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The Village Sign Regulations are on tonight’s agenda

The Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting remotely this evening beginning at 6:30 PM. To access the Meeting Packets page, please click here and follow the instructions in green near the middle of the page:

“At 6:30 pm on Tuesday March 24th, the public can enter their name in the box above and click ‘Join’ to attend the Board of Trustees meeting remotely. This will be an audio call. You will be able to offer public comment during that section of the agenda and will be able to listen to the rest of the meeting. You may join at any time after 6:30 pm until the meeting concludes.”

Unfortunately, this meeting won’t lend itself to video recording, which will frustrate at least two of our local Facebook bloggers. However we have every expectation they will provide their own spin on what happens tonight on their pages (usually a hoot-and-a-half that doesn’t disappoint!).

Hopefully, next month the meetings will take place at Village Hall in the usual format.

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Detective Lana LeMons, of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, leads a rescue team down a hallway during a mass-shooting drill at Barrington High School on March 20, 2015. (Brian OMahoney / Pioneer Press)

Here’s a memory from my school days that I just can’t seem to forget.

From first grade on we were taught so-called air raid drills. We were told to duck under our desks, sit cross-legged on the floor, bend our heads down and cover our knees with our hands.

Sometimes we were told we could be in the hallway, and the older students — eighth-graders — would cover us.

This was the Atomic Age when the threat of nuclear war was a real possibility. My mother often recalled watching President Kennedy’s Cuban Missile Crisis speech, claiming when he finished she said, “We’re with you.”

Some adults had their own bomb shelters back then. But most were like my mom, willing to go up in a flash for the idea of America.

Read the rest of Randy Blaser’s column here.

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This is an artist’s rendering of one of the seven apartment buildings planned for the Plum Farms development at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72. A Cook County judge last month dismissed a lawsuit Barrington Unit District 220 filed over the proposal.

Barrington Unit District 220 won’t challenge a Cook County circuit court judge’s decision last month to dismiss a lawsuit the school system filed against Hoffman Estates and developers of the stalled Plum Farms proposal at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72. Hoffman Estates’ development agreement limits Plum Farms to 1,250 homes of various types. The most recent plan submitted by a development partnership calls for 1,035.

But the last indication of progress on Plum Farms was interrupted by the filing of a lawsuit in July 2017 by residents of the nearby Regency at the Woods of South Barrington retirement community.

District 220 intervened in the complaint on the side of the residents, with the developer and village named as defendants. The density of the proposed development and the potential for additional students’ costs to exceed the increase in tax revenue were at the heart of the school district’s concerns.

While the residents’ original lawsuit was settled last summer, District 220 kept its part of the case active until it was dismissed in December. School board President Penny Kazmier announced at a meeting Tuesday night that the district will not pursue any further legal action in the case.

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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Every year around this time, we reach out to Northwest suburban mayors and village presidents and ask them to tell us something their community accomplished in the year gone by and something they hope to accomplish in the year ahead. Today, we share the accomplishments of 2019. On Wednesday, we’ll tell you what the mayors hope to see in 2020.

Martin McLaughlin, Barrington Hills

The Village of Barrington Hills is on track to, once again, lower the levy, making it the sixth consecutive year. Since 2013, the village Levy has been reduced by more than 24%. We will continue to lead by example, responding to our residents’ desire to see tax relief.

In 2019, the Village of Barrington Hills approved a revitalized Comprehensive Plan, which was recognized by the Barrington Area Council of Governments. The innovative format allows residents and those interested to explore the unique property rights and freedoms available within our 30-squar- mile village.

In conjunction with our continuing efforts to preserve natural habitat and open spaces, the Village of Barrington Hills has been recognized and certified as one of the first Bee Cities in Illinois, which was showcased at The Hills Are Alive Fall Festival this past September with a honey-tasting competition.

Read the full year end summary from the Daily Herald here.

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Buckle up buckaroos, the March 17 220 referendum marketing blitz is about to start.

A guarantee of a safer future for residents, both a failed and a renewed quest for a referendum to upgrade the area’s schools and new faces in local government were among the top 2019 news events for the Barrington area.

School referendum fails, District 220 to try again

After voters rejected a $185 million referendum by Barrington School District 220 in the April 2 election, the Board of Education formally decided to put a scaled back $147 million question on the March 17, 2020 primary ballot.

After the April vote, board members started a four-month discussion evaluating what needs were most important for the district’s elementary and middle schools as well as Barrington High School. They also looked at the best ways to communicate their message.

Board members said a break-even referendum, rather than one which raised taxes, might be more palpable for voters. The $145 million proposal will actually result in district property owners paying less taxes than they are now. Superintendant Brian Harris said the owner of a $500,000 home will pay approximately $76 less for the district’s portion of the tax bill than their current amount.

Read more from the Barrington Courier-Review here.

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As Barrington Community Unit School District 220 administrators get used to their roomier headquarters since moving there in May, district officials and the Board of Education could soon learn how much of the $2.6 million investment will be recouped.

Superintendent Brian Harris said the board decided two years ago that it made more economic sense to sell the then-existing 12,413 square foot building at 310 James Street in downtown Barrington and find a new facility.

Harris said the board then approved in late 2017 the purchase $1.1 million of a 20,237 square foot structure located directly across from Barrington High School, and closed on the transaction in February 2018. The district then spent more than a year on a $1.5 million renovation.

The school district is required by law to sell school real estate through a bidding process, and the board is expected to learn how much of its $2.6 million payout on the new digs will be recovered when bids are opened Oct. 29 at the district office. The minimum bid on the old building will start at $900,000.

Read more here.

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