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flint creek

Lake Barrington officials are hoping to get federal funds to clean up Flint Lake and parts of Flint Creek through the $1.2 trillion infrastructure improvement package enacted late last year.

Erosion, sediment deposits, invasive plants and other problems have reduced water quality in both waterways, Village Administrator Karen Daulton Lange said.

The village, community groups and the Lake County Forest Preserve District have worked to restore the creek and lake and protect the land around them. But more efforts are needed, including a potentially costly U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study to determine possible solutions, village officials said.

Historically, such studies require local agencies to share the cost of the work. Lake Barrington’s share would have been more than it could afford, Daulton Lange said.

Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act President Joe Biden signed into law in November, however, the U.S. government could fully bankroll a study and any subsequent improvements.

“This is huge,” Daulton Lange said.

Read on here.

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madigan

Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan

No one embodied what’s wrong with Illinois politics more than Michael Madigan. Political supremacy incarnate, he was unparalleled in his ability to remain on top and unscathed as governors and lawmakers came and went — on occasion, headed to jail.

Through the years, Illinois’ fiscal outlook bottomed out, a pension crisis metastasized, ethics reform languished — and yet Madigan endured.

Now Madigan, retired from lawmaking since early last year, stands indictedThe 79-year-old former House speaker who served in the General Assembly for five decades is accused of turning his state office into a criminal enterprise for his own personal gain. The racketeering charges against him allege a variety of extortion and bribery schemes stretching from 2011 to 2019 that yielded favors and cash for Madigan and his associates.

Madigan vowed to fight the charges. “I adamantly deny these accusations and look back proudly on my time as an elected official, serving the people of Illinois,” he said in a statement released WednesdayHe will have his day in court, beginning with his scheduled arraignment March 9 in U.S. District Court. Joining him will be longtime confidant, Michael McClain, a former state lawmaker and lobbyist who also faces charges in connection with an alleged bribery scheme involving Commonwealth Edison.

In a perfect world, Madigan’s indictment would signal the start of a new era in state politics, where there’s no quarter given to corrupt pols, where the public trust isn’t just a phrase in a campaign pamphlet, but an ideal guiding the service of every state officeholder. But, over the decades, Springfield has been anything but a guarantor of the public trust. If anything Illinois politics has shown itself to be a primer on how to poison the public trust.

Read the rest of the Chicago Tribune editorial here.

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VBH 2022 Road Program

“INVITATION TO BID NOTICE is hereby given that the Village of Barrington Hills will receive sealed Bids until the 18th day of March 2022 at 2:00 p.m. local time at the Village of Barrington Hills, 112 Algonquin Road, Barrington Hills, IL 60010 at which time the Bids will be publicly opened and read aloud for the following project:

VILLAGE OF BARRINGTON HILLS 2022 ROAD PROGRAM Work description: Provide all labor, services and materials necessary for the resurfacing of various roads throughout the Village of Barrington Hills. This work consists of: HMA Surface Removal, Class D Patches, HMA Resurfacing and other associated improvement required to complete the project in accordance with the plans, specifications and all other applicable standards.

The Contract Documents may be inspected and purchased at Trotter and Associates, Inc., 38 W Grand Ave, Fox Lake, IL 60020, beginning February 24, 2022. Contact Amy Whitis at a.whitis@trotter-inc.com to purchase the contract docs. Hard and/or electronic copies are available. Payment for Contract Documents is non-refundable and shall be payable to Trotter and Associates, Inc. in the form of cash, certified check or money order. No partial sets of specifications or drawings will be issued.

The non-refundable cost for plans and specifications is $50.00. Addenda will be issued only to plan holders. Bidders will be required to provide Bid security equal to five (5) percent of the Bid in the form of a Bid Bond written by a company properly licensed in Illinois, a certified check or a cashier’s check.

The successful Bidder must also comply with all the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act and all wages must comply with the Illinois Department of Labor Prevailing Wages for McHenry, Lake, Cook, and Kane Counties. The Village of Barrington Hills, in accordance with the Laws of the State of Illinois, hereby notifies all Bidders that the Village reserves the right to reject any and all Bids, to waive minor informalities or technicalities, to advertise for new bids, or to request confirmation or clarification from any bidder regarding information contained in a bid.

