All posts by Susan ONeill

Aurora Sportsmen’s Club moves west

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Aurora Sportsmen’s Club held its last shooting event at its Sugar Grove location on June 30, and has since moved its operations west to Waterman.

The club opened for business at its new location on July 4. Having been located in Sugar Grove for more than 60 years, the club began making plans to move farther west a number of years ago.

The new location, which will utilize 520 acres, includes six rifle and pistol ranges, an archery area and will soon open sporting clay fields.

The club currently has more than 1,300 members and is actively looking to add more to its membership.

The village of Sugar Grove annexed the property in 2003, giving the club a 15-year window within which to move out of Sugar Grove. The agreement also spelled out that the property was to remain zoned agricultural, with the operation of the shooting range an arrangement valid only between the current owners of the club and the village.

The club’s move leaves its Sugar Grove property vacant, for now.

According to William Charles, Ltd. associate counsel Erik Lindberg, William Charles, Ltd. has acquired the deed to the property, in lieu of foreclosure.

Lindberg said his firm has no plans to utilize the property, and is attempting to sell the 37 acres.

Motor fuel tax funds east side street improvements

by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove—Sugar Grove will use its 2009 Motor Fuel Tax funding to repair streets on the east side of the village. Streets scheduled for repair include the overlay of Neil Road from Stanley Road to east end, Stanley Road from Neil Road to Monna Street and the intersection of Monna Street and Stanley Road.

The work that will be done includes patching and the installation of miscellaneous curb and gutter sections to aid with drainage in those areas.

The job was awarded to Montgomery-based Aurora Blacktop, Inc., which bid the job at $118,220. The estimated engineering cost for the project is $15,657, for a total of $133,877.

However, since the Village Board passed a resolution on June 16 allocating $144,663 for the project, the additional money will be used to complete work related to the project, such as additional curb and sidewalk repairs.

Streets and Properties supervisor Geoff Payton said the village will send a letter to all affected residents to inform them about the work to be done.

Flooding in this area has been a problem for some time, and the hope is that this work will alleviate some of the problem.

“We appreciate the patience of the people on the east side of town,” Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels said.

Huge golf event expected to be a boon for business

Village offers vendors opportunity during Solheim Cup
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Local food vendors could have approximately 30,000 potential additional customers during the week of the Solheim Cup.

The Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry will offer vendors space to sell their food and beverage products in the Sugar Grove Village Hall parking lot. The Village Hall is along Route 30, which is on the way from the east to Rich Harvest Farms, where the event will take place.

The Sugar Grove Chamber first will offer the opportunity to its food business members. If there are additional spaces after the Chamber has commitments from these businesses, it will then open up the opportunity to the other food vendors in town.

The idea came about when Catering Gourmets owner Janet Lagerloef approached the village regarding setting up a spot to sell coffee, burgers and other food on private property along Granart Road. The Illinois State Police and the Ladies Professional Golf Association had safety concerns regarding traffic flow at that location, which led the village to come up with this alternative.

Lagerloef, who is considering the village’s option, said she appreciated the offer. The Solheim Cup takes place from Monday, Aug. 17 to Sunday, Aug. 23.

Middle school will be done in time

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—The new Harter Middle School will open on time, Kaneland School District officials said on Tuesday. The school will open to students and their parents for a full-day open house on Thursday, Aug. 20.

Former district assistant superintendent Tom Runty, who was hired as a consultant to the project, said that construction workers were in the process of putting in the gymnasium floor.

Quick thinking on the part of the contractors prevented what could have been a major problem about a month ago. A week of warm weather earlier in the summer, several weeks prior to the installation of the central air conditioning, caused condensation to build up on the floors.

Workers brought portable air conditioners into the building to take the humidity out of the flooring and the walls. District Superintendent Charlie McCormick said that mold had begun to form on a piece of wall board, but the piece was pulled out before it spread.

“It could have been a big problem,” McCormick said. “Our contractors were on top of the problem.”

The Aug. 20 open house begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 8 p.m. to avoid large traffic jams, especially in light of the additional traffic from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Solheim Cup tournament in Sugar Grove. The event, which officials estimate will bring in 30,000 visitors a day, takes place at Rich Harvest Farms off of Route 30 from Monday, Aug. 17 to Sunday, Aug. 23.

Rt. 47 closed for 6 hours

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Police shut down Route 47 between Prairie Street and Jericho Road between 3 and 9 p.m. on Monday after a 40,000 pound slab of concrete crushed the cab of the truck transporting it.

The concrete slab shifted on the trailer when the driver of the truck, Joseph Durham, slowed down. Durham suffered minor injuries. The Sugar Grove Fire Department took him to an area hospital, where he was treated and released.

The road was shut down for six hours when a crane was brought in to move the 40-foot-long piece of concrete to another trailer.

Village obtains pricing through county for pavement marking

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove will utilize the Kane County Division of Transportation’s purchasing program to obtain county pricing for pavement markings on several roads throughout the village. The village participated in the program in the last fiscal year, completing 95,000 linear feet of marking.

This year, the village will complete marking on Gordon Road from the railroad tracks north to Galena Boulevard, Prairie Street from the railroad tracks south to the village’s east boundary line, Granart Road from Dugan Road to Camp Dean Road and Dugan Road from Route 30 to Fay’s Lane.

The total cost of the program is $9,000.

Keep critters wild

Fox Valley Wildlife Center wildlife rehabber and educator Kaitlin Zordan holds Summer, a 5-year-old raccoon, while she explains to a group of children why keeping a wild animal at home is not a good idea. Because Summer did not receive adequate nutrition when she was young, she has problems with her spine, is going blind, and has lost much of her hair. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Developers approach Kaneville about annexation

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—Long’s Meadow developers recently approached the village of Kaneville with an annexation proposal after the Kane County Development Department rejected their requests for concessions on county infrastructure requirements. However, village officials are not in a hurry to take on the potential risks such a decision would entail.

Infrastructure requirements from Kane County and the economic downturn have stalled progress on the Long’s Meadow Subdivision for the past two years. When developers presented plans for the 40-lot, 70-acre plat along Dauberman Road to Kane County for approval, county planners told them they would need to provide a turn lane into the subdivision and relocate power lines, at a cost of $500,000.

