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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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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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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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The following notice was posted by the Village.  The Wisconsin Central Ltd. is a subsidiary of the Canadian National Railway:

PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE

Wisconsin Central Ltd. Proposed Track Expansion

From Milepost 37.80 and 41.80 on the Leithton Subdivision (between Spaulding Road and South Sutton Road) Cook County, IL.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Project #LRC-2018-00651

The purpose of this public meeting is for the presentation of additional project information and details to the public about the proposed track expansion between Milepost 37.80 and 41.80. The public meeting is part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 permit review process. The application for the project was submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by WCL which was placed on public notice for a 60-day comment period. This public meeting is being held as a result of public comment.

WCL will share project related details and give the public an opportunity to ask questions about the project. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be available to answer questions about the agency’s permitting process only.

Date: Thursday May 30, 2019

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Location:     Timber Trails Elementary School (Commons Room)

                    1675 McDonough Road

                    Hoffman Estates, Cook County, Illinois 60195

Further information can be found on the Village of Hoffman Estates website by clicking here.

 

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Over the years, we’ve seen the worst of townships, as when the separately elected township supervisors or assessors or road commissioners or clerks or boards do battle, duplicating costs and getting less work done for the public.

Recall, for example, the assessor in Antioch Township in Lake County moving her staff out of the township building and renting new offices after fighting with the supervisor. Or Algonquin Township in McHenry County almost running out of road salt after highway commissioner Andrew Gasser ordered a supply and the township board refused to pay for it.

We’ve also seen the best of townships, as when well-run food pantries or senior transit or general assistance programs provide safety nets for suburban residents who’ve run out of options.

With that in mind, we’re not fully in the growing “throw them out” camp that seeks to abolish townships as rural throwbacks not needed in the suburbs.

Read the full Daily Herald editorial here.

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The Canadian National Railroad is asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to construct a 4.27-mile-long second track adjoining the existing mainline track between Hoffman Estates and Elgin. The new rails would run between Shoe Factory and Spaulding roads and west of Poplar Creek Forest Preserve.

CN said the new and existing tracks would create a 6-mile reliever allowing an “uninterrupted flow” of northbound and southbound freight trains.

“The project will enhance the safe and efficient flow of rail traffic including the Milwaukee District West Line of Metra,” CN spokesman Alexandre Boulé said. “Commuters should also see reduced delays at Shoe Factory Road.”

Metra officials could not confirm CN’s assertions.

The Army Corps is involved because CN’s plan to mitigate impacts to Poplar Creek and its tributaries, which connect to the Fox River downstream, requires government approval under the Clean Water Act.

Read more here.

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