The Village will affirmatively ensure that the contract entered into pursuant to this advertisement will be awarded to a responsible and responsive Bidder without discrimination on the grounds of race, color or national origin, but the Owner reserves the right to reject any or all Bids received and to waive formalities.

Your Bid will be required to be submitted under a condition of irrevocability for a period of sixty (60) days after submission. Bids shall be received in a sealed envelope addressed to Village of Barrington Hills, 112 Algonquin Road, Barrington Hills, IL 60010 which is marked in the lower left-hand corner EXACTLY as follows:

BID: Village of Barrington Hills 2022 Road Resurfacing Program

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App Cap

Earlier today we published the agenda (seen here) for tonight’s Board of Trustees meeting.  We included links to both the approved 2021 Appropriations, and the proposed 2022 Appropriations, and a longtime subscriber shared the following:

“Of the total decrease in Legal Expense ($948,937), decrease in Litigation, Planning/Zoning and FOIA expense ($446,000) represents 56.3 % of the total decrease.

Unless one examines the budget items in detail, one might conclude that the current administration is doing a pretty good job of managing the finances of the Village.  That would be an incorrect assumption.  It hides other areas of the budget (such as Permit Administration) where improper management may be concluded.

It should also be noted that much of the huge legal expense incurred in recent years revolves around the desires of one resident to impose a huge commercial horse boarding operation on residents, in effect having residents subsidizing equestrian amenities and lifestyle to non-residents by giving access to the Equestrian Trail System.”

Related: “Village Board of Trustees meets tonight

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Cuba Road

Cuba Road east of Rte. 14 is plowed by Cuba Township

Cuba BH

Cuba Road west of Rte. 14 in our village is currently plowed by Mac’s

For nearly fifteen years, our Village benefitted from the snow plowing services provided by the Cuba Township Road District.  Inexplicably, in September of last year, Trustees Ekstrom, Croll, Riff and Strauss awarded our snow plowing services contract to Mac’s Property Management Services of Wauconda. The results have been abysmal.

The images above best illustrate the new service experienced by our residents this Winter. After a recent snow event, Cuba Township plowed Cuba Road east of Route 14 Lake Barrington, and the photo at top shows the results of their work.  A photo was then taken of Cuba Road in our Village within minutes of the first photo capture, and it was plowed by Mac’s.  The difference is significant and concerning.

At best, Mac’s snow plowing services have been consistently shoddy, with slow (or sometimes no) service being the experience of many residents.  Lack of deicing is an oft heard complaint, and as recent as Friday’s afternoon snowfall, many witnessed their own driveways being plowed before Mac’s employees bothered to show up.

We cannot allow substandard service on our Village roads. The modest decrease in expense does not justify the liability our Board of Trustees has exposed our residents to.

Our Village does have an “out” clause with Mac’s, but Roads & Bridges Chair, Laura Ekstrom, couldn’t recall if it was 30 or 60 days.  The point is moot, however, since by the time our Village Attorney sorts it out, Mac’s will be mowing lawns.

The decision to discontinue Cuba Township’s services has been a huge error in judgement, and we’re being generous in that assessment.  We’re just fortunate we don’t have to call it a tragic one (yet).

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1.24.22 Agenda

Our Village Board of Trustees meets tomorrow evening at 6:30 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] An Ordinance Granting an Amendment to an Existing Special Use Permit to Allow an Addition to Countryside Elementary School, 205 W. County Line Road Ordinance 22 –
  • [Vote] A Resolution Adopting an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Cook County Assessor’s Office to Facilitate Access to GIS Data Resolution 22 –
  • [Vote] Plan Commission Appointment: Maggie Topping, term expires 2024

A copy of their agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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BOT 12.14.21

