Archive for the ‘McHenry’ Category

MC Gas

Drivers stopping at McHenry County gas stations in 2024 will feel a little more of a pinch at the pump.

The McHenry County Board voted Tuesday to raise the county’s tax on gasoline next year to 8 cents per gallon from the current 4.7 cents per gallon.

Local drivers were generally displeased with the tax increase Wednesday.

“I just find the gas tax pathetic,” said Matthew Beyer, who works in Crystal Lake. “I spend too much on gas anyway.”

He wasn’t the only one.

“I’m glad I’m moving,” said Dan Seiwerth of Island Lake. “The taxes are a lot cheaper anywhere else.”

Read more here.

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An appeals court this week temporarily reinstated an Algonquin Township trustee after he was removed from office in June due to a prior felony conviction.

Edward Zimel Jr. was elected in 2021 as a trustee for Algonquin Township.

The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office in August 2022 filed a complaint in court seeking the removal of Zimel from his position.

Zimel was charged with two counts of felony intimidation and one count of armed violence in 1990 in Cook County, prosecutors said.

He pleaded guilty to one of the intimidation counts and was sentenced on the charge, prosecutors said.

Illinois township code says that anyone convicted “in any court located in the United States of any infamous crime, bribery, perjury, or other felony” is not eligible to hold office.

“Although the felony conviction of Mr. Zimel stems from 1990, the statute does not contain any limitations or restrictions regarding the time frame for disqualification based on a felony conviction,” the state’s attorney’s office said in a statement.

More here.

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Haegers Bend Land

“This 23 acre parcel in sought after Barrington Hills is currently zoned for 5 acre single family lots.

This property is IDEAL FOR: This parcel so you can build your dream home and have 23 acres of privacy, the seller has also discussed the potential of community developments with Barrington Hills.

The options they discussed are: 1 acre single family homes and a Duplex home community.”

Learn more here. Download flyer here.

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MC 2022 Home Sales

These are the top 100 home sales for McHenry County in 2022, calculated for the 12 months ending Dec. 31, according to BlockShopper.com.

In 2022, there were 5,540 homes sold, with a median home sale price of $275,000 in McHenry County.

More here.

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LMP To Nowhere

Kane County officials are hoping their counterparts in Cook and McHenry counties will contribute toward the cost of the Longmeadow Parkway project and help avert charging tolls at the bridge over the Fox River. Daily Herald File Photo

Funding issues have dogged the Longmeadow Parkway traffic project in northeast Kane County virtually since its inception with a $4 million federal grant in 2005. As the $135 million roadway lumbers toward a late 2024 completion, one lingering, important question remains — how to pay off $35 million in bonds Kane County used to help with the construction and support ongoing maintenance.

The ultimate fallback has long been assumed to be to make the Longmeadow Parkway Bridge, the final leg of the project, a toll bridge, the only such local toll bridge in the state. Almost no one likes that option, though, and Kane County officials have said it might be averted altogether if McHenry and Cook counties, portions of which are served by the 5.6-mile roadway, will pitch in $1 million each in recognition of the fact that their constituents will benefit substantially from the traffic-relief valve running from Huntley and Boyer roads eastward to Route 62 in Algonquin.

McHenry County Board Chair Mike Buehler acknowledged the benefits in an interview with Shaw Local Media last week. While coming well short of agreeing to Kane County’s request, Buehler did note that some estimates have found motorists from McHenry County would pay $1 million a year if the bridge ends up charging a toll.

“If we’re looking at a scenario where a toll would be eliminated, I think that would be a pretty compelling argument,” Buehler said.

The argument may not be quite as persuasive in Cook County, where just a small sliver near Barrington Hills would be most affected, but then again $1 million out of Cook’s multibillion-dollar budget is substantially less noticeable than it would be compared to the much smaller revenue picture in McHenry.

And, in both counties as well as Kane, the new road is expected to result in hundreds of millions of dollars in new business activity. This, of course, in addition to the parkway’s primary purpose of alleviating long years of bad traffic headaches in the region.

Read more here.

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Bridge To Nowhere

McHenry County officials might consider a request to contribute financially to Kane County’s Longmeadow Parkway project. (Rick West | Staff Photographer)

While Kane County hopes its neighbors will help foot the bill for its Longmeadow Parkway project and keep it from becoming a tollway, some officials in McHenry County are hesitant about what’s being asked.

Kane County officials have asked neighboring McHenry and Cook counties to each front $1 million for the project, which spans more than 5 miles in the northern part of Kane County and passes through Algonquin, Carpentersville and Barrington Hills.

