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Archive for the ‘Cook’ Category

Is the Illinois Racing Board taking business lessons from the film “Goodfellas?”

In that world of organized crime chronicled so brilliantly by director Martin Scorsese, actor Ray Liotta portrays mobster Henry Hill. He explains the business mantra succinctly as follows: (I have condensed the idea to remove some choice terms.) “Business bad? … pay me. Oh, you had a fire? … pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? … pay me.”

You get the idea. They don’t care about your problems, they just want their money.

That’s an approach the Racing Board tried using with Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights, leaning on them so the track would add casino gambling. The pressure from the racing board, or incentive for the track, depending on which side you’re onwas to potentially deny them any of the 68 dates for racing sought for Arlington. The board ultimately gave approval for the dates.

Read more of Randy Blaser’s column here.

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Celebrate under a full harvest moon at Citizens for Conservation’s Ignite the Night.

The event will feature live music, food, stargazing, flashlight walks for kids, a raffle, horse-drawn wagon rides and will be capped off by a spectacular bonfire. Ignite the Night will be held from 5 to 10 PM on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Spring Creek Forest Preserve and the Barrington Hills Park District, 361 Bateman Road, Barrington Hills.

The evening will include a cookout dinner; beer, wine and soft drinks and music by Beamish. Attendees will also have the chance to view the night sky, stars and planets with professional-grade telescopes.

Tickets are $50 in advance and $65 after Friday, Sept. 13, for adults; $25 for teens through age 20, and $12 for children 12 and younger. Online ordering is available on CFC’s website.

If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, call Ginger Underwood at 847.331.3568 or ttonkajo@yahoo.com

Ignite the Night aims to be a zero-waste event, and Mindful Waste will assist in making sure all packaging is compostable, recyclable or reusable. Mindful Waste volunteers will be on hand to educate and help with the sorting process. CFC’s goal is divert as much material from the landfill as possible.

All proceeds from this event will support Citizens for Conservation. Supporters of the event include the Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Barrington Hills Park District.

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State Rep. David McSweeney

Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, sponsored a bill signed Friday by Gov. JB Pritzker that gives the voters of McHenry County the power to dissolve the 17 townships that currently comprise the county.

The synopsis as introduced in House Bill 348 reads as follows:

“Amends the Township Code. Provides that the board of trustees of any township located in McHenry County may submit a proposition to dissolve the township to the township electors or township electors may petition for a referendum to dissolve a township. Provides for the transfer of real and personal property, and any other assets, together with all personnel, contractual obligations, and liabilities of the dissolving township to McHenry County.

Provides that all road districts wholly within the boundaries of the dissolving township are dissolved on the date of dissolution of the dissolving township and the powers and responsibilities of the road district are transferred to McHenry County, and provides that municipalities within the dissolving township may elect to assume the duties and responsibilities of the road district or road districts.

Limits extensions of specified property tax levies to 90% of the original property tax levy and within the boundaries of the dissolved township. Amends the Election Code and Counties Code making conforming changes.

Amends the Illinois Highway Code. Provides that any township in Lake County or McHenry County shall abolish a road district of that township if the roads of the road district are less than 15 miles in length.

Provides that the road district is abolished on the expiration of the term of office of the highway commissioner of the road district facing abolition following the determination by the county engineer or county superintendent of highways. Provides that the township board of trustees may enter into a contract with the county, a municipality, or a private contractor to administer the roads added to its jurisdiction.”

House Bill 348 took effect immediately upon signing and can be viewed here.

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Hoffman Estates officials have scheduled a pair of meetings for local governments and the public to weigh in on a proposed tax incentive to encourage development on the north corners of the intersection of Higgins and Old Sutton roads.

The village is proposing the tax increment financing district for 24 acres at the northeast corner and 16 acres at the northwest corner, independent of any existing development plan — including the Plums Farms concept that’s been stalled for two years.

