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While some towns want state lawmakers to take quick action on a recommendation to combine suburban and downstate police and firefighter pension funds in an effort to boost returns and cut costs, not all municipalities are on board.

Senate President John Cullerton introduced a bill Tuesday to consolidate the 649 suburban and downstate police and fire pensions. Gov. J.B. Pritzker followed with a statement praising Cullerton’s move in the first half of a six-day fall veto session that ended Wednesday.

Barrington Hills is asking lawmakers to take their time and not pass the proposal during the veto session. The session’s second three-day leg runs Nov. 12-14.

In part, Barrington Hills’ resolution says the Pension Consolidation Feasibility Task Force’s recommendation would be a complex financial, economic and operational undertaking requiring “proper and comprehensive analysis and review by all stakeholders” and should not be pursued until the regular legislative session starts next year.

“In my opinion, they’re trying to penalize cities that are performing well and lump them into cities that are not performing well,” Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin said.

Read more here.

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Algonquin Road

Engineering will begin next year for a planned resurfacing of nearly 5 miles of Algonquin Road between Route 25 and Dundee Road in Barrington Hills. About three-quarters of the $10 million funding allocation is for bridge repair and replacement at Spring Creek.

Since 2017, the state has suggested plans to widen Algonquin Road with two lanes in each direction. If that’s the case, village officials have asked for it to be done as a scenic parkway rather than a typical four-lane state highway.

Village President Martin McLaughlin used a baseball analogy when describing the start of engineering work on the multiyear project. “In a nine-inning game, it means the pitcher is warmed up, on the field, and ready to start the process,” he said.

Barrington Road

A $19 million project calls for reconstruction of a 1.5-mile stretch of Barrington Road from south of Algonquin Road to Central Road, and adding a lane each way on a small portion north of Mundhank Road. A bike path is also planned on the west side of Barrington Road.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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The Barrington Area Council Of Governments will host a water testing event November 5th for Barrington-area residents who receive their water from private wells.

Households with private wells are advised to test for bacteria and nitrates on an annual basis to detect invisible, odorless contaminants. Bacteria and nitrates can result from animal or human waste or fertilizer components reaching the well water and can cause illness. 

Residents of Barrington, Barrington Hills, Deer Park, Lake Barrington, North Barrington, South Barrington and Tower Lakes and the unincorporated areas of Barrington and Cuba townships are eligible.

Kits can be purchased for $15 between October 28th to November 1st at village and township offices of BACOG member communities. They can be dropped off between 1 and 7 PM November 5th, at The Garlands of Barrington, 1000 Garlands Lane, Barrington. Results will be mailed to homeowners within two weeks.

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Effective property tax rates for homes in Chicago, calculated as a percentage of their market value, continue to be among the lowest for communities in northeast Illinois, according to a report issued Monday by the nonpartisan Civic Federation.

The group said among 12 selected Cook County communities, Chicago in 2017 had the lowest average effective tax rate for homes at 1.74%. Its report found that Harvey had the highest rate, 7.08%.

On its face, the finding could be seen as cover for Mayor Lori Lightfoot as she considers a property tax increase to help her wrestle with a projected $838 million budget deficit for next year. But that’s unlikely to mean much to Chicago homeowners who have seen steady increases in their tax bills and are bracing for more.

The federation’s report, however, documents a continued pattern that favors Chicago over communities that are largely poor or with a declining tax base. With a large source of commercial and industrial property plus many expensive homes, local governments in Chicago don’t need high tax rates.

Read the full Chicago Sun-Times report, including reference to Barrington, here.

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A game-changing underpass at Route 14 and the CN tracks is within Barrington’s grasp after regional officials awarded the village $48.5 million in federal funds Thursday.

Barrington leaders have been chipping away for years at the $73.5 million project separating busy Route 14 from the Canadian National Railway tracks that host multiple freight trains. The project will rebuild Route 14 so it runs under the CN tracks.

Federal grants have already supplied about $11 million, and Darch expects the remaining $14 million to be generated through federal, state, and some local contributions along with funding from CN.

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and a related group, the Metropolitan Planning Organization policy committee, approved the grant Thursday. About $10.6 million will be awarded to Barrington in 2020 and $37.9 million will come in 2023.

Read the full Daily Herald article here.

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Of the 3,622 people living in Barrington Hills in 2017, 51.2 percent (1,856) were women and 48.8 percent (1,766) were men, according to U.S. Census Bureau data obtained by the Illinois Business Daily.

Females 18 and over outnumbered males in the same age group by a ratio of 1,141-to-929. In the 65 years and over age range, there were 527 females and 471 males.

An agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, the Census Bureau is responsible for compiling statistical facts about the American people, places and economy. Data for this story was compiled from the bureau’s American Community Survey. Information from the survey helps to determine how federal and state funds are distributed.

Statistical data for 2018 will be released later this year.

Barrington Hills’ population by sex

Source: US Census Bureau

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An assortment of changes go into effect Tuesday for the commuter parking at Barrington’s Metra station, including higher daily fees, a new way of paying and the launch of a premium parking program.

An assortment of changes go into effect Tuesday for commuters parking at Barrington’s Metra station.

Higher daily weekday fees, more available spaces, premium parking and a new way to pay are on tap for the station that attracts commuters from Barrington and several surrounding suburbs. Officials said the changes were prompted by increased demand and a desire to provide a more equitable distribution of spots.

Among the changes: It’ll cost $3.50 per day instead of $3 to park in the north and south commuter lots. Village officials expanded the daily parking opportunities by deciding to open the south lot to everyone and no longer reserve it just for drivers from towns belonging to the Barrington Area Council of Governments.

Those seeking a daily weekday fee price break may obtain prepaid hangtags for $200 per quarter. That’ll take the daily cost down to $3.14.

The village created 67 new spaces on the north side by buying the First Church of Christ, Scientist parking lot. Officials said the daily fee hike will help cover the $625,000 cost, along with those of installing of train platform heat lamps, continuing maintenance and a planned new commuter entrance off Northwest Highway near Barrington Animal Hospital.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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