Candidates weigh in on Virgilâ€™s future
by Lynn Meredith
The village of Virgil has three vacancies on its board of trustees, with four candidates runningâ€”two incumbents and two new contenders. Since 2005, when B&B Developers proposed a large development in the Virgil area, the village has been looking at how it wants to grow. It is also looking to find funding resources for roads and septic and means to update downtown.
Dyer did not respond to requests for an interview.
When David Kosarek moved to Virgil 12 years ago, it was a small rural town. He would like to see it stay that way. He has since become involved in the Planning Commission for the last two years and served as chairman.
â€œI want to keep Virgil the way it is, rural with small growth,â€ Kosarek said.
Kosarek is all for fixing up the downtown, but not adding the 4,000 to 5,000 houses that B&B proposed. He’d like to seek funds to build a village hall and to fix up old buildings.
The biggest issue for Kosarek is water drainage. He wants the village to go after grant money that might become available with the federal stimulus package.
â€œIf we fix one person’s problem, we have to fix everybody’s. Let’s work on fixing the drainage,â€ Kosarek said. â€œWe’ve still got run-off problems. There’s nowhere for the water to go.â€
As a field service technician and someone with hands-on experience, he said he could bring more practical understanding to the existing board.
The year Virgil became a village, 1992, Colette Petit began serving in local government. She began on the Zoning Board of Appeals and then was elected a village trustee for the last eight years.
The biggest challenge she sees for Virgil is the lack of resources.
â€œWe don’t have a lot of money. We are stretching the dollar as far as it can go,â€ Petit said.
During this past term, she has been working to find grant money to resurface the roads.
â€œIt’s a cloud of dust out here,â€ she said.
She has also been a part of updating and aligning the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, serving as the chairman of that committee. When the Kane County Forest Preserve purchased the land north of the village, maps had to be re-drawn. The committee is taking the opportunity to edit the plan.
â€œIt’s really just tweaking it. It finishes the ordinances to match what we designed and laid out in the Comprehensive Plan,â€ Petit said. â€œWe’re getting it to match the vision of a traditional neighborhood and conservation design for future development.â€
Petit would like to see more townspeople come to the meetings. She said she is open to everyone’s point of view and that unless people attend meetings, it’s difficult to know what they are thinking.
She will continue to use her background, experience and love of the community to serve as trustee if re-elected.
â€œI serve because that’s the type of person I am. I am concerned for and committed to my neighbors, and I have a lot to give the community,â€ Petit said.
A lifelong resident of the community, Bob Neisendorf ran for trustee and won four years ago when B&B proposed a large development. Even with the Kane County Forest Preserve buying the land, Neisendorf wants to remain active.
â€œI ran to stop B&B Development. I have no love for large developments. It could still be a possibility,â€ Neisendorf said.
Since his election to the board, Neisendorf has been working on the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The committee is updating the original document and creating a vision statement of how it wants growth to occur.
â€œIt is a completed plan. I’m not a proponent of it. It called for high-density housing. We’re toning it down,â€ Neisendorf said.
Neisendorf said that he would like to see the plan keep open spaces and farms.
â€œI prefer a larger area and more agricultural use rather than a Mill Creek-type development,â€ he said. â€œThe village should grow at a pace we can sustain and makes sense for a town our size.â€
Neisendorf said in order to fix the roads and update downtown, the village should jump on stimulus money. He said I.C. Trail needs re-paving and the bank area upgrading.
Controlling growth remains his biggest concern.
â€œI grew up in the Virgil area. It’s home to me. The values of rural towns mean a lot to me. My attempt is to maintain it,â€ Neisendorf said.