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Archive for the ‘Public Safety’ Category

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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SPRINGFIELD — A legislative panel that oversees the state’s administrative rulemaking process voted along partisan lines to allow Gov. JB Pritzker’s emergency rule to enforce mask-wearing and other public health orders to move forward.

That decision came from the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, or JCAR, a 12-member, bipartisan, bicameral group that exercises oversight of the state’s regulatory process.

Pritzker announced the new enforcement measure on Friday, Aug. 7, as 13 counties were put on warning that they may have to reimpose some social and economic restrictions to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The order requires businesses, schools and day care facilities to make “reasonable efforts” to ensure that patrons and employees wear face coverings when they cannot maintain a six-foot distance from others. Reasonable efforts can include such things as posting signage that state face coverings are required, giving verbal warnings to customers to wear face coverings, offering a mask to patrons and asking customers to leave if they refuse.

Read more here.

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In just a few days, we have witnessed some very troubling communications decisions made by the District 220 Board of Education and their Superintendent. Some call it censorship, but it’s up to readers to decide that after considering some facts.

Tuesday night, upwards of 1,500 people tuned in to a live stream YouTube broadcast of a special meeting of the District 220 Board that began at 6:30 PM and lasted nearly three hours. For the first half hour of the meeting, a few participants checked off under on-line comments whether they liked or disliked what was being discussed (as seen in the graphic below).

Sometime after 7:00 the ratings were deleted and viewers could no longer register their opinion.

From the start of the meeting, participants were feverishly texting comments on what Superintendent Brian Harris was saying, and more often than not, the texts were much more insightful and interesting than Harris’ canned presentation.

Many of the texts were critical of the District, and around 7:00 PM, the texts were also silenced. The trail of comments were deleted as seen below.

It is also worth noting that the standard YouTube feature of free-form comments was also turned off. To view what we’ve described thus far, click here to view the recording of Tuesday’s meeting.

Yesterday afternoon, District 220 sent out a mass email with a link to a two hour Vimeo recording of the Tuesday meeting (seen here). However, the emailed recording failed to include over forty-five minutes of public comment from community members who waited patiently for two hours for their turn to speak their minds.

There is no question in our minds that the 220 Board of Education, but much more so Superintendent Brian Harris, failed to manage the expectations of parents, students and teachers in the months leading up to the unexpected announcement that fall classes would be all-remote learning last week.

As a result, the parties involved are upset and deserve to have their voices heard. For them to be silenced in the ways we’ve documented is tantamount to censorship.

Note: Those wishing to view the email sent by Dr. Harris yesterday can click here.

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District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris

After announcing earlier this month that the new school year would start in-person with an option for remote learning, Barrington School District 220 officials revised that Wednesday and said it will now be all virtual.

“As guidelines from the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Department of Public Health, county health departments, and other health organizations continue to evolve, we have concluded the ‘Roadmap to Reopening’ as presented at the July 14 Board of Education meeting is not attainable,” Superintendent Brian Harris said in an electronic letter to parents and stakeholders distributed Wednesday.

Following that July 14 meeting, district families were given about 10 days to decide whether their children would attend school in-person – wearing masks – or spend five hours a day doing distance learning when the new academic year starts Aug. 20.

That had been the message Harris delivered at the board meeting as he presented the district’s Roadmap to Reopening plan to board members and nearly 900 viewers who watched the virtual meeting on YouTube. He said then that, “we really want to get all our kids back in a safe environment.”

But in his notification Tuesday, Harris said the only option, for now, is to drop the plan for kids to return to the school buildings.

Read the Chicago Tribune account of what happened here.

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Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals members are expected to make a recommendation in September on whether Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District should be allowed to build a new station its leaders say is needed to improve service on the agency’s east side.

The zoning panel Wednesday concluded a two-session public hearing that featured testimony on the proposal, which calls for a 10,000-square-foot station on roughly 5 acres at 1004 S. Hough St. The land sits just outside the borders of Barrington Hills and Barrington in unincorporated Cook County.

The advisory panel is being asked to recommend a special-use permit allowing the station in a residential neighborhood zoned for single-family homes.

Barrington Hills resident Thomas McGrath, whose Hawthorne Road house is on the western border of the site, submitted a petition signed by fellow homeowners opposed to the proposal.

“Believe me, the 50 people who signed the petition who live in the exact location they want to put this fire station do not believe it will increase their happiness or their well-being, so (the district) does not meet that standard of (county) approval,” McGrath said.

Read more here.

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The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District’s plan to build a fire station at 1004 S. Hough Street in unincorporated Barrington marks the next step in a multi-year effort to provide more effective fire and emergency medical services throughout our 48-square mile jurisdiction.

In fact, the property is ideal for achieving the following goals:

Improve Service & Response Times

Currently, we operate from two fire stations located in Lake Barrington and Barrington Hills. We’ve long sought to build a third station that would greatly improve our ability to provide rapid emergency response to the north- and southeastern sections of our District – Inverness, South Barrington, and unincorporated Barrington.

Despite more than a dozen automatic aid agreements with surrounding fire departments, we still have concerns about consistently achieving optimal response times of under six minutes to residents and businesses – nursing homes, fitness centers, automotive dealerships, and more – in these particular areas.

In 2019, the BCFPD responded to 653 emergency calls to these sections – nearly one-third of our total call volume. Our third fire station will allow us to respond to these calls far more effectively.

Moreover, in situations where we are responding to multiple calls inside our district, it sometimes takes up to 20 minutes for neighboring departments to respond. From a public safety perspective, that is unacceptable.

