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Darch

Barrington officials are ready to weigh in on the idea of Lake County allowing the sale of recreational cannabis in unincorporated parts of the county.

The Lake County Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled to hold virtual public hearings April 19 and April 21 to provide information and gather feedback about the possibility of allowing recreational cannabis dispensaries in unincorporated areas, Barrington officials discussed during the April 5 Village Board Committee of the Whole meeting.

The county issued a one-year moratorium in February 2020 prohibiting all cannabis-related businesses in the county’s unincorporated areas. The temporary ban expired Feb. 10. – around the time discussions on the subject began again.

County board members approved a resolution at their Feb. 9 meeting to begin the public hearing process to get input on potential regulations to allow recreation use cannabis businesses, including growers, distributors and retail establishments in unincorporated Lake County – with certain restrictions, according to a recent news release.

Barrington Village President Karen Darch is not sure the county currently can allow cannabis dispensaries. However, “I know they say they want to talk about,” she said. There is a state bill pending that could allow it, she said.

She said the reason she brought up the issue at the Committee of the Whole meeting was to get trustees’ feedback on issuing a statement about the idea. Barrington’s zoning ordinances don’t allow recreational cannabis dispensaries, but the village is adjacent to unincorporated Lake County areas where the county could end up allowing those uses, Darch said.

Read more here.

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OBH 1

The Barrington Hills Observer wholeheartedly endorses Brian Cecola for Village of Barrington Hills President, as well as David Riff, Tom Strauss and Laura Ekstrom for Village Trustees in the April 6th Consolidated Election.

Early voting starts this morning for the April 6, 2021 Consolidated Elections.  For information on where to cast your ballot between now and Election Day, click on your county below:

We’ll be publishing our official endorsements soon. In the meantime, feel free to use and share the sample ballot below noting our recommendations:

Sample Better

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Illinois households pay nearly $9,500 on average in state and local taxes, which at 15% of their income is the nation’s highest. WalletHub finds gasoline taxes pushed Illinois to No. 1.

Illinois households spend 15% of their income on state and local taxes, according to a new analysis by personal finance website WalletHub.

The cost is $9,488 in Illinois state and local taxes applied to the median U.S. household income of $63,218. Illinois also ranked as having the second-highest property taxes and third-highest gas taxes.

Analyst Jill Gonzalez said it was those gas taxes, which the state doubled in 2019, that pushed Illinois to the top tax spot.

“I think so because now Illinois has the third-highest gas taxes in the country, and that’s five times higher than Arizona, or New Mexico or Mississippi,” Gonzalez told The Center Square.

Illinois in 2019 doubled the state gasoline tax, but also authorized certain counties near Chicago to increase or establish their own gas taxes. Lake County was the latest to use that law and just hiked taxes by 4 cents per gallon, effective July 1.

July 1 is also when the state’s gasoline tax is set to automatically increase by as much as a penny a gallon. It is currently 38.7 cents per gallon after initially doubling from 19 cents a gallon in 2019.

Read more here and see state-by-state comparisons.

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Prices at the pump will increase July 1st at Lake County gas stations such as this Speedway on Northwest Highway in Lake Barrington.

The Lake County Board approved an ordinance that will add a four-cent-per-gallon gas tax to address a $1.7 billion transportation project backlog in the county.

The new ordinance will provide an estimated $10 million dollars each year in new transportation infrastructure investments.

Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart said the investment will allow the county to address “critical transportation needs” that residents have been asking about.

Those include railroad grade separations, road widenings, safer turn lanes and other improvements which will aim to reduce congestion, carbon emissions and improve traffic safety.

“Many of these projects, if left unaddressed, pose significant traffic congestion and safety issues,” Hart said.

The ordinance goes into effect July 1 and all of the revenue will stay in Lake County. It is required to be solely dedicated to improving the county’s transportation system.

In 2019, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law a $45 billion infrastructure plan, which included doubling the gas tax from 19 cents per gallon to 38 cents per gallon.

Read more here.

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The Village Board of Trustees will be holding their monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM. Some of the topics for discussion and/or vote include:

  • [Vote] A Resolution Approving the Execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement with Cook County for the Donlea Road Drainage Investigation Resolution 20 –
  • [Vote] A Resolution Authorizing the Purchase of ALPR Equipment and Related Services and Software for use by the Village Police Department Resolution 20 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Granting an Amendment to the Existing Special Use Permit for an Expansion of the Parking Lot at 160 Hawthorne Road Ordinance 20 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Adopting by Reference of the Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance 20 –
  • [Vote] A Resolution Consenting to an Amendment of the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions and Easements for Hurstbourne Subdivision Resolution 20 –
  • [Vote] Resolution of Proclamation Congratulating Janet Agnoletti Upon Her Retirement From the Barrington Area Council of Governments Res 20 –

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. Those wishing to try to listing in on the meeting can phone 508-924-1464.