Including adjacent right of way, the proposed TIF district would cover 64 acres. Initial revenue from the TIF would pay for public utilities on the land.

A Joint Review Board made up of the local governments that would see their tax revenues affected by the TIF district is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Hoffman Estates village hall, 1900 Hassell Road.

Read more here.

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Tucked on the outer edges of southern Cook County, suburban Park Forest was built to help answer a housing shortage in the 1940s as GIs flooded home from World War II. Before long, it became a model of suburban living, featuring enviable public schools and an attractive downtown shopping center anchored by a Marshall Field’s.

Today, the legacy department store is long gone. The high school, Rich East, is facing such low enrollment that it is being considered for closure. And, as of 2017, financially strapped homeowners were stuck with the second-highest property-tax rate in Cook County.

Among them is Ryan Dupée, who is being billed more than $3,800 in property taxes for a modest, ranch-style home he and his wife bought under foreclosure four years ago for just $25,000.

“It’s a shocker and it’s disappointing because your money could go to other things,” Dupée said, adding that while they aren’t paying a mortgage the property taxes are difficult for them to handle, especially since he’s between full-time jobs as a quality assurance auditor.

Read the full Better Government Association investigation here and realize what we already knew – it’s not just Barrington Hills. 

This story was co-published with Crain’s Chicago Business, as part of a Crain’s Forum project on affordable housing.

 

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The village of Barrington Hills is making plans to improve the 5-mile stretch of Algonquin Road between Routes 25 and 68. 

Algonquin Road, also known as Route 62, is being studied to determine whether it should be widened.

The project is in Phase 1, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Phase 1 should cost about $3.5 million, said Guy Tridgell, director of communications for the Illinois Department of Transportation.  

The improvements are in response to the construction of the Longmeadow Parkway Tollway Bridge, Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin said. The bridge will span the Fox River and connect Randall Road in the west to Algonquin Road in the east, increasing traffic by about 8,000 cars on Algonquin Road.

Read more from the Northwest Herald here.

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Last week we reposted an article from the McHenry County Blog announcing, “Elaine Ramesh appointed to Algonquin Township Board”.

We omitted that a total 13 candidates filed for the position created when Melissa Victor stepped down according to the Blog (seeApplicants to Replace Melissa Victor as Algonquin Township Trustee“), and two of those candidates are Barrington Hills residents as seen below:

“Elaine Marie Ramesh, Barrington Hills, patent attorney, former BH Village Clerk and Trustee, member of the McHenry County Republican Women’s Club, member of McHenry County Conservation District Advisory Committee, equestrian advocate, raised $40,000 local private match to Federal Recreational Trails program grant to install a horse trailer parking lot to support five miles of multi-use trails. 

Linda H. Cools, Barrington Hills, Citizens Advisory Group for IDOT re widening of Route 62, advocates lowering the required bid level for Highway Department, advocates countering negative publicity, ran twice for the BH Village Board, advocate of transparency, records and posts BH Village Board meetings on Facebook, endorsed by BH Trustees Fritz Gohl and Robert Zubak.

Fritz Gohl is not a Barrington Hills trustee, although he was in some darker times in our past history. He is now in a paid position as trustee for Barrington Township (he ran unopposed) where he can inflict far less damage to the taxpayers of this Village than he did in his too many years on the Barrington Hills Board of Trustees.

Apparently, the resident who filed for consideration is not up on current events, or decided on their own that accurate facts should not matter in the trustee’s consideration. 

Robert Zubak

Our larger concern is the apparent endorsement by Trustee Robert Zubak of this resident’s filing to fill the vacancy (“apparent” due to the fact that the applicant has  “misstated” facts before).  If Zubak did endorse this applicant, does that imply an endorsement as a potential running mate in the 2021 Village Trustee elections?

Perhaps we’ll learn the answer at Monday evening’s Board of Trustees meeting. If not, only time will tell.

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