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It’s going to cost Kane County and Algonquin residents (among others) to use the Longmeadow Parkway toll bridge when it opens in 2022. It just won’t cost as much as it will for other people — unless you’re a truck driver.

The Kane County Board’s transportation committee gave preliminary approval to place a toll of 95 cents for most vehicles crossing the bridge over the Fox River. KDOT officials also unveiled a plan for the residents of Kane County and Algonquin that will give them unlimited access to the toll bridge for $200 a year.

The discount is in recognition of an overall goal to pay off the $28 million borrowed to help build the bridge with money from outside the county.

KDOT officials said the $200 cost pays for itself for any resident who uses the toll bridge round-trip twice a week for the year. Commuters who use the bridge five days per week for work would see that $200 cost average out to about 38 cents per crossing, officials said.

If you live outside Kane County or Algonquin and plan to be a regular user of the toll bridge, KDOT will offer a $300 annual pass. All discounts will require an I-PASS.

Read more here.

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Huntley School District 158 is expecting to flip the switch on a series of solar panels estimated to save the district $4.2 million in energy costs over the next 20 years by the end of March.

Last year, the district partnered with ForeFront Power, which agreed to design, permit, finance, install and maintain the solar energy project across all three of the district’s campuses. The renewable energy company had estimated that the installation of solar panels would offset 12.3 million pounds of carbon emissions in the first year.

Read more from the Northwest Herald here.

Editorial note: We applaud District 158’s forward thinking initiative and hope Barrington District 220 taxpayers take note before approving the March 17 referendum.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 wants voters to authorize borrowing $147 million. Voters last April rejected a request to borrow $185 million for facility upgrades.

District 220 is seeking authority to issue $147 million in school building bonds for a variety of projects to include paying for basic improvements at all schools in areas such as safety and security, plumbing, electrical, roofing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

Voters last April rejected a request to borrow $185 million for facility upgrades.

Due to existing debt the district expects to pay off in 2021, approval of the ballot measure would have the owner of a $500,000 home still see a net decrease of about $75 a year. Without the referendum, the same homeowner would see a reduction of $468.

Read about other Cook County ballot questions making news here.  Lake County initiatives are also covered by the Daily Herald here

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The Barrington 220 school board has scheduled five community “information” meetings and three open houses in coming weeks to inform the community about the school district referendum question on the March 17 primary election ballot. 

The district is seeking voter approval to borrow $147 million for improvements at all schools in areas such as safety and security, plumbing, electrical, roofing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Proposed work also includes construction of a physical education and wellness center at Barrington High School, additional classrooms at the district’s two middle schools, and new classroom space at all elementary buildings for science, technology, engineering and mathematics classes, as well as students with special needs.

The community information meetings are scheduled for:

Open houses are set for:

We will be publishing copies of their draft presentations when they become available once the paid consultants (seeDistrict 220 hires former state lawmaker’s firm to help with referendum”) finish honing their spin. 

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BACOG Turns 50

Janet Agnoletti (pictured third from left at a 2017 Barrington area legislative breakfast) is the executive director of BACOG

The July/August 2017 issue of Quintessential Barrington featured the story of the Barrington Area Council of Governments (BACOG) which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. When it was formed in 1970, the villages that make up the Barrington area were relatively young in their organization. The exception was the Village of Barrington, incorporated in 1865, the landmark hub around which these newer communities gradually emerged. Barrington Hills and Deer Park incorporated in 1957; North Barrington, Lake Barrington, and South Barrington in 1959; and Tower Lakes in 1966.

While each village would develop its own character, its own sense of place, there was commonality that the location and natural resources of the entire area needed an organization to protect those resources, and provide strength in numbers to counter the pressures of burgeoning development in the northwestern suburbs.

Thus, nurtured into being by enlightened leadership from the Barrington Area Development Council, the Barrington Area Council of Governments met for the first time on April 25, 1970. The Executive Board consisted of the village presidents of the member villages. In 2004, the Council was joined by the supervisors of Barrington and Cuba Townships, representing those unincorporated areas still under county jurisdiction, and thus subject to possible incompatible development pressures.

Read the full Quintessential Barrington article here.

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Hoffman Estates village board members voted 6-1 Monday to approve a tax incentive to spark economic development on 64 acres along the village’s stretch of Higgins Road west of The Arboretum of South Barrington shopping center.

A larger, 185-acre area of the same site at the northwest corner of Higgins Road and Route 59 has been the subject of the concept plan for the controversial Plum Farms mixed-use development that’s been idle for the past 2½ years since a lawsuit was filed over its residential density.

That lawsuit was originally filed by residents of the nearby Regency of the Woods of South Barrington retirement community. After Barrington Unit District 220 intervened in the suit on the side of the residents, the retirement community settled its portion.

Last month, District 220’s own lingering case was dismissed by a judge based on a legal precedent. But at its next meeting on Jan. 14, school the board intends to choose among its options to file a motion for reconsideration, file a notice of appeal or let the judge’s ruling lie, Superintendent Brian Harris said.

Read more here.

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Every year around this time, we reach out to Northwest suburban mayors and village presidents and ask them to tell us something their community accomplished in the year gone by and something they hope to accomplish in the year ahead. Today, we share the accomplishments of 2019. On Wednesday, we’ll tell you what the mayors hope to see in 2020.

Martin McLaughlin, Barrington Hills

The Village of Barrington Hills is on track to, once again, lower the levy, making it the sixth consecutive year. Since 2013, the village Levy has been reduced by more than 24%. We will continue to lead by example, responding to our residents’ desire to see tax relief.

In 2019, the Village of Barrington Hills approved a revitalized Comprehensive Plan, which was recognized by the Barrington Area Council of Governments. The innovative format allows residents and those interested to explore the unique property rights and freedoms available within our 30-squar- mile village.

In conjunction with our continuing efforts to preserve natural habitat and open spaces, the Village of Barrington Hills has been recognized and certified as one of the first Bee Cities in Illinois, which was showcased at The Hills Are Alive Fall Festival this past September with a honey-tasting competition.

Read the full year end summary from the Daily Herald here.

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