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BACOG Turns 50

Janet Agnoletti (pictured third from left at a 2017 Barrington area legislative breakfast) is the executive director of BACOG

The July/August 2017 issue of Quintessential Barrington featured the story of the Barrington Area Council of Governments (BACOG) which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. When it was formed in 1970, the villages that make up the Barrington area were relatively young in their organization. The exception was the Village of Barrington, incorporated in 1865, the landmark hub around which these newer communities gradually emerged. Barrington Hills and Deer Park incorporated in 1957; North Barrington, Lake Barrington, and South Barrington in 1959; and Tower Lakes in 1966.

While each village would develop its own character, its own sense of place, there was commonality that the location and natural resources of the entire area needed an organization to protect those resources, and provide strength in numbers to counter the pressures of burgeoning development in the northwestern suburbs.

Thus, nurtured into being by enlightened leadership from the Barrington Area Development Council, the Barrington Area Council of Governments met for the first time on April 25, 1970. The Executive Board consisted of the village presidents of the member villages. In 2004, the Council was joined by the supervisors of Barrington and Cuba Townships, representing those unincorporated areas still under county jurisdiction, and thus subject to possible incompatible development pressures.

Read the full Quintessential Barrington article here.

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Every year around this time, we reach out to Northwest suburban mayors and village presidents and ask them to tell us something their community accomplished in the year gone by and something they hope to accomplish in the year ahead. Today, we share the accomplishments of 2019. On Wednesday, we’ll tell you what the mayors hope to see in 2020.

Martin McLaughlin, Barrington Hills

The Village of Barrington Hills is on track to, once again, lower the levy, making it the sixth consecutive year. Since 2013, the village Levy has been reduced by more than 24%. We will continue to lead by example, responding to our residents’ desire to see tax relief.

In 2019, the Village of Barrington Hills approved a revitalized Comprehensive Plan, which was recognized by the Barrington Area Council of Governments. The innovative format allows residents and those interested to explore the unique property rights and freedoms available within our 30-squar- mile village.

In conjunction with our continuing efforts to preserve natural habitat and open spaces, the Village of Barrington Hills has been recognized and certified as one of the first Bee Cities in Illinois, which was showcased at The Hills Are Alive Fall Festival this past September with a honey-tasting competition.

Read the full year end summary 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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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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With spots already awarded to the first wave of nearly 60 applicants, Barrington is continuing to sell newly created “premium” parking spaces located closest to the village’s Metra station.

Applications became available in late May for the premium commuter parking permit that will cost $1,200 a year per space. The reserved parking program will start Oct. 1.

“Fifty-nine spots are now sold, and all original applicants have been assigned their zones and their particular spot in that zone through a lottery system,” said Patty Dowd Schmitz, Barrington’s director of communications, marketing and events. “We are continuing to sell spots as they come in, assigning them on a first-come, first-served basis.”

Barrington also is offering commuters an opportunity for a discount from the daily rate starting Oct. 1, with a prepaid quarterly permit for a first-come, first-serve space for $200, or $800 a year. Also on Oct. 1, the daily fee will rise 50 cents to $3.50.

Read more here.

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In May of last year, the Board of Trustees directed the Plan Commission to review the Village Comprehensive Plan and make recommendations for any changes they saw fit for the Board to adopt. The last time the Comprehensive Plan was updated was 2005 and amendments were approved in 2008.

After nearly a year of work and meetings, the Plan Commission has agreed to the changes they would like seen in the Plan. A copy of their proposed 2019 Village Comprehensive Plan can be viewed and downloaded here.

A public hearing is scheduled for July 8th at 6:30 PM to allow residents to voice their comments, or feedback can be provided to the Village Clerk at clerk@vbhil.gov.

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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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