In an attempt to decrease the length of the turn lane needed, the developers requested a decrease in the speed limit along Dauberman Road from the Kane County Department of Transportation. This request was rejected, and several weeks later, the developers approached a subcommittee of the Kaneville Village Board with an annexation proposal.

The proposal included a decrease in the size of the lots, down from 1.5 and 1.25 acres per lot to 1.25 and 1 acres per lot. The resulting open two to three acres would be allocated for a public park or a ball field.

Developers also proposed a phased-in development timeline, in which three to four lots would be developed each year over three to five years. The first phase would start with lots on an extension of Locust Street, as opposed to Dauberman Road, which would have deferred the expense of the required turn lane on Dauberman Road.

However, village officials and the Kaneville Fire Department said they could not agree to only one point of entrance into the development, due to safety issues, and that Dauberman Road would still need to be used as a construction entrance.

Kaneville Village President Bob Rodney said that board members have expressed concern over the potential liability the annexation could create for the village.

“It’s highly improbable that homes would move within the next couple of years,” Rodney said. “If the developer goes belly-up, the village is still responsible for the maintenance of that property.”

Even with a homeowners association, three or four homes would not be able to afford to pay for street maintenance and mowing of the common areas should the development become stalled, he said.

Rodney said the developer is trying to remain optimistic about the future of the subdivision.

“But he doesn’t have a crystal ball about what’s going to happen over the next couple of years,” he said.

In the meantime, the property is becoming an eyesore and a potential health hazard, according to Rodney. Rodney said that although the village has requested that the developers mow the property, this has not been done, and the resulting un-maintained property has created a mosquito-breeding ground and a wildlife refuge, attracting coyotes and deer that have wandered into the adjacent neighborhoods.

In addition, he said that a farmer who owns a field next to the property has complained that the weeds are spreading to his cornfield and interfering with his yield.

The Kaneville Village Board will reach a final decision on the possible annexation at its next regularly scheduled board meeting on Aug. 20.

Residents invited to review, comment on comp plan

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—The Kaneville Plan Commission invites residents to an open house at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13, to review and comment on a draft comprehensive plan for the village of Kaneville and the surrounding planning area.

Village President Bob Rodney said the plan represents two years of hard work on the part of commissioners, who used input solicited from numerous local land owners and results from a survey sent to all village residents to create a final draft plan.

“They received some very valuable input,” Rodney said. “Nobody wants dramatic change.”

Plan Commission Chair Joe White and commissioners worked with Kane County Development Department planner Janet Hill and more recently, with Land Vision planning consultant Walter Madziarz to create the plan. The village was able to hire Madziarz with funds from a Kane County Community Development Block Grant.

The draft includes plans for land use, transportation, housing, agricultural preservation and other topics.

Kaneville Plan Commission
Open House

Residents to review, provide
feedback on draft comp plan
Thursday, Aug 13
6 p.m.
Kaneville Community Center

Municipal Drive done in time for Solheim

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Village President Sean Michels will breathe a sigh of relief on Thursday, July 31, when the Municipal Drive and Galena Boulevard extensions open for traffic, just in time for the 2009 Solheim Cup.

“I see this as the key to our retail,” Village President Sean Michels said at the time. “We can also use it for transportation when the Solheim Cup comes.”

The project includes the extension of Municipal Drive north from Bastian Drive to Route 30 and from Route 30 to Galena Boulevard, and the extension of Galena Boulevard west to where it meets Municipal Drive.

Initiated in 2005, the project was held up several times, due to funding issues and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) requirements for additional intersection improvements.

The cost, initially projected at $8.1 million, increased to $10 million to include IDOT’s requirements for dual left turn lanes at the intersection of Galena Boulevard and Route 47 and dedicated right turn lanes on all four legs of the Route 47 and Galena Boulevard intersection.

When former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was in office, he requested $4.5 million for the project in the federal transportation bill. The bill, held up by the threat of a presidential veto because the amount was too high, was passed in 2007, and included $3.5 million for the project.

However, the federal money required a state match. When state government seemed unable to act quickly enough to provide its share of the funding, the entire project was at risk. The Village Board voted to step in and cover the local funding requirement. The majority of the balance will come from village bonds, and will be paid off through sales tax revenue.

Construction on the roads began last summer, and village officials have at times held their breath, hoping that the project would be completed in time for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Solheim Cup Aug. 17-23. Solheim Cup tournament director Kelly Hyne estimated that 40,000 fans per day will attend the event at Rich Harvest Farms off of Route 30 and Dugan Road.

Michels praised Geneva Construction Company for its speed and efficiency in getting the project done in time.

“They were really motivated to get it done quickly,” he said.

“With the opening of the Harter Road Middle School, the new Sugar Grove Library building and the Solheim Cup, it’s exciting to see some fresh asphalt around town,” Michels said.

In addition to easing the current flow of traffic through the village, the extensions will open up 180 acres of the area west of Waubonsee Corporate Center identified for commercial and retail development, according to Michels.

“It took three years to get the improvements completed,” Michels said. “Commercial developments don’t have three years to wait.”

Batavia production highlights Kaneland talent

by Susan O’Neill
Nearly half of the small cast of a locally produced play this summer share something in common—they are either Kaneland High School students or Kaneland alumni.

Elburn resident Lynn Meredith said she was surprised to find so many actors from Kaneland at the audition she went to for Shakespeare on Clark’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Meredith majored in theatre at Illinois State University after graduating from Kaneland High School. She was a cast member of the Chicagoland children’s theatre group Alphabet Soup during the 1990s, and continued her acting career when she lived in Cincinnati.

However, since she moved back to Elburn several years ago, she had not been on the stage.

When she saw the notice for auditions for the Batavia-based summer theatre production, she decided on a whim to try out. Meredith said she had been trained in Shakespeare, and had always wanted to try acting in a Shakespeare role.

She said that “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of the bard’s lighter plays, with a fairly simple plot. She plays Titania, the Queen of the Fairies.

“The costumes are gorgeous,” she said. “As a fairy, I get to wear really fun things.”

