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Barrington School District 220 officials plan to have two major safety upgrades completed by the start of the upcoming school year, according to a recent newsletter from the district.

Construction has begun on installation of a secure vestibule at an entrance of Barrington High School. It is being built at Entrance 45 of the school, which is to the lower left side of the main entrance, the newsletter states.

School officials say in the newsletter that students and visitors will only be allowed to use that entrance once the school day starts.

Over the past couple of years, the district has been implementing the secure vestibules at each of its 12 schools. The high school is the last to receive it, said Assistant Superintendent Craig Winkelman.

“It will give us a secure entryway into the school campus so that people will have to check in there and screen before entering into the high school,” Winkelman said.

Read more 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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Barrington Township Trustee Fritz Gohl

There’s new hope in Springfield for putting power into the hands of voters when it comes to controlling and trimming their governments.

At nearly 6,963 units, Illinois has more governmental bodies and bureaucracies than any other state in the nation. Texas and Pennsylvania are next, according to the website Governing and they have only 5,147 and 4,897, respectively.

And while there’s been some momentum in recent years around merging governments, streamlining and setting up processes for dissolving bodies like sanitary and mosquito abatement districts in Illinois, the processes largely have been complicated or left in the control of public officials — some of whom, obviously, have a self-interest in keeping governments operating and themselves employed.

Read more from the Chicago Sun-Times here.

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Local officials expressed general support for the redevelopment of the former AT&T campus in Hoffman Estates Monday at a public hearing on a proposed tax incentive, but Barrington Unit District 220 officials restated their desire for more details to be sure the number of students living there wouldn’t outweigh additional tax revenue.

District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris stated his appreciation for this but said other questions remain.

“Based on published concepts and comments, we can estimate by using the methodology used by the village of Hoffman Estates that the development will generate approximately 100 new students,” Harris said. “These new students will overwhelm the capacity of our nearest elementary school in the area. These new students will increase our annual operating expenses by almost $2 million to cover the cost of their education.”

Read more here.


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Officials at Barrington School District 220 recently approved an increase in the district’s property tax levy that is projected to primarily cover general expenses.

During a meeting in late December, board members approved a total request of $125.1 million in property tax revenue for those expenses. Officials also are seeking an additional $13.4 million to cover debt service and building leases.

The projected increase to the district’s levy covering general expenses is estimated to cost the owner of a $500,000 home about $163 more in district property taxes next year, said Dave Bein, assistant superintendent of business services.

Read more here.

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Season’s Greetings

This time of year, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the annual frenzy of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, door buster sales, and expedited shipping.  There are end-of-year work deadlines to meet, airline flights to schedule, Christmas cookies to bake, and school concerts and office parties to attend.  Mix in sore throats, sniffling noses, traffic snarls, winter storm warnings and black ice, and it might seem as though you have the perfect recipe for a holiday headache.

That’s why it is so important to stop and feel the wonder of the season.  Look all around and drink it in with all of your senses. There is the special soft glow of lights on the tree, the cat pawing at a low hanging ornament, the whistling winds outside and the sight of crisscrossing deer tracks in the snow.  The kids making a mess of the kitchen as they build a gingerbread house.  The family dog dozing by the fire. The crimson bows, the smell of evergreen boughs.  The warmth of family, the laughter of friends.  Remembering those who are gone.  Missing those who couldn’t be here.  The soaring voices of the church choir. The wide smiles on Christmas morning.

These are the simple joys. This is what makes memories.

Merry Christmas from the Observer!

Screen Shot 2018-12-23 at 2.00.30 PM

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The Village of Barrington Hills has issued the following announcement:

“DUNDEE LANE WILL BE CLOSED beginning Monday, December 17th to replace a culvert under the road. If all goes as planned, the road is anticipated to open Thursday, December 20th.

No through traffic will be allowed. Residents may access their drives via the Dundee Lane entrance closest to their homes. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation.”


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