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Archive for the ‘Village Engineer’ Category

Donlea Road runs from Old Sutton to County Line Roads in Cook County (Please click on image to enlarge)

The Cook County Board has approved funding for projects led by the Department of Transportation and Highways for the final design and right of way land acquisition for the Northfield Happ Road Corridor Improvement and for a Barrington Hills drainage investigation.

The Village of Northfield is planning a traffic circle on Happ Road between Willow and Winnetka roads to promote a safe, walkable environment around the downtown area.

In Barrington Hills, record rainfall three years in a row and drainage challenges forced the closure of Donlea Road from Butternut Road to County Line Road to close for more than a month. The village and the county will work with homeowners to address the water displacement issue.

Source

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The Village Board of Trustees will be holding their regular monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM. A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

Those wishing to try to listing in on the meeting can phone 508-924-1464.

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The recordings from October 26th Board of Trustees meeting have been released. Click here to access the link from the Village website.

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Recordings from the remotely orchestrated Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night have been posted and can be accessed for your listening pleasure by clicking here.

At the beginning of Trustee Brian Cecola’s Public Safety report, he read a letter he entered in to the record that we felt we should post now in light of the events on Old Sutton Road three weeks ago today.

His letter reads as follows:

“I want take this opportunity as public safety chair to personally thank our officers for the fine work they did with this recent incident. I also want to thank our surrounding communities police tasks force without their assistance and support it would be impossible tb investigate and handle situations like this.

As the public may or may not be aware when we have incidents, we rely upon intergovernmental agreements with surrounding communities to support each other in investigations.

In a recent meeting with the village president and administrator and in conjunction with the treasurer and the Police Chief I am advocating to move forward with presenting the· costs associated with this investigation for immediate reimbursement from the property owner the rental company agencies and the responsible party who rented this property.

As you may all be aware this village board tasked our Village attorney with notifying the owner of their non-compliance which they did promptly days prior to this incident.

It appears the property owner and rental agencies ignored our Instructions even after they agreed days prior that they were in violation.

They did so at their peril and if we do not recover our taxpayer’s costs then I suggest we take immediate legal action to do so.”

Hopefully Police Chief Joseph Colditz will have much more to report on this incident very soon.

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Tonight’s Board of Trustees meeting will be the first official meeting for the village’s new engineering firm, Trotter & Associates.  We look forward to seeing their approach to municipal engineering and we hope that taxpayers will benefit from lowered costs and fresh ideas.

GHAWhile researching future content for the Observer, we stumbled across some interesting correspondence regarding Barrington Hills Farm (BHFW LLC) and our village’s former engineering firm, Gewalt Hamilton.  What we found is shocking, but it certainly makes the Village’s decision last year to change engineering companies very wise indeed.

According to documents found on McHenry County’s website, in December 2015, BHFW’s Chairman J. R. Davis was applying to McHenry County to convert part of an existing wetland on the property into a recreational pond.  As a result, some mitigation of the wetlands was necessary.  The specifics of the mitigation and request for credits from the Wetland Restoration Fund are not important.

What is important is the engineering firm that BHFW had hired to create their Wetland Mitigation Plan was Gewalt Hamilton.  And not just Gewalt Hamilton, but Dan Strahan himself , who was Barrington Hills’ Village Engineer at the time, was personally involved in the project.

Strahan is cc’ed on the Gewalt Hamilton letter to McHenry County on behalf of BHFW and Strahan’s signature even appears with Davis’ signature on the Wetland Restoration Fund application as the Design Engineer.

Davis_Strahan_1

Davis_Strahan_2

To be clear, this was a project undertaken by a private property owner in unincorporated McHenry County immediately adjacent to the Village, and Strahan and Gewalt Hamilton were hired by that individual.  All at the same time when Strahan and Gewalt Hamilton were also employed by the Village of Barrington Hills.

We find it shocking that Gewalt Hamilton and Dan Strahan did not decline employment by BHFW & Mr. Davis in 2015, seeing as the firm had been serving Barrington Hills for decades.  Gewalt Hamilton & Strahan were well aware of the history of the Davis property, and in all likelihood would be called up by the Village to consult on the property in the future. It would be bad enough for any engineer employed by Gewalt Hamilton to have taken this job, let alone Dan Strahan.

Not surprisingly, Strahan indeed did end up personally involved in discussions on behalf of the Village regarding new driveways and dedicated easements and right-of ways for the proposed HARPS facility on BHFW property in 2016 & 2017.  It certainly gives us pause to wonder about the quality of the service the village and taxpayers received on that assignment.

Did Strahan and Gewalt ever divulge to the Village of Barrington Hills that they had been previously employed by Davis?

How could Strahan and Gewalt maintain any impartiality when they had been paid by both the Village and Davis?

Are there other projects that Gewalt has worked on for Davis and BHFW?

Did Strahan and Gewalt ever divulge this conflict of interest while they were applying for retention as the Village’s engineering firm?

Right now, we have more questions than answers.  We’ll leave it to our readers to draw their own conclusions.  We think the documents speak for themselves.

Click on the following links to  view the complete PDFs of the documents BHFarm_Gewalt_Wetland_1 and BHFarm_Gewalt_Wetland_2.

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