She said the cast, although young, is very talented and the actors have a good grasp of what could be seen as difficult.

“I’ve been really pleased with how it’s turned out,” she said. “It’s a good production.”

Bryan Renaud, one of her fellow actors, graduated from Kaneland High School this year. Renaud, who soon turns 18, has been acting since he was seven years old, when he appeared in a Waubonsee Community College staging of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

Renaud had roles in a number of plays while at Kaneland High School, including “As You Like It” last fall. He played Lumiere, a major role in “Beauty and the Beast,” staged at the high school this spring.

He has acted with the First Street Playhouse and performed in a number of Shakespeare on Clark productions.
Renaud has a lead role in this summer’s performance and plans to attend North Central College in the fall, where he will major in theatre performance.

“Acting is my focus,” he said. “This is what I need to be doing.”

The outdoor summer theatre is sponsored through a partnership of All Dressed Up Costumes, a costume rental company, and Batavia MainStreet.

All Dressed Up Costumes owner Julane Sullivan is also the director. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the summer theatre offering staged at Clark Island.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Staged on Clark Island in Batavia

Performances:
7 p.m. on Friday, July 31
and Saturday, Aug. 1
6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 2
(75-minute act; no intermissions)

www.downtownbatavia.com
www.alldressedupcostumes.com

Cast includes Kaneland alumni
Lynn Meredith
Bryan Renaud
Nikky Prusinski

Kaneland students
Kasey Ostarello
Ben Tennant
Ryan Stasell
Kevin Krasinski

Photo: The Kaneland area is well-represented in a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for Shakespeare on Clark on Clark Island in Batavia. Many of the 18 members of the cast are current students of Kaneland or alumni. Pictured are some of the Kaneland students and alumni that are performing, including Nikki Prusinski, Bryan Renaud, Ben Tennant and Kasey Ostarello (Dan Bach of Batavia also pictured). The final performances of the summer are at 7 p.m. Friday, July 31, Saturday, Aug. 1, and at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2. Courtesy Photo

Wilhelm surprised by Citizen of the Year honor

by Susan O’Neill

Jim Wilhelm was surprised on Friday night when he received the Citizen of the Year award at the Sugar Grove Corn Boil.

“Not too much gets by me,” Wilhelm said, smiling and shaking his head.

Wilhelm’s family, friends and employees shared in the celebration with him.

“He will do anything for anybody,” his wife Stephanie said. “He’d give you the shirt off his back.”

Their neighbors agree with her assessment. When a bad storm came through Sugar Grove last summer, a couple of trees fell on Kahl and Lorainne Kinney’s new roof. Although it was a holiday, J&S Construction owner Wilhelm and his employees showed up and not only removed the trees, they came back after dark to fill in the holes left in their yard.

Wilhelm knew that the Kinney’s insurance would not cover the damage, because the storm was an act of God. When Kahl saw Wilhelm’s bill, he said, “What else do I owe you?” Wilhelm told him, “You can just wave when I drive by.”

The Kinneys are not the only recipients of Wilhelm’s generosity and hard work. The Corn Boil Committee received letters of support for Wilhelm’s nomination from the Sugar Grove Library, Village Hall, the Farmer’s Market, as well as a number of other residents.

But Wilhelm’s modestly deflected the praise.

“It’s not just me,” Wilhelm said. “It’s all my guys; my company and my friends. They do all the work.”

Friend John Guddendorf said that Wilhelm tries to bring to the community what it needs.

“He brings everybody together to get it done,” he said.

In addition to helping out his neighbors, Wilhelm has contributed his assistance and resources to many other projects, including the Little League Field in Kaneville and providing lights, heavy equipment, man power, and shuttles for the annual Corn Boil.

A 22-year resident of Sugar Grove, Wilhelm and his wife of almost 20 years have 3 daughters Samantha 19, Abbie 14, Halley 10 and one son, Shawn 8.

“He’s the best dad,” Samantha said. “He puts everybody before himself.”

The Citizen of the Year award was established in 1998 by the village of Sugar Grove and the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry to recognize an individual or group that best exemplifies Sugar Grove’s pioneering spirit.

Previous winners include Karen McCannon, Joe Wolf and Pat Graceffa.

Extreme green makeover in Sugar Grove

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—For two days last weekend, the St. Charles-based Aqua-scape, Inc. turned the Lakes of Bliss Woods Subdivision into an in-the-field classroom for its contractors. The independently-owned business owners who purchase their product from Aquascape received training in how to design and install an effective rainwater harvest system, and about 25 families received completed ecosystem ponds, rain gardens, rain barrels and other water exchange solutions by Saturday night.

“Nice, nice,” resident Brad Huggins said as he and his wife Audrey watched a crew of contractors from California, Arizona and Illinois turn the front of their house into a gurgling water feature nestled in a bed of decorative rocks.

The Huggins’ rain water system installation was part of Aquascape’s 20th annual Pondemonium, a large-scale networking, training and education event for contractors across the country and Canada to learn the latest about the company’s products.

Aquascape, Inc., which creates and markets a wide range of water gardening products, including backyard ponds and waterfalls, began looking into the rainwater harvesting concept several years ago. Aquascape’s Chief Sustainability Officer Ed Beaulieu said that 75 percent of the calls the company’s technology department currently receives are about rainwater harvesting.

Although the fountain will provide Brad and Audrey a pretty and relaxing spot to spend a summer evening, it’s what is underneath the ground that makes it more than just a nice amenity.

The RainXchange system includes a 500-gallon underground water storage tank designed to collect rain water from the roof and a booster pump that turns an everyday garden hose into a power washer for the car or a tool to water the lawn and surrounding landscape.

In the past, when it rained, it would run off the Huggins’ roof and down the drainpipe, flow through the bushes and plants and mulch, across the sidewalk and down a storm sewer in the street.

“We would always see all this water going to waste,” Brad said. “We knew we needed to do something.”

Then they received an e-mail from their neighbors Ed and his wife Ellen, who also works for Aquascape, Inc., inviting them to participate in the extreme green community makeover by purchasing a rainwater harvest system for their home.

Brad said it made sense to become environmentally conscious of the water they use, especially with the water shortages the village has experienced the past few years. Water had become so scarce that the village imposed restrictions on residents’ water use for the past two summers.

