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Archive for the ‘Roads & Bridges Committee’ Category

Cuba

“Take it slow out there today. This is going to be a long duration event. Remember to always give the plow trucks plenty of room and to always drive with your lights ON for safety!”

Editorial note: This from professionals who know what they’re doing. Too bad they no longer service our roads.

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VBH Village HallOur Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

This month’s agenda now has two options for residents to attempt to listen in to tonight’s meeting:

Audio OptionsWould those with the time and inclination try listening to both options and report back which one sucks less in terms of sound clarity?  It would be ever so much appreciated!

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Charging

Union-tied research group pushes for mileage tax to shore up road-building funds

Despite Illinois’ efforts to smoothly integrate electric vehicles into the state’s economy, a new report from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute is warning of a potential steep decline in transportation revenue as the process of electrification accelerates.

The primary issue is motor fuel taxes, which will see a significant drop as more electric vehicles make their way to the road and fewer people fill their cars with gas.

Since motor fuel taxes make up the backbone of state funding for road and bridge projects, ILEPI, which has strong ties to organized labor, warned in its report that new revenue sources will have to be identified to ensure the state’s 10-year capital improvements plan remains on track.

“There’s absolutely a benefit to having EVs but it will ultimately have a strong impact on transportation funding,” Mary Tyler, the author of the report, said in an interview. “It’s something that I don’t think is talked about enough.”

Motor fuel tax is the state’s leading source of transportation funding and makes up 52 percent of Illinois’ total transportation revenue and 82 percent of its contributions to the federal highway trust fund.

The report’s main policy recommendation is implementing a vehicle miles traveled, or VMT, fee which would replace the existing motor fuel tax with a fee determined by the number of miles a car travels on Illinois roads.

Read more here.

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2022

Following are the eleven (11) most viewed posts published in The Barrington Hills Observer in 2022:

  1. Controversial ‘Gender Queer’ will remain on the shelf at Barrington High, school board decides
  2. Woman bit her daughter’s finger off during altercation in Barrington Hills, prosecutors say
  3. Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 1)
  4. Learn from your (big) mistake, Laura, Bryan, Dave and Tom
  5. Special Village Board meeting this afternoon
  6. Resident tells 220 Board of Education what they needed to hear (but did they listen?)
  7. Barrington Hills man severely injured in crash
  8. Some observations on tonight’s Appropriations public hearing
  9. Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 4)
  10. District 220 goes too far (again)
  11. Petition started to “Filter Adult Obscene/Porn Content & SB818 Opt Out,” in D220 Schools

For those wondering why eleven and not an even number, we simply couldn’t end the year without reminding readers where we’ve been in 2022 by omitting #11.

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Taxes Am 1

Now that the Illinois Constitution has been amended to expand government union power, residents can expect to see costly government union demands, increased taxes and litigation to clarify its vague language.

The Illinois State Board of Elections certified the November election results Dec. 5, adding the proposed Amendment 1 to the Illinois Constitution.

Constitutional amendments require either 60% of those voting on the question to vote “yes” or a simple majority of all ballots cast in the election to approve the measure. Amendment 1 failed to reach the 60% threshold on the question but passed with a simple majority of all voters.

Now that it’s official, Illinois residents should be watching for at least three consequences: 1) costly government union demands in negotiations, 2) increased cost of government passed on to taxpayers and 3) litigation to clarify the amendment’s first-of-its-kind language.

Costly government union demands

Even before the amendment passed, the right to negotiate in Illinois was quite broad. Negotiations between the unions representing state and local government workers, including teachers, covered wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment. Unlike most of our neighboring states, there were no limits to the wages and benefits government unions could demand.

But Amendment 1 expands bargaining to encompass broad new subjects, including “economic welfare” and “safety at work.” There is no definition or case law explaining what those terms mean. They could encompass virtually anything.

The Chicago Teachers Union has already tried to negotiate broad, non-traditional “economic” subjects into their contract with Chicago Public Schools, such as affordable housing. The Boston Teachers Union recently took a page out of CTU’s playbook when it negotiated the creation of 4,000 units of housing for homeless students into its contract. While the provision may seem altruistic in nature, the creation of housing for students is not traditionally negotiated into teacher contracts. It forces taxpayers to fund public policy decisions that their elected leaders should debate.