Kane County Board Chair Corinne Pierog recently told county board members she believes a combination of state money, COVID-19 recovery money and those contributions will pay off the bond the county issued to pay for Longmeadow’s construction.

McHenry County Board member Michael Skala, a Huntley Republican who heads the county board’s finance committee, said he isn’t sure where McHenry County would find that money.

“We’d have to figure out where to get it,” Skala said. “It’s a tough sell, especially when you have 18 board members.”

McHenry County Board Chair Mike Buehler, a Crystal Lake Republican, said Monday it wouldn’t be unprecedented for the county to contribute to projects outside of its boundary, citing the nearly $46 million Randall Road construction project from a few years ago.

More here.

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Illinois is home to 13 of the nation’s 50 housing markets that are most at-risk of a downturn. That’s according to a recent report by ATTOM Data Solutions, a company that provides comprehensive data on property values and taxes across the nation.

The Chicagoland area is, collectively, among the most “vulnerable to decline” property markets in the nation. Property in Kane County is the 6th most at-risk of a decline. Will County is 8th. McHenry is 13th and Cook County is the nation’s 20th most at-risk.

A look at a county-by-county graphic shows that no counties in Illinois’ neighboring states made the top-50 list. On the contrary, Wisconsin had six of the least at-risk counties in the nation (Brown County, Dane County, Eau Claire County, La Crosse County, Washington County and Winnebago County).

Other very at-risk U.S. locations include inland California, New Jersey, Delaware and New York City.

ATTOMs’ analysis was based on a variety of metrics, including an area’s general property costs, amount of underwater loans and foreclosures, and its unemployment rate.

More here.

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2023 Candidates

Top from left, Barry Altshuler, Katey Baldassano, Diana L. Clopton and Leah Collister Lazzari and, bottom from left, Nelda Munoz, Leonard Munson and Matt Sheriff

Football season is behind us, but instant replay can be one of the more agonizing and frustrating moments during games. During that period of time, referees must watch plays in super slow motion to review every millisecond of movement to get the call correct. The announcers always state that the officials need “irrefutable video evidence” to overturn the original ruling.

After review of Tuesday’s unofficial District 220 Board of Education (BOE) election results, we find ourselves in replay mode looking at myriad data points to assess the political science.

This year’s BOE election included two incumbents, Barry Altschuler and Leah Collister-Lazzari, as well as five first time candidates: Katey Baldassano, Leonard Munson, Matt Sheriff (collectively running on the Action PAC slate), Nelda Munoz and Diana Clopton.

Early voting was available from March 20th – April 3rd with election day voting taking place on Tuesday, April 4th. The unofficial Lake County election night results showed a striking disparity between those who chose to vote in person (either through early voting or on election day) compared to those who voted by mail.

The Action PAC candidates and Nelda Munoz all performed far better with those who voted in person while the two incumbents and Diana Clopton performed remarkably better with mail in ballots. The top three vote getters amongst those who voted in person in Lake County were the three Action PAC candidates. The top 3 vote by mail getters, as a percentage of their overall total number of votes, were the two incumbents and Diana Clopton. The data breakdown is seen here:

2023 Numbers

So what does this mean? Clearly, a considerable effort was made by Clopton, Altshuler and Lazzari to execute on mail in ballots. We also know that both Lake County and Cook County offer the option for voters to permanently vote by mail (since the 2020 general election).

We also know that Governor Pritzker promised to allocate $500,000 and other Democratic Party resources to school board races during this election cycle. We also know that Clopton, Altshuler and Lazzari claimed they were not part of a slate and instead self-identified as “independent” candidates.

Is it just coincidence that Clopton, Altshuler and Lazzari had nearly identical percentages of their vote tally to come from mail in ballots? Is it possible the Democratic Party of Illinois harvested the necessary number of ballots supporting Clopton, Altshuler and Lazzari to overtake the Action PAC candidates despite their claim of independence? Should the mail in ballots themselves be subject to a legal challenge flag?

The answer is we do not know and do not have irrefutable evidence to say otherwise. What we can unequivocally state is that we are an evenly ideologically divided town when it comes to overseeing our schools.

The so called “independent” candidates – and let’s be honest, they are the left leaning candidates – gathered 6,507 (50.35%) votes in Lake County as of election night and the center/right leaning candidates collected 6,415 (49.64%) votes. We don’t see a mandate in those numbers, and it would behoove the new BOE to recognize this chasm and respect the wide range of community perspectives. After all, the next football season is just a few months away.

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Click on the county below to view county election results:


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Early voting will be available to voter starting tomorrow. For locations and times, visit your county’s information at:

To obtain expanded information, visit Cook County, Kane County, Lake County or McHenry County early voting sites.

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