“This is perfect,” Brad said. “This is the answer to everything.”

Beaulieu came to talk to the Sugar Grove Village Board a few months ago about their project, and told them he and Ellen wanted to use the community as a model for the company’s RainXchange solutions. Their idea is to create something that can be replicated in other communities.

The response was overwhelming, he said.

Brad said he was “pleased as punch” about their system, and that it is even better than he expected.

“We’re just so lucky to have Ed and Ellen here in our community,” he said.

Lakes of Bliss Woods ponds and other water features will be part of Aquascape’s 17th annual Parade of Ponds, held the weekend of July 25-26. The tour features a variety of water features at more than 65 tour locations in the western suburbs.

Proceeds from ticket purchases benefit the Aquascape Foundation, a not-for-profit 501 3C organization dedicated to creating sustainable solutions for the world-wide water crisis.

Photo: A certified Aquascape contractor tests the water fountain on a RainXchange system during Saturday’s Pondemonium. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Team Budzyn wins again

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Branden and Ryan Budzyn enjoyed their lesson in Sugar Grove history, but it was their knowledge of navigation through longitude and latitude points that led them to the medallion.

For the past six weeks, the boys and their mom Michelle had followed the clues published in the Elburn Herald that would lead them to where the Corn Boil Medallion was hidden. This is the third year that Corn Boil Committee member Bob Carroll hid a medallion in the Sugar Grove area and created clues to lead someone to it.

They couldn’t wait to get home and open the paper to read the clues, Michelle said. The first couple of clues were more general in nature, indicating that the coin might be hidden outside the village corporate limits. The boys and their mom read the book on the history of Sugar Grove, “Sin-Qua-Sip,” to find the answer to another clue.

They learned a lot about the history of Sugar Grove, but it wasn’t until the July 16 clue that they zeroed in on the location. The seventh clue was a cryptogram that symbolized the Global Positioning System (GPS) location for the medallion, hidden in a bird house in the Sauer Family Prairie Restoration spot along Harter Road.

The Sugar Grove boys, who will enter third grade this fall, love to participate in geocaching, an outdoor activity in which players hide and seek items using navigational techniques. Their knowledge of these techniques led them off the beaten path to find the medallion.

This is Team Budzyn’s second year in a row that they found the medallion before anyone else.

“Last year they found it during a thunderstorm,” clue-creator Bob Carroll said. “They were determined.”

Last year, the boys found the medallion quickly, after only three clues. They said that Carroll should make it harder this year, and he obliged. Although it took them seven clues this year, the boys still prevailed. They are looking forward to the 25 gold coins they will each receive at the Sugar Grove Corn Boil this weekend.

Photo: Branden and Ryan Budzyn pose with the 2009 Sugar Grove Corn Boil medallion they found in a birdhouse in the Sauer Family Prairie Restoration spot along Harter Road in unincorporated Sugar Grove. This was the second year in a row the boys found the medallion. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Local vendors hope to capture additional business during Solheim Cup

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Village Board on Tuesday wrestled with the requests of several Sugar Grove businesses that have approached the village about temporarily locating on private property during the Solheim Cup to provide their services to thousands of potential additional customers.

Catering Gourmets owner Janet Lagerloef, who attended the meeting, obtained the permission of Sign Effects, a business located at Dugan and Granart roads, to temporarily set up the business’ outdoor grill on Sign Effects’ property during the week of the Solheim Cup.

Lagerloef said she would like to provide coffee in the morning and grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch as people approach the event, located farther south on Dugan Road at Rich Harvest Farms.

Village trustees were anxious to accommodate Lagerloef, but expressed concerns about the impact on the already-increased traffic the Solheim Cup will bring.

“I don’t have a problem with the concept, but I’m a little bit concerned with the location, due to the traffic issues and its proximity to the (traffic) light,” trustee Tom Renk said. “I envision people trying to turn into the intersection and then trying to get out.”

Village President Sean Michels said he was concerned about how the traffic would likely begin stacking up on Route 30.

Trustee Rick Montalto said he was interested in finding a good compromise that would allow businesses in town to benefit from the event.

“There aren’t enough places in town to eat as it is,” he said. “I would rather see them (Solheim Cup visitors) spend their money in town.”

Trustee Mari Johnson suggested that perhaps Catering Gourmets and other food vendors could set up for business in the Village Hall parking lot, where the Farmer’s Market takes place on Saturday mornings. She said with people being able to pull in off of Route 30 and parking available across Municipal Drive at the fire station, the safety issues would be alleviated.

Lagerloef said that she had received the permission of Rich Harvest Farms to temporarily locate at the spot, although she had not consulted with the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Board members said they would like to discuss the situation with LPGA planners before making a final decision.

The board will make a final decision at the next scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 4. The Solheim Cup takes place the week of Aug. 17-23.

Kaneville ends summer with fun-filled fest

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—Kaneville residents are gearing up for an end-of-summer weekend of fun, music, food, contests and activities for all ages.

Kaneville Fest 2009, from Friday, Aug. 27 to Sunday, Aug. 29, will begin with a used book sale at the Kaneville Library on Friday and end with a softball game on Sunday afternoon.

Activities planned include a bags tournament, a walk-run through Kaneville, bingo, a junior firefighter’s water fight, and other contests and races. Everyone is invited to a free movie on Friday night, shown on the side of the Hill’s County Store, weather permitting. On Saturday, visit the craft show and find out about the local businesses at the Kaneville Community Center, then check for deals at a number of neighborhood garage sales and enjoy a pulled pork sandwich prepared by Food for Thought.

Saturday evening ends with a bang, with Maple Park resident and pyrotechnics expert Roger Kahl providing the fireworks show.

Sunday morning starts out with a community church service held at the Kaneville United Methodist Church outdoor sanctuary, and continues with a car show, a town potluck picnic (hotdogs provided), and softball game.

Hill’s Country Store owner Pat Hill said there are a number of other activities in the works. If there is enough interest, she hopes to have a volleyball tournament, and a petting zoo is another possibility, given enough animals and fencing. The Kaneville Historical Society may hold a few demonstrations, such as making butter and spinning yarn.

