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Archive for the ‘Longmeadow Parkway’ Category

The village of Barrington Hills is making plans to improve the 5-mile stretch of Algonquin Road between Routes 25 and 68. 

Algonquin Road, also known as Route 62, is being studied to determine whether it should be widened.

The project is in Phase 1, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Phase 1 should cost about $3.5 million, said Guy Tridgell, director of communications for the Illinois Department of Transportation.  

The improvements are in response to the construction of the Longmeadow Parkway Tollway Bridge, Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin said. The bridge will span the Fox River and connect Randall Road in the west to Algonquin Road in the east, increasing traffic by about 8,000 cars on Algonquin Road.

Read more from the Northwest Herald 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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The Illinois Department of Transportation will be conducting a second public meeting tomorrow, June 25th, regarding their, “Illinois Route 62 Phase 1 Study.” The meeting is scheduled from 4PM – 7PM at the Barrington Park District located at 235 Lions Drive, Barrington.

IDOT’s first public meeting on the topic was held November 9th, 2017, so clearly they are taking their time. For those wishing to review what was covered at that first meeting, click here.

Those wishing to explore IDOT’s website covering further information on their progress (or lack thereof), on plans to widen Algonquin Road to four lanes in Barrington Hills, click here.      

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The injured relationship between Kane County Board Democrats and the board’s chairman, Republican Chris Lauzen, entered the week as a light sprain but left on crutches after Lauzen described recent Democratic lobbying efforts as “pathetic.”

The confrontation occurred during a meeting of the board’s legislative committee, which is co-chaired by Democrats Jarett Sanchez and Matt Hanson. The committee’s focus during the state budget process was securing about $45 million for the Longmeadow Parkway to avoid the need to for a toll bridge to complete the project.

There are still pools of money in the state budget not yet attached to specific projects, but no money has been earmarked for Longmeadow so far.

Read more here.

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Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen blasted local state lawmakers for not delivering money for the Longmeadow Parkway that would help prevent the need for a toll bridge to complete the project, but at least one state senator said she never heard from him.

Now, expectations for any state funding might depend on whether lawmakers would contribute some of the member initiative money each received in the budget to spend on in-district projects.

The bridge will create a new crossing over the Fox River near the McHenry County border, but a lack of local funding, so far, will lead to a toll to pay for the bridge and future maintenance. County officials hoped to get about $40 million to eliminate the need for what is expected to be an unpopular toll.

“It does blow me away that this would be the circumstance,” Lauzen said Wednesday.

The lack of state funding is even harder to swallow because increases to the gas tax and fees for driver’s licenses and vehicle titles will push an estimated $73 million of additional money from Kane County residents’ wallets to state coffers each year, according to Lauzen’s calculations.

Read more here.

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Kane County Board members opposed to the Longmeadow Parkway project may not be able to stop construction of a toll bridge over the Fox River, but they may be able to make the tolls cheaper for local residents.

Board member Mo Iqbal on Tuesday called for Chicago-based Stantec Consulting to research the ability to identify local residents as they cross the bridge and charge them a cheaper rate than people who do not live in Kane County. Iqbal pointed out it’s not uncommon to charge different rates for vehicles of varying sizes, or even those paying by cash instead of with a transponder.

“There should be another category of resident versus nonresident,” he said.

Read more here.

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Screen Shot 2018-08-26 at 2.45.14 PMOnce again, supporters of former Village President Bob Abboud have taken to the social media networks to begin creating a false controversy to stir the pot prior to the 2019 Village Board Elections.

Recently, some Facebook pages have started publishing information about the proposed Plum Farms Development in Hoffman Estates. One of these pages is purportedly run by the same individual who publicly cast aspersions upon the character of the Village President and members of the Board of Trustees in April of 2017 (but was unwilling and unable to provide any corroboration of her ridiculous accusations). See April 24th Board meeting recordings released.

