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Speakers at the 2020 Economic Summit update business leaders and the community. The 2021 Economic Summit, “State of the Greater Barrington Area,” will be held virtually from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3. (Courtesy of Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce)

The Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce will host a 2021 Virtual Economic Summit, “State of the Greater Barrington Area,” from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Village officials from 11 surrounding communities will update local business leaders and the community on current economic conditions and what lies ahead for the Greater Barrington Area in 2021.

The public is invited to attend this virtual event. Cost to attend is $10. Register at www.BarringtonChamber.com.

“We are offering our Economic Summit virtually this year so that our village leaders can speak to the effects of 2020, where we are now, and what lies ahead for our region,” said BACC President/CEO Suzanne Corr. “We will hear firsthand updates on what impacts local business, residents, and the prosperity of our communities.”

Confirmed speakers to date include: Karen Darch of Barrington; Martin McLaughlin of Barrington Hills; Greg Rusteberg of Deer Park; Nandia Black of Kildeer; Kevin Richardson of Lake Barrington; Bill Jacob of Long Grove; Eleanor Sweet McDonnell of North Barrington; Shannon Yeaton of Port Barrington; and Robert Palmer of South Barrington.

Speakers will discuss the 2020 year in review, economic development accomplishments, and goals for 2020. The BACC Economic Summit is open to the public; registration for the online event is required to receive a link.

Submitted by Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce

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Kimberly Beattie Saunders was named executive director of the Barrington Area Council of Governments, only the third director since the association’s creation in 1970.

The Barrington Area Council of Governments will have a new executive director, only the third in the agency’s 51-year history.

Janet Agnoletti retires Friday after 20 years of service, and the council’s board appointed Kimberly Beattie Saunders as her successor.

Saunders brings a combination of government and legal experience, which is “a great match” for the council’s mission, said Paula McCombie, board vice chairwoman and South Barrington village president.

Saunders most recently worked as an attorney on federal financial regulatory issues, and has served as policy advisor to the governor’s office and senior government relations officer for the Chicago Transit Authority.

Saunders and her family moved from Washington, D.C., to the Barrington area in 2017, and she serves on the Tower Lakes plan commission and the North Barrington Elementary School PTO.

She said she’s most looking forward to working with local leaders “who are truly dedicated to collaboration.”

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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Barrington Village President Karen Darch

Barrington Village President Karen Darch, three incumbent village trustees and Village Clerk Tony Ciganek will run for reelection in the spring as part of a slate they’re calling “Barrington Forward.”

Darch, who is seeking her fifth term as the village’s top elected official, said in an announcement of the slate Tuesday that the group provides “strong, steady, and proven leadership” as Barrington continues to deal with fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re working proactively to support community efforts, help our local businesses survive, and maintain the village’s fiscal stability by remaining fiscally responsible,” she said. “Meanwhile, we’re keeping an eye on the future. Barrington was thriving before this pandemic, and the Barrington Forward team will ensure we continue this positive momentum.”

The slate’s trustee candidates are Todd Sholeen, who’s served on the board since 2015; Jennifer Wondrasek, who was elected in 2017 and is seeking a second term on the panel; and Mike Moran, who was appointed to the board last year when former Trustee Jeff Janssen resigned because he was moving out of state.

Ciganek will be seeking his second term as village clerk.

Read on here.

Related: Barrington trustees agree to sales tax incentives for two high-end vehicle dealerships, bringing ‘economic rewards over time’

Barrington launching ‘Curious Questions with Karen Darch’ podcast

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Barrington Village President Karen Darch

Barrington is offering a longtime car dealership an economic incentive so it can expand and stay in the village.

Motor Werks of Barrington and the village reached an agreement, approved by trustees at the Oct. 26 Village Board meeting that allows the dealership to share a percentage of sales tax over a 10-year term. The incentive establishes a base sales tax amount of $2.7 million, a figure derived from an average of sales taxes over several previous years, according to village documents.

Under the agreement, Motor Werks would receive 65% of all sales tax revenues above the base as incentive payments and the village would get 35%, officials said.