Hill said it is an ambitious list of activities, but that anything is possible with enough volunteers. She said she, co-planner Karen Flamand and others on the committee welcome any and all help.

WCC offers TV News Camp for Kids

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Students from sixth to eighth grade have an opportunity this summer to make their own television show at Waubonsee Community College. For two weeks, beginning Monday, July 27, students will find a story to tell, shoot their own footage, learn the important skill of computer editing, and even find themselves in front of the camera.

Everyone will have a chance to be a producer, editor and anchor, said Chris Mohr, Waubonsee’s public access production technician. The newscast will then be scheduled to air on Fox Valley Television Channel 17, with plenty of time to tell their family and friends the time slot for their program.

The class structure, which meets on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week, gives students the chance to go out and collect their news stories in between class times.

They will be trained how to use the equipment, including studio-quality television cameras, how to write a good story and how to get good shots. The studio work will be done in the television studio on Waubsonsee’s Sugar Grove campus, under the direction of Public Access Programming Manager Mike Rennels, an experienced television industry professional.

Rennels is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcasting. A video professional with more than 20 years experience, he also taught video production at Columbia College and the Illinois Center for Broadcasting for a number of years. He is responsible for the overall operation of FVTV, as well as teaching the Access training class.

The community college has more than 200 registered users, who use the equipment to produce shows with a wide variety of content, including history, church-related, cooking shows, and more.

This is the first time the program will be offered to young people.

“It’s a nice way to fuel that interest young,” Mohr said.

Village officials study wind power

by Susan O’Neill
Village trustee Rick Montalto and Sugar Grove Community Development Director Rich Young attended a recent Sandwich Village Board meeting where wind energy was a topic for discussion.

With the board’s decision to enact a six-month moratorium on wind-energy solutions, village officials are using this time to conduct research on the subject.

Montalto brought back copies of a guidebook for state and local governments published by the American Wind Energy Association so that other board members could get up-to-speed on the issue.

The board will create a committee or task force to study the pros and cons of the alternate power sources.

Meadowridge developers default on obligations

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Meadowridge Villas developers are not the only ones not living up to their obligations for further improvements in their subdivision, but they are the only ones who are not responding to the village’s attempts to reach them.

The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday approved a resolution establishing that Meadowridge Villas LLC has defaulted on their obligations, clearing the way for village staff to complete the work. The main work yet to be done involves the public streets within the subdivision.

Sugar Grove attorney Steve Andersson will contact the bond company associated with the development to demand reimbursement for the work completed.

“They will be fighting us on this,” Andersson said.

The subdivision, an age-restricted duplex development in Prestbury, was brought before the board in 2004 by John Claire, Ltd. Work on the subdivision, located on 34.5 acres between Illinois Route 56 on the east and Norris Road on the west, from Beta Drive to the Walnut Woods Subdivision, came to a halt with the housing slow-down.

Community will benefit from Solheim Cup event

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The village of Sugar Grove is well-positioned to meet visitors attending the Solheim Cup, village trustee Melisa Taylor said on Tuesday. Taylor told the other board members that the village’s expo tent is in a good location on the grounds of Rich Harvest Farms, where the Solheim Cup will be held.

Taylor said that every person who enters Rich Harvest Farms to attend the event will have to walk past the Sugar Grove tent. Locally based water garden company Aquascape, Inc. has agreed to build a water feature in front of the tent, to capture people’s attention.

The Solheim Golf Tournament, which features the best female players from the United States and Europe, will be held at the Sugar Grove golf course the week of Aug. 17-23. Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) planners estimate that thousands of national and international travelers will attend the prestigious event.

Taylor, one of the village’s liaisons to the planners of the Solheim Cup, said that during the planning process, the LPGA has been very gracious with those in the community.

To assist the newly formed Sugar Grove food pantry, she said LPGA organizers agreed to let visitors into the first practice day on Monday, Aug. 17 at no charge, if they bring at least four canned food items for the food pantry.

The Kaneland golf team will raise funds for the team by parking cars during the event, and the culinary class at Kaneland High School will have the chance to work along with the Solheim Cup’s executive chef.

“The (LPGA) has been extremely good to our entire community,” Taylor said.

In an effort to assist the newly formed Sugar Grove food pantry, LPGA organizers agreed to let visitors into the first practice day on Monday, Aug. 17 at no charge, if they bring at least 4 canned food items for the food pantry.

SG Chamber recognizes 2 local achievers with scholarships

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—High School senior Jessica White has always loved math, so it makes sense that she will major in actuarial science at the University of Illinois this fall. She also hopes to minor in French, which will probably not land her a job, but she finds learning another language interesting, she said.

Her time at school just got a bit easier, at least the funding of it, due to a scholarship granted to her by the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Hers was one of two scholarships presented on Friday at the Chamber’s annual Golf Outing.

Each year, the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry offers scholarships to students who live in Sugar Grove, based on their academic achievements and their service to the community.

White, a 2009 graduate of Rosary High School in Aurora, was awarded the $1,000 Scholarship for Graduating Female High School Senior. Andrew Wood, a 2009 graduate of the University of Illinois, won the $500 Scholarship for Adult Continuing Education.

White, a Rosary St. Catherine of Sienna Scholar, National Merit Finalist and Illinois State Scholar, placed second in her graduating class.

“She only got one B in high school, and that was because the teacher made a mistake,” her father, James White, said with a laugh.

In addition to her academic successes, White has contributed many hours of service to her community, at Hesed House, through her church and for “Feed My Starving Children.”

She said that community service was an important part of her life during high school, and she wants to carry it with her into the next stage of her life. She said she is very appreciative of the chamber.

“It’s always nice to get recognition for all my hard work in academics and all the extra-curricular activities I participated in, in high school,” she said.

Her dad, a Sugar Grove attorney, said his daughter has been blessed with her gifts, but that she is successful because she has applied them with hard work and discipline.

“She goes above and beyond what other people would only think about,” he said. “How proud can you be of somebody?”

Wood majored in integrative honors biology and chemistry and received high distinction for his honor’s thesis. He volunteered on Saturdays at an extended living facility and weekdays at Dr. Howard Elementary School, and he instituted a weekly science assembly for the enrichment students at South Side Elementary School in Champaign.

