All posts by Mary Parrilli

Fundraising year winds down for Maple Park Police

MAPLE PARK—As the Illinois Special Olympics fundraising year comes to a close, the Maple Park Police Department is taking inventory and feeling proud.

The Police Department has been fundraising all year, hosting events and raising money for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois. So far, the Police Department has raised nearly $78,000, just shy of its $100,000 goal.

“Last year, we raised $63,000; we’ve already beaten that number this year, and it isn’t even over yet. We’re really fired up,” said Law Enforcement Torch Run volunteer coordinator Jim MacRunnels.

The Maple Park Police Department in late October hosted a free event in Maple Park as a thank-you to Torch Run donors, sponsors and the village of Maple Park for all of their help with the Special Olympics. The event was called “Maple Park Hogwild for Special Olympics,” and it featured four bands and free food, including a whole hog donated from Johnson-Pate Pork out of DeKalb. The event was free, but there was an auction of goods that were donated to the Police Department.

“For a free event, we still raised $4,700,” MacRunnels said.

The Maple Park Police Department will wind down their efforts for now, but only briefly, because the new fundraising year will soon begin. The Police Department’s goal will be even bigger for next year, and it will kick off fundraising in 2015 with the annual “Polar Plunge” event on March 8.

The Polar Plunge will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. at Loon Lake, located in Silver Springs State Park in Yorkville. The event is an opportunity for people to support the Special Olympics by taking a “plunge” into the freezing waters of Loon Lake. Participants are required to raise $75 in donations in order to participate. Prizes will be awarded for differing levels of money raised.

“Our goal this year is to have 40 people participate in the Polar Plunge,” MacRunnels said. “We always want to do better than we did last year, so we are really trying to get people out. We know the cause is right, and we are pretty encouraged.”

For more information on how to sign up for the Polar Plunge, visit the Maple Park Police Department’s fundraising page on Facebook.

Maple Park to seek unpaid utility taxes

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday approved an item to seek the collection of unpaid municipal utility taxes from companies like ComEd and Nicor.

The village has made an agreement with the company Cozen O’Connor to assist with collecting the village’s share of the utility taxes. Last June, Maple Park worked with an auditing company that looked at the village’s utility tax fund.

“They found that we had not received all of our taxes from Nicor and ComEd. If we move forward with this, we have an opportunity to have the money; if not, then we don’t,” said Maple Park Village President Kathleen Curtis.

Maple Park revisits carnival regulation ordinance

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday revisited an ordinance to regulate carnivals within Maple Park.

The board’s discussion centered on what would be an appropriate fee for a carnival license. Several members of the board were concerned that a small fee such as $25 a day would not be enough to cover the village’s costs associated.

“This is not a charity. We have to compensate for our community service workers who might otherwise be doing something else that they’re hired to do,” village trustee Steve Nowak said.

Maple Park Village President Kathy Curtis said that the fees should be nominal, and that the trustees were putting too much thought into the matter.

“There hasn’t been a carnival in Maple Park since 2004. I can’t imagine an out-of-state carnival, that would cost us a lot of money, coming to Maple Park,” Curtis said.

The ordinance, featuring a $25-a-day license fee, received three “no” votes and failed to pass.

Maple Park withholds action on circus amendment

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday withheld action regarding a vote to regulate carnivals within the village.

The original purpose of the amendment was to regulate carnivals and circuses as to prevent animal cruelty that is often seen in the circus environment. Village Attorney Kevin Buick advised the board to use other routes for regulating circuses specifically.

“If animal abuse is the main concern, there are nationwide model ordinances you could use as an alternative to simply banning all circuses or carnivals,” Buick said.

The issue will be further discussed at the Maple Park Committee of the Whole meeting later this month.

Kaneville approves tree removal, discusses sidewalk repairs

KANEVILLE—The Kaneville Village Board on Sept. 18 approved a bid for $1,780 to remove four trees on Meryl Road. The cost includes the removal of all stumps and wood by Martinez Landscaping.

The board also discussed the need for major sidewalk repairs in the village, and noted reports from citizens regarding issues with the sidewalks during Kaneville Fest weekend.

“Sidewalks are the greatest form of recreation that there is. (If) we want to bring people to Kaneville and to Kaneville Fest, than we need to be a functional village, period,” Village Trustee Tim Christopher said.

Maple Park approves street maintenance, upkeep

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday voted 5-0 to approve a resolution for maintenance of streets and highways. The resolution was intended to authorize the village to use Motor Fuel Tax funds for the maintenance and upkeep of streets within the village.