Lower Homeowners’ Insurance Rates

Beyond public safety, a third station at this location will also help maintain affordable insurance rates for BCFPD homeowners. Our Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating – which helps determine what homeowners pay for insurance – is currently a 3/4. A third station in this location will prevent our ISO rating – and your insurance rates – from increasing.

Avoid Tax Increases

The BCFPD’s commitment to fiscal discipline, combined with long-term planning initiatives, will allow us to build and staff this new fire station without raising taxes on the residents who fund our operations.

Focus on Public Safety

The need for a third fire station is driven by data and facts:

  • Rapid response to fire and emergency medical situations is critical for saving lives and protecting property. In our profession, the difference between success and failure, or between life and death, can come down to mere minutes.
  • Patients suffering from cardiac arrest symptoms usually have less than 4 minutes before brain death begins. Rapid intervention and treatment by trained EMS professionals greatly improve the odds of survival.
  • A small flame can turn into a major fire in less than 30 seconds. And it takes only minutes for thick black smoke or flames to engulf a home or business.

The BCFPD is a public safety entity dedicated to the well-being of our entire community. Our ability to respond most effectively to medical emergencies and dangerous structure fires depends on our proximity to their locations.

Our new fire station at 1004 S. Hough Street will vastly improve our ability to protect our constituents.

Sincerely,

Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District Trustees

Related: Here we go again!

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New speed signs have been installed on Ridge Road and Dundee Lane

“You may have noticed our new radar speed signs on Ridge Road and Dundee Lane. If not, you might have been driving too fast. These signs, also known as driver feedback signs, are traffic calming devices designed to slow speeding vehicles by alerting drivers of their speed.

The signs were installed on Village roadways which have a significant volume of traffic and historical speeding issues. If they prove effective, additional signs may be purchased and installed on other Village roadways in the future.”

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“I’m not sure what the address is … ,” one person said. “I’m scared. … Can you see my location? Please come. Please, please, please.”

A review of 911 calls made on the night of a fatal Barrington Hills rental home shooting in early March offers a glimpse into the chaos of the night as party-goers called for help as they reported hiding in closets, bathrooms and other areas in and outside the sprawling house.

The 20 minutes of audio, which Pioneer Press received through a Freedom of Information Act request from Barrington Hills police, features 911 dispatchers fielding about two dozen calls. They were mostly from panicked party-goers, following early-morning gunfire March 7 in the 300 block of Old Sutton Road.

The emergency calls began with dispatchers asking for the address of the incident. Most who had dialed 911 didn’t immediately know where they were and said they had to check. A number of callers were hoping dispatchers could get the location using information from the callers’ cell phone.

Read more from the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press here.

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The Village of Barrington Hills would like to make you aware of the recent ‘shelter-in-place’ or ‘stay at home’ order just enacted by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, taking effect at 5 PM on Saturday, March 21st through April 7th.

To slow the spread of the corona virus, residents are advised to stay in their homes and ‘shelter-in-place’. Public health officials have recommended residents avoid gatherings and maintain a distance of at least six feet apart. The idea of shelter-in-place is to ensure residents are following the social distancing recommendations.

During this time, Village Hall will be closed to visitors, but staff will continue to be available by email (village@vbhil.gov) and by phone 847-551-3000 during our regular business hours of 9 AM to 5 PM.

The Village’s Police Force will continue to serve residents without interruption and may be contacted 24/7 via Dispatch by calling 9 1 1 or 847-428-8784.  The Police Department Lobby will be closed to walk-ins but can be reached at 847-551-3006 during their regular hours of 8 AM to 4 PM.

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346 Old Sutton Road

“In late February, the Village of Barrington Hills became aware of a home in our jurisdiction that was being marketed as a short-term rental space for uses such as vacations, conference centers and weddings, by accommodation facilitators such as Evolve, Vrbo and Airbnb.  The advertised use of the home suggested that it was not in compliance with an individual’s residential use of a home. 

The use of a residential property for purely commercial purposes is not allowed in Barrington Hills under the Village’s zoning regulations. 

On March 5, 2020, at the direction of the Village Board and Administration, the Village Attorney contacted one of the Property Owners and notified them that the advertised use of the home is strictly prohibited under the Village’s zoning regulations and could not lawfully occur. 

On March 6, 2020, the Property Owners’ Attorney contacted our Village Attorney to address this matter who, in turn, reiterated that the advertised use of the home was illegal and informed the Property Owners’ Attorney that the online Vrbo and Airbnb advertisements, as well as signage on the Property, should be immediately removed.  The Attorney for the Property Owner concurred with the Village Attorney’s assessment and stated he would advise the Property Owner that such use was prohibited and that the advertisements and signage must be removed. 

At no time was the Village aware that the Property Owners had a scheduled event for Friday, March 6, 2020.  The Property Owners did not cancel the event, despite the advanced notice from the Village that such use is strictly prohibited under the Village’s zoning regulations.   In the early morning of March 7, 2020, the Barrington Hills Police Department responded to call of shots fired at the Property.

The Village of Barrington Hills is deeply saddened by the events that occurred. Our current zoning codes exist to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents and to guard against the use of property in the Village which is not in keeping with the Village’s residential standards. Please be aware, this is an ongoing investigation and the Village can only release limited information. The Village will remain vigilant to halt such other uses as it becomes aware of any other property being used for short term rental.  The Barrington Hills Police Department would like to remind and encourage residents to never refrain from reporting suspicious activity or requesting assistance or service.”

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