He also helped with the sandbagging effort during the Mississippi flooding of 2008. He plans to attend Rush University Medical School in the fall.

No applications were received for the $1,000 Scholarship for Graduating Male High School Senior.

The extra mile

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—All-around athlete Jeremy Kenny will use his running ability in September to raise money for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Kenny, who graduated from Kaneland High School in 2004, participated in football, wrestling and track while a student there. He wrestled all four years on the varsity team.

Gary Baum, his wrestling coach, said Kenny started out with a lot of ability and is one of the hardest-working people he knows.

“He has a work ethic that is unbelievable,” Baum said. “He would run to school from home (Elburn) just for the work-out.”

While pursuing a degree in physical education at Northern Illinois University, Kenny began coaching wrestling under Baum at Kaneland High School in 2006. After his first year as a volunteer, the school offered him a paid job coaching the team.

“Jeremy is a very soft spoken individual who lets his actions speak for him,” Kaneland High School Athletic Director Leigh Jaffke said. “He is a hard worker and dedicates himself completely to whatever he does.

Under his leadership, the wrestling team won regionals in 2007. That year, eight of the seniors on the team graduated, and Kenny said he has since been in the process of rebuilding the team.

“I have a lot of expectations for good things this year,” Kenny said.

Baum said he wasn’t surprised to learn that Kenny was planning to run a marathon.

“That’s a pretty massive undertaking to prepare for such an event,” Baum said.

The marathon, which takes place on Sept. 20 in Maui, Hawaii, is 26.2 miles. Kenny said that although he has not run that far yet, he has been working up to it. He recently ran 17 miles, and will soon do a 20-mile and a 23-mile practice run with the National AIDS Marathon Training Program on the Chicago lakefront.

Although Kenny doesn’t have a personal connection with AIDS or HIV, he said he has wanted to run a marathon for some time, and this allows him to have a positive impact doing something he loves.

This coming school year he will substitute teach in the Kaneland School District and continue to coach wrestling while he trains for the marathon. He currently lives in DeKalb but plans to move back to Elburn in about a month, he said.

He has so far raised $1,400, through a cash raffle he organized and from his website, http://tinyurl.com/mc3ven. His goal is $3,500.

Board approves water main extension

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Village Board on July 7 approved the extension of a water main between Prairie Glen and Dugan Woods, a move that officials said will improve the water quality and service to both subdivisions, as well as ensure adequate fire flow in the case of an emergency.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $516,800. Engineering Enterprises, Inc. will do the engineering and construction for the project.

Let there be fireworks!

by Susan O’Neill
The fact that other communities canceled their fireworks celebrations for the Fourth of July made Sugar Grove Lions Club President Bob Bohler more determined to make sure that the fireworks show went on at this year’s Corn Boil.

“I don’t know how we can’t have fireworks,” Bohler said. “Everybody is still really supportive of having them.”

Community businesses, such as Rich Harvest Farms, Engineering Enterprises, Inc. and other smaller groups, plus the village of Sugar Grove, the Corn Boil Committee and Sugar Grove Farmer’s Market shoppers, contributed to make this year’s fireworks possible, he explained.

“It should be even better than last year,” he said.

Fireworks Trivia

Fireworks originated in ancient China, approximately 2,000 years ago. The first fireworks were actually green bamboo thrown into fires to scare spirits away.

A Chinese monk named Li Tian is credited with the invention of firecrackers about 1,000 years ago. The Chinese people celebrate the invention of the firecracker every April 18 by offering sacrifices to Li Tian.

Firecrackers, both then and now, are thought to have the power to fend off evil spirits and ghosts that are frightened by the loud bangs. Firecrackers are used for such purposes today at most events such as births, deaths and birthdays. Chinese New Year is a particularly popular event that is celebrated with firecrackers to usher in the new year free of the evil spirits.

The first Independence Day fireworks celebration was in 1776, and was memorialized by then future President John Adams.
“The day (Independence Day) will be the most memorable in the history of America … It will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival … it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade … bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward forevermore.”

In today’s public display shows, computers are used to control the launching of the fireworks and the synchronization of the aerial bursts with music.

Static electricity in synthetic clothing can ignite fireworks. The people who make fireworks wear cotton all the way down to their underwear.

Source: fireworks.com/safety, website of the Phantom Fireworks Company.

New amusement company for Corn Boil

by Susan O’Neill
Fantasy Amusements owner Bill Johnson started working in the carnival business when he was 11 years old. The carnival came to his hometown, Niles, Ill., and the owner asked the young boy if he would help him pick up balls in the Milk Bottle Game.

Johnson did this for the next three summers. By the time he was 18, he was running a unit for the owner, Mr. Knight. By the time he was 24, he bought his first ride, The Swinger.

When he turned 25, he became the supervisor for Loop Amusements. He started his own business, Fantasy Amusements, in 1985. He and his wife Mary started out with eight rides and a popcorn wagon.

Fantasy Amusements currently has more than 40 rides, games and concessions. The Johnsons’ three daughters work for the business. The oldest runs a game and works in the office, the middle one operates the funnel cake concession, and the youngest runs the popcorn wagon.

With the contract ending with Windy City Amusements last year, the Sugar Grove Corn Boil Committee interviewed several new companies and decided on Fantasy Amusements. The Arlington Heights, Ill.,-based company also operates the carnival for the Kane County Fair in St. Charles.

“They were very professional, and they have a lot of great rides,” Sugar Grove Corn Boil Committee member Lisa Lund said.

Lund explained that background checks are done on all their employees, and they all wear badges to identify themselves.

“They take every step possible to keep the children safe,” she said.

New this year, fair-goers may purchase unlimited ride tickets good for any of the Corn Boil’s three days.

Carnival hours
• Friday, July 24 • 4 to 11 p.m.
• Saturday, July 25 • 1 to 11 p.m.
• Sunday, July 26 • 1 to 6 p.m.
Unlimited ride tickets are available before the Corn Boil for $15, or $20 at the carnival.
Available at Castle Bank—Sugar Grove, Old Second Bank—Sugar Grove and American Heartland Bank & Trust until 5 p.m. Friday, July 24.