Our Village Board of Trustees meets this evening at 6:30 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] An Ordinance for the Levy and Assessment of Taxes for the Fiscal Year Beginning January 1, 2021 and Ending December 31, 2021 Ordinance 21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Amending Driveway Permit and Design Regulations as set Forth in Title 10 of the Village’s Municipal Code Ordinance 21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Amending Sections 5-2-1, 5-3-9, 5-3-13, 5-5-2 and 5-5-11 of the Village’s Zoning Regulations Ordinance 21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Granting an Amendment to an Existing Special Use Permit to Allow an Addition to Countryside Elementary School, 205 W. County Line Road Ordinance 21 – (72 Hours after the ZBA approved it)
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Adding Requirements for Road Access Permits Amending Title 4, Building Regulations of the Village’s Municipal Code Ordinance 21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Approving a Final Plat of Re-subdivision: Shah Consolidation: 41 & 45 Hawthorne Lane Ordinance 21- (48 Hours after the PC approved it)
  • [Vote] A Resolution Approving the Execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for Maintenance with Cuba Township Road District
    Resolution 21 –

It bears mentioning that two of the items the BOT may be voting on tonight were approved just this week by the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Plan Commission.  Since audio recordings and minutes are not yet available from these two meetings, the board members will not have the support of that documentation if votes occur.

The complete 179-page agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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Sears

The 2.4-million-square-foot headquarters developed by Sears in Hoffman Estates 30 ago, as well as 120 surrounding acres, is planned to be put on the market in early 2022, according to village officials.

The company born from the bankruptcy of Sears has informed the village of Hoffman Estates that it intends to put its corporate headquarters and 120 surrounding acres in the Northwest suburb on the market at the start of the new year.

The announcement comes only a month after Transformco closed its last Sears department store in Illinois, at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.

Transformco representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday, but Hoffman Estates officials said the company has not indicated what the sale would mean for its presence in the village.

Since its move from Chicago 30 years ago, Sears’ corporate headquarters has consisted of seven interconnected office buildings totaling 2.4 million square feet in western Hoffman Estates. Transformco also owns 120 undeveloped acres around the headquarters.

Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod and Village Manager Eric Palm said Tuesday that Transformco informed them Monday of plans to list its property for sale after the first of the year.

“Everything that they own would be part of that listing,” Palm said.

McLeod said a change of ownership for the struggling property would likely be positive news.

Read more here.

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Whether you associate log cabins with American presidents, childhood toys, or general coziness, here are five Chicago-area cabins for sale.

01_62ESurrey_57_FrontView_HiRes

62 East Surrey Lane in Barrington Hills (listed for sale in 2016) is referenced by Chicago Magazine in their current article.

Whether it’s the idea of craftsmanship in our mass-produced world or getting in tune with nature, many of us have a romanticized view of living in a log cabin in the woods or near a lake. But log homes in the Chicagoland area? You’d be surprised to learn there are a number of them, whether in Barrington Hills or Highland Park or the five currently for sale below. Although this type of construction goes back to the Bronze Age, many Americans associate log cabins with the country’s humble origins (seven U.S. presidents were born in one). These homes can also take you back to childhood, when you may have played with Lincoln Logs, invented by architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s son John in Chicago in 1916. These log homes seem perfect as we get closer to the colder months of winter when we’re all stuck inside with cabin fever.

Read more from Chicago Magazine here.

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Cary Metra

A Chicago-bound Metra train pulls into the Cary Metra station after a dedication ceremony for the station on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. (Ryan Rayburn)

The village of Cary is on track to buy the Union Pacific commuter station and surrounding property in its downtown after its Village Board approved an agreement with Metra facilitating the sale earlier this month, Village Administrator Jake Rife said Thursday.

The Nov. 2 approval came after Union Pacific notified Metra in September that it had entered into an agreement with an unnamed developer to sell some or all of its 41 train station properties. In a letter Metra sent to affected municipalities, the Chicago region commuter rail system said these stations would be sold for about $50.9 million in total.

However, Metra said, the developer still could choose not to buy individual stations.

Metra has right of first refusal to buy the train station properties from Union Pacific, but it doesn’t want them, as previously reported by the Northwest Herald. Instead, Metra offered to buy train station properties from Union Pacific on municipalities’ behalf and transfer the property title to the villages and cities.

For Cary, the total purchase price of the property at 100 West Main St. would be $845,300, with the village putting an initial earnest deposit amount of $10,000 down ahead of a feasibility review.

During this yearlong review period, Cary officials could choose not buy the property and would receive a refund of the $10,000.

Read more here.

Related :Crystal Lake to buy downtown train station property through Metra deal (Will Barrington/BACOG?)

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