Long-time readers of the Observer will recognize the same tired tactics of the Abboud-o-philes: create a false controversy, then stir up resident sentiment against current leadership and against those whom they may support in the upcoming elections. Save 5 Acres! Save Horse Boarding! Ban the Bikes! Save Open Space! Save Polo!

The Plum Farms Development in Hoffman Estates was used as a major 2017 campaign issue by Trustees Paula Jacobsen and Robert Zubak, but both have been eerily silent on the issue for well over a year. As candidates, Jacobsen and Zubak were so adamant about the Village having legal standing, authority and ability to impact this development, and they vowed to be the voices to vigorously “oppose harmful development”.

Today, as it was then, they chose to remain ignorant to the simple fact that this issue was over in 2004 when Bob Abboud and former administrator Bob Kosin botched the chance to work with the landowner to come to a development compromise that would have kept the property within the village, and would have protected our community from the dangers of deannexation of the parcel into an adjacent town with an insatiable hunger for more tax dollars.

But in fact, the current administration has been working in concert with South Barrington and District 220 to slow the progress of this development.  Strange that this hasn’t been reported by any of the social media outlets managed by those folks who enjoy stirring the pot.  Accusations of inaction and mismanagement by President McLaughlin and others on the Board will be aired, but nary a word of criticism of Jacobsen or Zubak.

And speaking of Jacobsen, the more vocal of the less-than-dynamic duo, what has she personally done with regard to Plum Farms as a Trustee? Nothing.  She bemoaned the Longmeadow Parkway project as a candidate, but did she volunteer to be on the IDOT advisory board for Route 62?  Nope.

Does anyone remember the laundry list of issues that she & Zubak used as their campaign platform? We do.

YBH_issues

The only issue they are truly interested in is commercial horse boarding, which wasn’t in their campaign platform at all.  Strange…

And back to that lengthy list of issues — what have they accomplished from that list? Nothing. And why?  Because none of those “problems” actually existed.

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Paula Jacobsen with former trustee Fritz Gohl

However, Jacobsen, who has been absent from more than 26% of the fifteen Board Meetings held since she was elected as trustee, has had the opportunity to advocate for some other interesting issues.  As stated in our previous articles, May and June 2017 Board meeting recordings released  and July Board Meeting recordings released , she has found time to question the meeting minutes which characterized her friend’s public comments at the April 24thboard meeting as slanderous.  She has questioned why the Village couldn’t have employed a warmer and fuzzier process to inform a property owner of their violation of a cease and desist order with regard to illegal demolition of a residence and violation of the tree ordinance. It should be noted that the property owner in that case was a prominent donor to her trustee campaign.

Jacobsen has pondered the complexity of the Exterior Lighting Ordinance and wondered if it shouldn’t be revisited and revised, oblivious to the divisive history of the ordinance.  Coincidentally, her interest in lighting ordinance enforcement occurred only when another friend of hers had filed a complaint against a neighbor.

Paula has also suggested giving landmark status to historical homes in the village.  When asked to explain who would be the arbiter of this distinction and the mechanics of implementation or enforcement, she had no suggestion.

She also has given detailed reports of Arbor Day plans by the Heritage & Environs Committee at no fewer than three meetings. Let’s hear it for the oak sapling giveaway!!

And there has been advocacy for costly live video-streaming of Village Board meetings, which are only attended by a handful of the same residents each month.

It is not surprising that NONE of these issues were in the Jacobsen/Zubak campaign platform and that NONE of the issues in the platform have been pursued by the duo in any meaningful way in the past fifteen months.

And why is that? Because a quiet village operating harmoniously is not something the Abboud-o-philes can tolerate.  They must have controversy and they will create controversy were none exists. And when faced with the reality that President McLaughlin & this Administration have delivered on each and every promise they have made to the community, they pivot back to the old worn-out talking points. The village is operating better than it ever has, spending has been slashed and services are more efficient.  And that makes some embittered people very unhappy.  Change is not easy for some. And they are desperate to regain control.

So the pot stirring will continue.  With a little eye of newt and toe of frog mixed in for good measure.  Here’s hoping that this bad spell will be broken soon.

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