Amendment 1 empowers government union leaders to demand more than ever before and ensures they will have a permanent right to strike to get those demands met.

Read on here.

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BH Snow

Despite the fact that only 1.4 inches of snowfall were reported in Barrington Hills yesterday morning, roads remain slick throughout our Village this morning.  County maintained roads are among the “best” when it comes to driving conditions, but Village maintained roads are mostly covered with tight packed snow and pose the most risk to drivers.

Please be cautious when running your last-minute Christmas errands today!

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Dec 22 BOT

Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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Barrington Hillbillies

“TV families are a lot like real families. They always come together for Thanksgiving. For the ultimate TV Thanksgiving, look no further than the 1968 episode of The (Barrington) Hillbillies, The Thanksgiving Spirit.”

The crossover episode not only features the Clampetts, it features the cast members of Green Acres and Petticoat Junction. The episode culminates with a shared dinner that includes characters from the three shows.” (Source)

Editorial note: Many preferred to use the phrase, “Barrington Hillbillies,” when referring to the political antics of some in our “oasis of another time” Village, but that subsided until recently when the Cecola Administration took office. Now the popularity of that phrase is experiencing a resurgence.

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oak1

Cuba Township to pass out free wood twice a month instead of every Friday due to supply-and-demand issues.

Cuba Township Road District’s “Firewood Friday” giveaway of firewood returned earlier this month, but the program will work somewhat differently this season, according to officials.

“We’ve had to rein it in a little bit. It used to be every Friday through the winter months. It’s not every other Friday but it works out to be twice a month,  November through March,” Thomas J. Podgorski, who has been Cuba Township highway commissioner since 2017, told Pioneer Press.

Starting Nov. 4 through the winter months, the road district provides free kindling – bundles that can be a mix of everything from maple, pine and oak to mulberry and chokecherry –  to township residents who’ve signed up for the program.

Podgorski explained that each bundle contains eight to 12 pieces of wood, and each participating household is limited to two bundles. The distribution is at the road district office on a first-come, first-served basis until the supply is exhausted. At Friday’s distribution, the district ran out of firewood before 1 p.m. Nov. 18

“It’s meant for weekend fires. It’s not meant for someone to heat their houses off it. The quantity is not there,” said Podgorsk.

According to Podgorski, more than 800 Cuba Township residents are signed up for the program. He said Cuba Township Road District – which covers Lake Barrington, North Barrington, Tower Lakes and small portions of Barrington Hills and Barrington – shifted Firewood Friday from every other Friday during the 2021-2022 season to twice monthly for the 2022-2023 to better serve participants.

“The demand outpaces our supply. These are trees that were taken down through the year. It’s a way to process and get rid of wood we collect [throughout] the year,” said Podgorski.

Residents signed up for the program are given a placard to hang from the rearview mirror of their vehicle, the commissioner explained. The placard is required to participate in the complimentary distribution, and anyone new to the program would have to contact the Cuba Township Road District to get it.

Read more here.

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11.22 BOT

Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. A copy of their agenda can be viewed and downloaded here, however residents should take special note of their draft 2023 Budget, particularly as it relates to Roads & Bridges where at least one expense is up over 100%.

By far one of the largest increases is in, “Road Maintenance Contracts.” This year’s budget is $661,000. But the proposed amount next year is $1,059,200. That’s an increase of $398,200.

“Mowing/Cleanup Contracts,” is going from $70,00 this year to more than double that in 2023 at $150,000.

In an effort to understand the underlying reasons for these and other increases, we listened to the recordings of the nearly two (2) hour November 8th Special Meeting of the Roads & Bridges Committee yesterday.   What we found revealed largely incoherent rambling (as usual) by the chair.  As of this posting, the audio now states, “Unsupported audio,” as seen in this link, unfortunately, but some who heard the recording might consider this a blessing.

Hopefully this evening we’ll learn why such exorbitant roads increases are being proposed, but beforehand we’d like to share some advice with the Roads & Bridges Chair in the form quote from a famous Thanksgiving movie that goes, “…when you’re telling these little stories, here’s a good idea. Have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the listener!

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