The vote resolved that the village of Maple Park is to receive $170,000 in Motor Fuel Tax funds for the purpose of maintaining certain streets that have been previously approved by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“The Committee of the Whole is scheduled for Aug. 19, at 7 p.m., (and) our (village) engineer (Jeremy Lin) will be providing a report at that meeting,” said Village President Kathy Curtis.

Local village officials gather for Metro West barbecue

ELBURN—The Metro West Council of Government held its annual barbecue meet-and-greet on June 26 at the Elburn Lion’s Club. The event served as a time for lead members of Metro West to get together and learn about the outcomes of the Illinois legislative session from Metro West lobbyists.

The Metro West Council of Government is an association of municipalities in the western suburbs of Chicago. The council serves Kane, Kendall and Dekalb counties, and acts as a voice for each small, or large, municipality within those counties. Some of those small municipalities include Elburn, Maple Park, Kaneville and Sugar Grove.

After an hour of networking, the event kicked off with an introduction by Elburn Village President Dave Anderson.

“Since I’ve been president, we’ve had good weather, good food, and good company in Elburn,” said Anderson, jokingly referring to the village as “the heart of Kane County.”

Standing in the room were mayors, alderman, village trustees, village presidents, city managers, county board members, administrators and a couple of lobbyists. The group included Maple Park Village President Kathy Curtis, Kaneville Village Board President Pat Hill, Elburn village trustees Ken Anderson, William Grabarek and Patricia Schuberg, Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels and Sugar Grove village trustee Mari Johnson.

After dinner, Steve Morrill and Curt Fiedler of Morrill and Associates, a government relations firm, spoke to the group and gave a summary of the Illinois legislative session. Fiedler hit on the major policies that graced Springfield this year. Fiedler said that there is strength in numbers and that Metro West has gained legislative strength over the years.

So why do little municipalities like Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Kaneville need to pay dues and be a member of a non-profit association like Metro West? Elburn Village Administrator Erin Willrett sees it as a very useful tool.

“Metro West represents us downstate when we can’t afford to send our own lobbyist to advocate for us,” she said. “It’s a way for municipalities to share the cost and be represented as one voice.”

Willrett’s sentiment is mirrored in other local municipalities, as well. Because Metro West represents many municipalities in Springfield, it’s important for the public to understand exactly what Metro West does and how it represents the citizens of its covered municipalities.

“I think it’s very important for elected officials to understand what Metro West does. Therefore, it’s very important for citizens to know and to stay in contact with their local representatives,” Curtis said.

For more information about Metro West Council of Government, visit www.metrowestcog.org.

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Maple Park Police Department continues Special Olympics fundraising success

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Police Department is not only interested in upholding the safety of the citizens of Maple Park, it’s also volunteering for and funding the Special Olympics.

In fact, already this year, and with only two fundraising events under its belt, the Maple Park Police Department has raised a total of $50,000 for the Special Olympics.

On May 18 of this year, the Maple Park Police Department and Colleen MacRunnels, a former assistant warden with the Illinois Department of Corrections, hosted the seventh annual “Pulling for Special Olympics” event at the St. Charles Sportsman’s Club in Elburn. The event was held to raise money for The Law Enforcement Torch Run—the single largest year-round fundraising event for Special Olympics Illinois. The day resulted in the Police Department’s most successful event yet, with $45,000 going to the Special Olympics.

The Maple Park Police Department’s second fundraising event of 2014 took place on May 30. Police Chief Mike Acosta participated in the “Cop on a Rooftop” fundraising event at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Sycamore. Cop on a Rooftop is a fundraising program in which Illinois police officers stake out on Dunkin’ Donuts’ rooftops in an effort to raise money for the Torch Run. Every person who visited a Cop on a Rooftop store and made a donation received a free donut. If someone donated at least $10, they received a Torch Run travel mug and a coupon for a Dunkin’ Donuts medium coffee.

These two events together raised $50,000 for Special Olympics—already half of the Police Department’s $100,000 goal for this year. If the department reaches its goal, it will have raised the single-most amount of money ever in the state of Illinois for the Special Olympics.

As a reward for all of his hard work, Chief Acosta on the weekend of June 13 attended and volunteered at the Special Olympics Summer Games in Bloomington, Ill. Chief Acosta presented participants with ribbons and other awards.

“This was the best two-day event I’ve ever been to as a police chief in uniform”, Acosta said, “I’ll tell you, it is one of the greatest things you can do.”

Beyond the fundraising events, Chief Acosta and the Maple Park Police Department set up a booth at the Kane County Flea Market every month to raise money for the Special Olympics. They sell T-shirts and raffle tickets to win a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

“The Special Olympics and law enforcement have a special relationship; it actually dates back to the 1960s.”

