestions at that time. Copies of the proposed Appropriation Ordinance are available for public inspection from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday at the Barrington Hills Village Hall, 112 Algonquin Road, Barrington Hills, Illinois. 

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