Related: Mosque replica planned for 160 Hawthorne Road?,” “Cook County to investigate Donlea Road flooding problems

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We searched on Barrington Hills for the results of the presidential election, and the results are depicted above.

Joe Biden won Illinois by nearly 17 percentage points, Sen. Dick Durbin sailed to reelection over Republican challenger Mark Curran and the graduated-rate income tax amendment fell by a wide margin.

The statewide results were mirrored in final tallies from Chicago and the collar counties. Biden defeated President Donald Trump in those areas by a 57.4% to 40.7% margin; Durbin had 54.5% of the vote to Curran’s 38.8%; and Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed income tax amendment fell 53.4% to 46.6%.

But break down the vote behind those apparent landslides into the smallest electoral pieces — precincts — and a more nuanced picture emerges. Solidly Democratic precincts in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood saw the tax amendment fall by a wide margin. Same story in parts of Libertyville. Pockets of Niles went for Trump but saw Durbin finish ahead in the race for U.S. Senate. Parts of Lake Forest went for Biden but not for Durbin.

Search (HERE) for your address, ZIP code or town to see how your neighborhood compares. The buttons above the map allow you to switch from the race for president, U.S. Senate and the tax vote.

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Infusion of party resources fails to bring big blue wave as Republicans relish results

(Click on image to enlarge)

Illinois Democrats and their financial backers spent big – much more than Republicans – on races for statehouse districts that include portions of McHenry County in this month’s election, but ultimately failed to flip more than one area seat.

“I think this election showed a lot of the electorate agreed with Republican values and policies, and we don’t necessarily have to spend as much if we’re strong on the policy,” McHenry County Republican Party Chairman Tyler Wilke said.

Despite Republican campaigns being at a huge fundraising disadvantage to Democrats in the three races for the statehouse seats representing the southeast corner of McHenry County, the GOP still put in more effort to hang onto those three local state offices than it has in the past, McHenry County Democratic Party Chairwoman Kristina Zahorik said.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Republican Martin McLaughlin, who handily won election to the District 52 seat over Democratic challenger Marci Suelzer and Green Party candidate Alia Sarfraz, said he thinks the varied geography of his supporters shows there is a conservative tilt among voters in the region visible across jurisdictional boundaries.

McLaughlin earned more votes than Suelzer in each of the four counties – McHenry, Lake, Cook and Kane – that make up his district.

“That’s a good sign that our message cut across the main street communities in the 52nd (House District) and the bedroom communities, and all different kinds of economic and social metrics,” McLaughlin said.

Read more here.

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Suburban voters already have reportedly cast more than 266,000 early or mail-in ballots ahead of the Nov. 3rd presidential election, with early voting slated to expand across the region starting today.

County clerks are ramping up early voting today, with 17 sites available in Lake County, 11 in McHenry and more than 50 in suburban Cook. Kane County offers seven permanent early voting sites, eight alternative sites and various mobile locations starting today through Oct. 28th.

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This week, all driveways throughout the project were completed, all traffic signals and traffic signal electrical work was completed and sections of curb and gutter and sidewalk were placed on Hart Road and US Route 14.  

On Monday, August 17, 2020, the traffic signals at US Route 14 and Hart Road will be activated at 10:00 am. Please be prepared for traffic delays between 9:00 am and noon, as the traffic signals are being tested and activated. Also on Monday August 17, 2020, the detour for South Hart Road will be removed.  It should be noted that the existing detour for North Hart Road will remain in place. 

Next week work will begin on the retaining wall at the NE corner of Hart and US Route 14, landscaping will be occurring throughout the project and relocation of the sanitary force main on the North side of US Route 14 will begin.

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Lake Zurich Unit School District 95 borders Barrington CUSD 220 as seen on the map above (click to enlarge).

About two-thirds of students in Lake Zurich Unit School District 95 will spend at least part of their time in classrooms this fall, according to district officials working to develop safety precautions before school begins.

The school board last week unanimously approved plans that give parents the option to choose either at-home learning or a hybrid of in-person and at-home learning.

Jean Malek, the district’s director of communications, said about 32% of students overall selected full e-learning. Malek said 35% of elementary school students, 32% of middle school students and 28% of high school students will attend all classes electronically.

To allow time for school officials to create schedules, assign staffing and determine transportation routes, parents had until the end of July to decide.

Regardless of choice, e-learning classes are scheduled to begin for every student in the district on Aug. 24, with the beginning of in-person classes staggered by grade level. In-person start dates are: special education on Aug. 24, kindergarten through second grade on Sept. 8, third through sixth on Sept. 14, seventh through ninth on Sept. 28, and high school sophomores through seniors on Oct. 5.

In the time since the school board decided to offer a hybrid model, some of the biggest school districts in the state — including Chicago Public Schools and U-46 — have elected to conduct classes remotely. Nearby districts such as Barrington Area Unit District 220 and Round Lake Area Unit District 116 both will start the year with remote learning only.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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