There are many more fundraising events to come. The next one, known as the “Wheel of Meat,” will take place on Saturday, July 19, at the Maple Park Pub & Grill. The event will kick off with a 100-yard marathon from Bootleggers Bar, Grill and Pizza to H.D. Rockers, and will finish at the Maple Park Pub & Grill for the Wheel of Meat event. There is a $25 admission fee that will include a T-shirt and three drink tickets—one for each establishment. All of the proceeds will go to the Special Olympics.

For more information, visit www.pullingforspecialolympics.com/ or the Maple Park Police Department for Special Olympics Facebook page.

Kaneville looks into implementing severe weather siren

KANEVILLE—The village of Kaneville is still gathering information on how to implement a severe weather siren in town. Kaneville Village President Pat Hill on June 19 updated the board with her findings regarding the implementation.

“This whole time I thought we could piggyback off the county, but the county does not have a siren or run a siren,” Hill said.

Hill said she would continue her research process until she finds a solution to the matter.

Kaneville culverts near completion

KANEVILLE—The village of Kaneville has recently done a considerable amount of roadwork, including the repair and upkeep of culverts and ditches within village limits.

Trustee Carl Hauser at the Village Board’s June 19 meeting said that the culverts should be completed sometime this week by their contracted construction company. Volunteers completed much of the work beforehand.

“Thank you everyone for your help with the culverts and ditches. I just can’t say it enough,” Village President Pat Hill said.

Maple Park discusses water service rates, charges

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday discussed the need for an increase in village water service rates and charges.

“We should have been increasing the rates every year, but we haven’t. And now we have no reserves for emergencies,” Village President Kathleen Curtis said.

Village Accountant Cheryl Aldridge proposed an increase that would raise the average household’s water and sewer bill by 14 percent. The proposal also includes a 3 percent increase per year after the initial 14 percent bump.

The board did not take a vote on the proposed increases. It will, however, vote on the proposal at its June board meeting.

“Public health and safety are the two most important things that we do as a village, but I also understand that people have fixed incomes,” village trustee Terry Borg said. “I think we should think about this.”

Kaneville extends leaf-burning hours

KANEVILLE—The Kaneville Village Board on April 17 voted in favor of extending springtime leaf-burning hours.

Village trustee Mike Maple had proposed the extension to the board, stating that he would rather extend the hours during the week so that the weekends weren’t filled with smoke. Trustee Myra Ottoson agreed with Maple’s suggestion.

Currently the cut-off time for spring leaf burning is 3 p.m. weekdays. Maple and Ottoson proposed extending the hours until 6 p.m., as it is during the fall season.

“I think we should keep the hours consistent with the fall hours so that we don’t confuse people,” village trustee Paul Ross said.

Village President Pat Hill voiced her concern regarding the extension.

“I’m worried about the people who sit down for dinner and have smoke blowing in their windows, or the family who wants to sit out on their porch and can’t enjoy it because of the smoke,” she said.

The board’s approval will extend leaf-burning hours until 6 p.m. during March, April and May. It was noted during the meeting that the board in the future can amend its decision and tweak the leaf-burning hours.

Maple Park approves South St. rezoning

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on April 1 heard from the public in regard to the rezoning of the land parcel at 402 South St. The board passed the rezoning by a vote of 5-1, with Terry Borg as the only dissenting vote.

The 2.208-acre parcel is currently zoned as a residential property, but property owners Melissa Brady and David W. Altepeter have asked for a rezoning to light industrial. Altepeter stated that he wants to invest $1 million to renovate the property and build a large warehouse building to expand his agriculture business.
“This town was built on agriculture,” Altepeter said.

Some Maple Park residents in attendance voiced their concern that having an industrial property next to their home would decrease property value and cause loud truck traffic. Other residents spoke up in favor of the zoning change, stating that the industrial property would bring in an extra $21,000 in revenue for Maple Park.

Board members also discussed their concerns and questions with Altepeter. Trustee Borg was skeptical that Altepeter would clean up the 402 South St. property, given that he has already owned it for some time.

“Why should I believe your property will look better after we rezone, given what it looks like now?” Borg said.

Kaneville talks road repairs

KANEVILLE—Kaneville Village Board members on March 20 discussed plans for road repairs in town. The township plans to repair Lovell and Merrill roads, potentially with an intergovernmental agreement to help with the cost of the road work.

Board member Carl Hauser presented two separate bids—The first detailed intensive repairs, and the second outlined a slightly less intense plan.

“It depends on how much we want to spend, and what we really want done here,” Hauser said.

The Village Board also voted down a resolution that was presented to it last month regarding the county’s plans to build a raised overpass at the railroad tracks on Route 30 and Granart Road.

The resolution mainly concerns the town of Big Rock, whose emergency vehicles have experienced problems at the intersection. Kaneville’s support is not necessary for the initiative’s implementation.