The dealership, which sells high-end brands like Porsche and BMW, has been dealing with inadequate parking for its inventory, traffic congestion around the service and wash bays, and an inability to relocate its Cadillac dealership onsite, village officials said. It plans to purchase the Barrington Woods office complex, at 18 E. Dundee Ave., for redevelopment. The dealership will add a parking structure, vehicle recondition center and move the Cadillac brand.

Village Manager Scott Anderson said Motor Werks has been an important business in the community, and it is in the village’s best interest to partner with them to provide economic support.

Read more here.

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A new federal rule allows liquefied natural gas to be transported by train across the U.S., sparking concerns from Barrington and other suburbs.

A new player, liquefied natural gas, has joined the list of hazardous materials cruising through Illinois by train — a move the federal government says is safe but raises fears of out-of-control fires and explosions for some suburbs.

This summer, the U.S. Department of Transportation authorized railroads to haul liquefied natural gas (LNG) across the country.

Prior to approval, more than 460 entities commented — mostly critically — on the plan, including Barrington, which is crisscrossed by the Union Pacific and Canadian National railroads.

The potential for a catastrophe “is quite acute,” village officials stated. “An uncontrolled LNG release involving fire stemming from a derailment scenario must burn itself out as there is no practical way to extinguish it.”

Federal officials are confident that upgraded DOT-113 tank cars with double shells and thick carbon steel can safely contain any spills.

New requirements, such as remote monitoring of tank car pressure, will “provide for the safe transportation of LNG by rail to more parts of the country where this energy source is needed,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao stated.

Read on here.

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The 8th annual Hills Are Alive Fall Festival is three weeks from today

The Village mailed their Summer newsletter to residents earlier this month. Some of the topics covered included:

  • The upcoming Hills are Alive Fall Festival
  • Voting information and critical dates
  • BACOG’s annual well water testing event
  • Updates from the Police Department
  • Village roads speed limit enforcement
  • Words of prevention on theft or burglary, and
  • A pop Village knowledge quiz

If you did not receive your copy of the newsletter, you can find it here.

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Earlier this month hundreds of people gathered at an event at Citizens Park in Barrington (seeHundreds gather in Barrington ‘to educate people’ on black lives”).

Last weekend we published,Barrington cancels July 4th parade and fireworks while postponing other summer events,” and before we knew it, a reader posted a comment that was actually weighing on our minds:

“Curious as to why fireworks, parade and family fitness run, all Barrington traditions, are cancelled but BLM rally in Citizen Park allowed?”

Perhaps there was good reason for one or two event cancellations, but isn’t the 4th of July fireworks display just a peaceful gathering in a park-like setting at dusk?

If there’s some logic here, please share it or maybe someone should ask newly appointed BACOG chair Karen Darch.

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Barrington Village President Karen Darch

Officials from the Barrington Area Council of Governments have announced a new executive board leadership team for 2020-21.

Barrington Village President Karen Darch will serve as the group’s chair, with South Barrington Mayor Paula McCombie as vice chair.

Barrington Township Supervisor Amy Nykaza served as board chair in 2019-20.

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The Barrington METRA station appeared all but vacant this morning at 9:30 AM.

As Illinois and the Chicago region move toward establishing a “new normal” in the time of COVID-19, Metra is providing more details about the steps it is taking to ensure passengers will feel safe using its system.

“We know more than ever that passengers need to feel safe and confident using our service,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “We know more than ever the importance of providing a clean, hygienic experience on the platforms and on the trains. And we know more than ever the need to promote safe and healthy practices, such as social distancing and wearing face coverings.”

Social distancing/train schedules

Metra will provide an opportunity for responsible physical distancing on its trains as much as and as long as possible. In general, Metra will aim for trains that are no more than about half full: one passenger per two-seater on the lower level and one passenger per every other seat on the upper level. (There will be exceptions for families or others travelling together.)

Metra will continue to use the current alternate weekday schedules (view them here) at the start of June but is adding cars to trains to make sure there is plenty of room for passengers to spread out. It will add more cars as needed. If Metra suspects there is potential for a train to become more crowded, it will try to operate an unscheduled train behind that one to aid with serving awaiting passengers, or it will start to add more scheduled trains to the line. Metra will continue to add cars and trains as ridership and travel patterns dictate.

Read the complete METRA release here.

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