Unlimited ride ticket hours
Friday, 4 to 11 p.m.
Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m.
Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m.

Sample Fantasy
Amusement rides*

Kiddie rides
Carousel Fun Slide
Love Wheel Cuckoo House
Caterpillar

Family rides
Tilt-A-Whirl Zero Gravity
Kite Flier Bumper Cars

Spectacular rides
Supershot Matterhorn
1001 Nachts Pharoah’s Fury
Century Wheel Screamer

*Rides at the Corn Boil will be
chosen based on space available

District to fill in gaps due to contract limitations

by Susan O’Neill
The administration made the choice to hire an interim high school principal when Tony Valente resigned in June, after most potential candidates had already signed contracts for the upcoming school year. An interim principal will allow the district to fill the position with an experienced individual, while leaving the administration adequate time to perform a successful search for a long-term principal.

However, under the Teachers Retirement System contract, Dr. Greg Fantozzi may only work 120 days during a given school year. Schuler recommended filling in the gaps by spreading out some of the administrative responsibilities in the following ways with the associated costs.

• Special Education Department Chair (currently with a reduced teaching load): perform staff evaluations, serve as administrative representative in all special education meetings and assist in supervision of school activities ($10,000)

• Seasonal assistant athletic directors (current athletic director performs additional general administrative duties): one person per season to provide additional supervision of athletic programs and contests ($16,000)

• Two teachers: (either hire part-time teacher or add to work load of two current teachers) to temporarily assist the Dean’s Office with the overflow of disciplinary issues ($30,000)

According to Schuler, these costs plus the cost of hiring Fantozzi at a daily rate of $600 for 120 days, for a total of $128,000, would be the same budget cost to hire a full-time principal including salary and benefits.

The board unanimously approved Schuler’s recommendations. He will come back to the board in August with recommendations for specific individuals to fill these responsibilities.

“We have to very carefully look at job descriptions and define a clear chain of command and absolute accountability, within the athletics department and in general, to make sure nothing falls through the cracks,” School Board President Lisa Wiet said after the meeting. “We don’t want to miss a beat in providing a good education. At the same time, we want to ensure a safe and comfortable environment.”

KHS lands former Geneva principal

Fantozzi will serve as interim KHS principal as long-term search continues
by Susan O’Neill
Former Geneva High School principal Dr. Greg Fantozzi will take over as interim principal at Kaneland High School this fall.

During the two years since Fantozzi retired from school administration, he has been a principal mentor, a role in which retired principals provide guidance to principals in their first year on the job.

Fantozzi mentored former high school principal Tony Valente for both years, learning a great deal about Kaneland in the process.

“It was a real natural choice,” Kaneland Associate Superintendent Jeff Schuler said.

Fantozzi was the top candidate out of five the administration interviewed. He was the principal of Geneva High School for seven years before he retired in 2007. Prior to that, he was the principal at Thornwood High School. Fantozzi began his career at Glenbard East High School as a teacher, coach, dean and assistant principal.

In his recommendation of Fantozzi, the Thornwood District superintendent cited his ability to foster an educational learning environment through shared leadership, building collaborative relationships and creative problem-solving, according to Schuler.

Fantozzi said he will work more of his time at the beginning of the school year. After that, he will work out a two or three-day-week rotation, depending on scheduled meetings and other responsibilities (see related story).

Fantozzi was actively involved with school sports while at Geneva High School, and often attended games. Several of the Kaneland School Board members wanted to make sure he knew where his loyalties should lie while he is employed by Kaneland. Deborah Grant suggested he might want to add some Kaneland clothing to his wardrobe.

Fantozzi promised to be truly supportive of the Kaneland Knights, and to root for Geneva only when they are not playing Kaneland.

“It’s a neat opportunity,” Fantozzi said. “I can still learn things after 36 years of doing it.”

Board examines its effectiveness

by Susan O’Neill
The Kaneland School Board will participate in a self-evaluation process for its members to determine how the board is working as a team, define its strengths and weaknesses, and to make plans for improving its function.

The group taking part in the self-evaluation includes the board members, Kaneland School District Superintendent Charlie McCormick and Associate Superintendent Jeff Schuler. Each member will complete a survey, which will be sent to Barbara Tonie, a representative of the Illinois Association of School Boards. Tonie will facilitate the session with the group on Tuesday, Aug. 10.

Board President Lisa Wiet said the session should help the board gain clarification of a school board’s role and how it is adhering to that role.

The session will not be open to the public. The Illinois Open Meetings Act allows boards to meet in closed session for the purpose of self-evaluation when it meets with a representative of its statewide association.

Three state grants in jeopardy

by Susan O’Neill
Three state grants that support Kaneland School District programs are in jeopardy until the budget for the Illinois State Board of Education is approved.

The Kaneland School District received an e-mail recently from the State Board of Education that cautioned it not to spend money for the following grants prior to the state budget’s approval: Reading improvement Block Grant, $112,429; Career & Technical Improvement Block Grant, $31,364; Carl D. Perkins Grant (supports technical education), $151,200.

These grants, totaling approximately $195,000, support the reading improvement program and the career and technical education program with supplemental supplies, material and equipment, as well as a portion of the teachers’ salaries. In lieu of the state grant money, the district will have to use local money to fund these salaries.

If these programs are not cut when the state finalizes its budget, the district will be reimbursed from the state. Legislators went back to Springfield on Tuesday.

Fashion for your inner gypsy

Local designer making name for himself
by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—Joshua-Paul Angell has always had a creative streak. Growing up in Kaneville, he wrote poems, drew pictures, and was an editor for the Kaneland Krier while in high school.

“He was always thinking up something,” said his mom, Judy Angell.

When Josh was about 20 years old, he left Kaneville for Austin, Texas. He lived there for eight years, working as a home-care hospice nurse.

When he moved back to the area, he worked in retail for a time. Last winter, he decided to try making some extra money creating tie-dye shirts and selling them at a flea market.

He said his technique is different from that used to make other tie-dye clothing, in that he uses hemp rope to tie the clothing and does it all by hand.

