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Archive for the ‘Village Government’ Category

A historic plan to consolidate suburban and downstate fire and police pension plans passed the Senate Thursday with bipartisan support from local lawmakers.

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker led the effort and has promised it will save millions in a state where local municipalities are bogged down with pension obligations.

The policy would merge about 650 pension plans, not including Chicago’s, into two statewide systems — one for fire retirees and one for police.

Pritzker still must sign the legislation.

Read more here.

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Village becomes the second Bee City USA in Illinois, promoting pollination

Barrington Hills leaders hope to create some buzz for the village by committing to bees.

Village board members recently passed a resolution to have Barrington Hills become a Bee City USA affiliate. The town is the second Bee City in Illinois, behind downstate Carlinville.

“The village of Barrington Hills should be certified a Bee City USA community because of our decades-long dedication to preservation of open spaces, encouragement of animal keeping, including bees, and our promotion of pollinator gardens with a demonstration garden located at the village hall,” the resolution states.

Barrington Hills’ advisory environment committee will be in charge of the program, which has requirements such as a minimum of one bee-related celebration annually to raise pollinator awareness and installation of at least one Bee City USA street sign in a prominent village location.

Read more here.

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While some towns want state lawmakers to take quick action on a recommendation to combine suburban and downstate police and firefighter pension funds in an effort to boost returns and cut costs, not all municipalities are on board.

Senate President John Cullerton introduced a bill Tuesday to consolidate the 649 suburban and downstate police and fire pensions. Gov. J.B. Pritzker followed with a statement praising Cullerton’s move in the first half of a six-day fall veto session that ended Wednesday.

Barrington Hills is asking lawmakers to take their time and not pass the proposal during the veto session. The session’s second three-day leg runs Nov. 12-14.

In part, Barrington Hills’ resolution says the Pension Consolidation Feasibility Task Force’s recommendation would be a complex financial, economic and operational undertaking requiring “proper and comprehensive analysis and review by all stakeholders” and should not be pursued until the regular legislative session starts next year.

“In my opinion, they’re trying to penalize cities that are performing well and lump them into cities that are not performing well,” Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin said.

Read more here.

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Some Barrington Hills properties don’t just have numeric addresses. They come with charming names like “Serendipity” and “Hidden Pond Estate,” often seen on signs posted along village streets.

Concerned that proposed changes in a sign ordinance could force those markers to go away, some residents this week let elected officials know they want to keep that slice of Barrington Hills tradition.

But Village President Martin McLaughlin said those distressed about proposed amendments in the sign ordinance have it all wrong and their concerns are unfounded. He said the intent is not to get rid of property name signs but to tweak the dated ordinance so that those signs as they are can comply with local laws.

Trustee Colleen Konicek Hannigan said the village is trying to achieve a finely crafted sign ordinance that updates one that dates to 1963 and was last revised in 1977.

“For those who apparently are not aware, our current ordinance means that probably 90-some-odd percent of the signs that are currently existing are out of compliance,” Hannigan said.

Read more here.

Editorial note: We will publish a link to recordings from Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting soon.

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Barrington Hills village board members have rejected the idea of allowing recreational marijuana businesses in town.

Trustees voted 6-0 Monday for an ordinance prohibiting retail sales or other kinds of marijuana businesses in the village. The vote came a week after Barrington Hills’ advisory zoning board of appeals recommended a ban on recreational pot businesses.

“As with any zoning amendment, if the village board decides to adopt this ordinance, it can always change its mind,” Village Attorney Sean Conway told the elected officials.

Read more here.

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Algonquin Road

Engineering will begin next year for a planned resurfacing of nearly 5 miles of Algonquin Road between Route 25 and Dundee Road in Barrington Hills. About three-quarters of the $10 million funding allocation is for bridge repair and replacement at Spring Creek.

Since 2017, the state has suggested plans to widen Algonquin Road with two lanes in each direction. If that’s the case, village officials have asked for it to be done as a scenic parkway rather than a typical four-lane state highway.

Village President Martin McLaughlin used a baseball analogy when describing the start of engineering work on the multiyear project. “In a nine-inning game, it means the pitcher is warmed up, on the field, and ready to start the process,” he said.

Barrington Road

A $19 million project calls for reconstruction of a 1.5-mile stretch of Barrington Road from south of Algonquin Road to Central Road, and adding a lane each way on a small portion north of Mundhank Road. A bike path is also planned on the west side of Barrington Road.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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More than 500 people attended Citizens for Conservation’s harvest fundraiser, Ignite the Night, Sept. 14 in Barrington Hills.

The event at the Barrington Hills Park District featured live music by Beamish, food and beverages, stargazing with professional-grade telescopes, flashlight walks, close-up encounters with raptors, a raffle and horse-drawn wagon rides, all capped by a spectacular bonfire.

Citizens for Conservation hoped to divert as much material from the landfill as possible. Thanks to the assistance of the group Mindful Waste, all packaging used at the event was compostable, recyclable or reusable.

Mindful Waste volunteers were on hand to educate and help with the sorting process, and after recycling 154 pounds of bottles, cans and cardboard; upcycling 11 pounds of plastic film; composting 315 pounds of food waste, paper plates, cups and napkins; and donating 60 pounds of extra corn, only a six-pound bag of landfill waste remained.

All proceeds from the event will support Citizens for Conservation’s preservation and restoration work in the Barrington area. Supporters of the event included the Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Barrington Hills Park District.

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