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One of the largest pieces of open land available in Cook County, a 400-acre horse farm in Barrington Hills, is expected to become a forest preserve again, after a court ruling granting foreclosure of the property.

That is, unless a plan to grow cannabis on the site interferes with the process.

Horizon Farm, consisting mostly of rolling pasture along Algonquin Road west of Illinois Route 59, has been in litigation since shortly after a private sale in 2006. Richard Cannon and his wife, Meryl Squires Cannon, borrowed $14.5 million from Amcore Bank to buy the land.

After the property fell into foreclosure once before, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County bought the farm for $14 million in 2013, and briefly opened it as a preserve, but the Cannons fought in court to keep the land.

Read more from the Chicago Tribune here.

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The Illinois Department of Transportation will be conducting a second public meeting tomorrow, June 25th, regarding their, “Illinois Route 62 Phase 1 Study.” The meeting is scheduled from 4PM – 7PM at the Barrington Park District located at 235 Lions Drive, Barrington.

IDOT’s first public meeting on the topic was held November 9th, 2017, so clearly they are taking their time. For those wishing to review what was covered at that first meeting, click here.

Those wishing to explore IDOT’s website covering further information on their progress (or lack thereof), on plans to widen Algonquin Road to four lanes in Barrington Hills, click here.      

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The injured relationship between Kane County Board Democrats and the board’s chairman, Republican Chris Lauzen, entered the week as a light sprain but left on crutches after Lauzen described recent Democratic lobbying efforts as “pathetic.”

The confrontation occurred during a meeting of the board’s legislative committee, which is co-chaired by Democrats Jarett Sanchez and Matt Hanson. The committee’s focus during the state budget process was securing about $45 million for the Longmeadow Parkway to avoid the need to for a toll bridge to complete the project.

There are still pools of money in the state budget not yet attached to specific projects, but no money has been earmarked for Longmeadow so far.

Read more here.

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BARRINGTON, Ill. — Every Thursday in this affluent village about an hour northwest of Chicago, residents gather for classic car night, a sumptuous display of pricey, refurbished vehicles. Lately, conversation has turned to the new Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, and his plan to raise taxes on the richest 3 percent of Illinois residents.

Kim Flores, a retired accountant showing off his restored ­horizon-blue 1949 Cadillac, said he has supported Democrats for years, but the tax plan is causing him to reconsider.

“Increasing taxes on the rich is just nonsense,” said Flores, 72. “I completely agree that middle-income people are hurting versus the higher-income people, and that is just wrong. But what are you going to do?”

Emboldened by major state-level gains in 2018, Democrats in Illinois are pressing to raise taxes on the rich to address ­long-neglected needs, such as schools and roads. Plans to raise taxes on the rich also have been considered in New Mexico, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey this year.

Read the full Washington Post article here.

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Responding to public demands, Barrington officials have worked to add 67 more parking spaces at the Metra commuter station in the village’s downtown area.

Barrington owns the commuter lots at 201 S. Spring St., where there are currently 905 parking spaces.

An advisory referendum question on the November 2018 ballot asked if the village should “provide a preference to village residents at specific locations in the village’s commuter parking lots which are used by residents of other communities?”

About 75% of voters responded “yes” to the referendum question, according to results from the Lake and Cook county clerks’ offices. Barrington is divided between the two counties.

Barrington officials said spaces are needed as more people are finding jobs and require transportation in the Chicago area.

To read the Barrington Courier-Review coverage of the Metra commuter parking story, click here.

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“I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

— Winston Churchill

State Rep. David McSweeney, Barrington Hills

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, after signing the largest budget in Illinois history, declared that the Land of Lincoln is back, but he failed to complete the rest of that sentence. Illinois is back to the failed policies of more tax increases and out of control spending. Republican “leaders” who supported Pritzker’s big government fiscal policies should be ashamed of themselves. I voted an emphatic “no” on the Pritzker budget and tax increases.

The $40 billion Fiscal Year 2020 unbalanced budget that the governor signed contains more spending than the budget he originally proposed and includes no spending reforms. The budget also includes tax increases on health insurance and online purchases. The Illinois Constitution requires “appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year.” The General Assembly did not pass a revenue estimate so this budget cannot be truly balanced. Also, overly optimistic revenue forecasts unrealistically assume that one-time revenue gains will be sustainable.

As egregious as the additional spending is, the real story of the 2019 spring session is taxes, taxes and more taxes. The progressive income tax constitutional amendment is the linchpin for massive future tax hikes and new state spending. Fortunately, voters will have the final say on the progressive income tax constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in the general election next year. I’m confident that 60% of Illinois voters will not support massive tax increases that will eventually hit the middle class. Do you really trust Illinois political insiders to set your tax rates under a progressive tax system?

Read the full David McSweeny opinion piece in the Daily Herald here.

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At its June 5 meeting, the District 220 Board of Education approved the purchase of the residential property located at 36 East Dundee Road, which sits between the Early Learning Center and BMS-Prairie.

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District is selling the property to the district. BCFPD had proposed a fire station for the site, however the Cook County Board did not approve the proposal.

It’s reported that District 220 will be paying an estimated $562,800 for the 1,462 square foot ranch-style home built in 1955. Records indicate the roughly 1-acre parcel last sold for $500,000 in December of 2016 to the BCFPD.

“The district expects the land to be used to improve traffic flow and parking at the two campuses,” a recent 220 press release states. The way District 220 has been managed in recent years, we expect this will likely be over a million-dollar expenditure before it’s all said and done.

Related: County board denies plans to build fire station near two Barrington schools

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