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Archive for the ‘Topics Of Interest’ Category

It’s going to cost Kane County and Algonquin residents (among others) to use the Longmeadow Parkway toll bridge when it opens in 2022. It just won’t cost as much as it will for other people — unless you’re a truck driver.

The Kane County Board’s transportation committee gave preliminary approval to place a toll of 95 cents for most vehicles crossing the bridge over the Fox River. KDOT officials also unveiled a plan for the residents of Kane County and Algonquin that will give them unlimited access to the toll bridge for $200 a year.

The discount is in recognition of an overall goal to pay off the $28 million borrowed to help build the bridge with money from outside the county.

KDOT officials said the $200 cost pays for itself for any resident who uses the toll bridge round-trip twice a week for the year. Commuters who use the bridge five days per week for work would see that $200 cost average out to about 38 cents per crossing, officials said.

If you live outside Kane County or Algonquin and plan to be a regular user of the toll bridge, KDOT will offer a $300 annual pass. All discounts will require an I-PASS.

Read more here.

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Huntley School District 158 is expecting to flip the switch on a series of solar panels estimated to save the district $4.2 million in energy costs over the next 20 years by the end of March.

Last year, the district partnered with ForeFront Power, which agreed to design, permit, finance, install and maintain the solar energy project across all three of the district’s campuses. The renewable energy company had estimated that the installation of solar panels would offset 12.3 million pounds of carbon emissions in the first year.

Read more from the Northwest Herald here.

Editorial note: We applaud District 158’s forward thinking initiative and hope Barrington District 220 taxpayers take note before approving the March 17 referendum.

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Fuming in the idling car while an interminable freight train steals 20 minutes you’ll never get back? Get revenge — or at least get on the record — by reporting the delay to a new Federal Railroad Administration database.

The agency recently launched the website www.fra.dot.gov/blockedcrossings with the intent of capturing data on blocked crossings to help identify chronic situations where trains cause traffic jams and hamstring first-responders for long stretches of time.

Freight trains have grown in length by about 25% since 2008, with trains on some railroads averaging 1.2 to 1.4 miles in 2017, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Read more here.

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The Daily Herald reports Barrington plans to start a “Curious Questions with Karen Darch” podcast.

Darch, who is Barrington’s top elected official as village president, and others are expected to answer residents’ questions in the podcast segments that should run 20 to 30 minutes.

Patty Dowd Schmitz, the village’s director of communications and community engagement, said work continues on logistics and determining a platform for the podcast.

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Barrington might seek a suggested donation from patrons attending the annual art festival held downtown over Memorial Day weekend. Donations would help festival organizers recover some of the estimated $2,000 it costs to host the event.

Barrington might seek a suggested donation from patrons attending the village’s annual art festival, in an effort to cover expenses for the event.

Set for downtown Barrington from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 23 and 24, over Memorial Day weekend, the 11th annual art festival once again will feature juried artists in a variety of mediums, live music, food and children’s activities. Last year’s free Barrington Art Festival drew about 8,000 visitors over the two days, according to the village.

Although this year’s festival would remain a free event, the Barrington Cultural Commission is exploring whether to seek a $5 suggested contribution at the entrances. The 12-member volunteer commission is a branch of village government that coordinates and co-sponsors activities such as the art fest.

Read more here.

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The list of the 25 most expensive Chicago area zip codes in 2019 includes Wayne (14) and Barrington (17).

That ka-ching sound you hear could be coming from down the street or around the corner. Chicagoland has some pricey areas when it comes to real estate sales.

According to real estate website PropertyShark, of the 10 most expensive ZIP codes in the entire Chicago area, six are North Shore communities, three are western suburbs, and one is in the Loop. Kenilworth ZIP code 60043 is No. 1 at a median sales price of $1.24 million.

“There are multiple reasons why the most expensive ZIP codes are what they are,” said Bill Gill, a manager for Baird & Warner’s Naperville branch and a real estate veteran of 32 years. “Those reasons include: consistency in housing, schools, crime rates and cost of living.”

Clusters of high-priced residential areas — like on the North Shore — also make sense, Gill noted.

“Generally speaking, the most expensive ZIP codes are surrounded by other expensive ZIP codes, which ‘insulate’ the property values, therefore making the most expensive ZIP codes a ‘safe’ investment,” he said. “If there are little to no inexpensive homes in an area, it keeps all sales prices at a high level.”

Read more of the Chicago Tribune story here.

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The Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce will host its 2020 Annual Economic Summit, “State of the Barrington Region,” from 8-10 AM Wednesday, February 5th at Barrington’s White House, 145 W. Main St., Barrington.

The event gathers village officials from 11 surrounding communities to update local business leaders and the community on current economic conditions and what lies ahead for the Barrington area in 2020. Confirmed speakers include Karen Darch of Barrington; Martin McLaughlin of Barrington Hills; Beth McAndrews 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; Paula McCombie of South Barrington and David Parro of Tower Lakes.

The public is invited. Seating is limited. To register, call the BACC office at 847-381-2525, or email events@barringtonchamber.com. You can also register online at the BACC website, www.BarringtonChamber.com

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