“It takes me a long time to do it, but no one can duplicate my design,” he said.

He said that before long, people began asking for dresses, gowns and other types of clothing. While driving home from work about four months ago, he listened to his favorite singer, Stevie Nicks, sing “Gypsy.” Her words about freedom and feeling no fear seemed to click with him.

“Go with it, take a risk,” Nicks seemed to be saying to him, he recalled.

He called his district manager, quit his job on the spot and listened to “Gypsy” all the way home.

“I never felt better,” he said.

Since then, things have opened up for him. He has a website, and he has begun to get offers from local boutiques to place his clothing in their stores.

“He’s getting a great response,” said his uncle and fashion photographer, Michael Kostopoulos.

Kostopoulos has worked in the fashion business for more than 30 years. He has been able to provide some exposure for his nephew, dressing his models in Angell’s clothing for a few of his fashion shoots.

Recently, Angell was asked to design an outfit for the cover of Salon News, a magazine that circulates to 250,000 readers. The issue hit the newsstands this week.

Although his uncle was able to open a few doors for him, Angell is working hard to make his own opportunities, as well. He had more than 100 visitors to his booth at the Kane County Flea Market in St. Charles last weekend.

He said attending local markets such as this is good exposure. He sells some of his original pieces for a reasonable price, while getting his name out there about the highend nature of what he does.

He currently has his line of clothing in the largest wholesale distributor in Chicago and a children’s boutique in Homewood, Ill. In addition, he said a number of beauty salons and designer consignment stores are looking at his designs to feature in their stores.

“Things are falling into place for him,” his mom said.

Models of all ages love to wear his creations. Although 6-year-old Maple Park resident Emma Bales is technically not a professional model – her mom let Angell use her pictures for his website—she had a great time and loves to wear the clothes from the photo shoot.

Emma Bales
Emma Bales
“I’ve never seen tie-dye like that before,” Emma’s mom Mindy Koz said. “He goes all-out, and it’s very unique.”

Angell plans to have a booth at the upcoming Kaneville Fest in August, where his former neighbors can get a first-hand look at his designs. He said he will also do a charity show in Bensenville, Ill., and the Threshing Bee/Steam Show near Burlington.

Koz said that she is glad to have Angell back in town.

“He’s always been enthusiastic about whatever he does,” she said. “It’s hard for you not to get excited with him.”

Courtesy photos

Board moves forward with Mallard Point project

Approves step to establish future SSA
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Village Board on Tuesday approved a $14,000 contract with engineering company Trotter and Associates to conduct an on-site field tile investigation for the Mallard Point Subdivision and the adjacent Ogle property.

The unbudgeted project will be paid for with village funds, but may end up being charged back to the Mallard Point residents through a possible future SSA (Special Services Assessment).

Village officials and members of the Rob Roy Drainage District Board have been working for several months on a plan to resolve recurring groundwater and drainage issues in the Mallard Point Subdivision and the properties surrounding it.

The board also passed on Tuesday a resolution of intent regarding the establishment of an SSA in the Mallard Point Subdivision. The vote was 4-2 in favor of the resolution, with trustee Kevin Geary and Tom Renk voting against the resolution. Village President Sean Michels was not at the meeting.

Village attorney Steve Andersson explained that the resolution of intent does not establish the SSA, but gives the village the authority to establish one. He said that the resolution also starts the time clock, which allows the village to recapture funds already spent on projects related to the flooding and drainage issue, as long as they were spent within the last 60 days.

The village paid $10,000 in February for Trotter and Associates to inspect the retention basin and wetlands within Mallard Point. However, because this expense was prior to the 60 days, the village will not be able to recoup this from Mallard Point residents.

The current project’s cost of $14,000, as well as a previous one to complete a drain tile concept plan for the area south of Mallard Point to Jericho Road at a cost of $10,000, would be allowable expenses for the village to recapture through the SSA.

The resolution sets a maximum amount that could be reimbursed through the SSA at $100,000.

Although the resolution starts the time clock, there are a number of steps the village would have to take before an SSA could be established. Board members proposed Tuesday, Sept. 1, for a public hearing regarding the SSA.

However, according to Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger, the village will likely not have an answer by then to the biggest question residents will have—how much is it going to cost them?

“No one can say how much this is going to cost,” he said. “The earliest will be this fall, when studies are done.”

He added that the other unknown variable is how the costs for the various projects will be spread among how many residents. He said the village could be a year away from knowing the answer to that question.

Additional projects related to the flooding problems could be conducted by the Rob Roy Drainage District, which encompasses the Mallard Point Subdivision, the Ogle property and other property owners south to Jericho Road. These costs could then be recaptured by the district through an additional tax on the Drainage District residents.

Sugar Grove Public Works Director Tony Speciale tried to put the SSA question in perspective. He said that every subdivision the village has approved in the last five years or more, including Windsor Pointe, Windsor West, Hannaford Farms and Settler’s Ridge, has an established SSA, should any need to use it.

Although Eichelberger said that no one at this point knows how much these projects will cost each individual, he said it is more reasonable to say that it would be in the hundreds of dollars per year range, as opposed to thousands of dollars.

Montalto, who lives in Mallard Point, said passing the resolution was the fiscally responsible thing to do. He said he hoped the public hearing would be a good forum in which to address any misinformation that people are getting.

Trustees Mari Johnson and Melisa Taylor attempted to reassure the several Mallard Point residents who attended the meeting.

“Everything will be done in a step-by-step process,” Johnson said. “We want to get the right thing done.”

“We will not spend money frivolously,” Taylor said. “We will criticize every expense.”

Montalto informed the residents that both he and trustee Kevin Geary live in Mallard Point, and will be personally affected by the board’s decisions.

“We are managing this,” he said.

Village approves wind moratorium on energy

Officials want to study the issue for six months
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Village Board on Tuesday approved an ordinance for a six-month moratorium on windmills, wind turbines and other electricity-generating wind devices.

According to village officials, the purpose of the moratorium is not to prohibit these potential energy sources, but rather to take the time out to study the issue.

“Passing the moratorium in no way says the village is against wind-generating devices,” Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said.

Trustee Kevin Geary had brought the matter before the board in recent meetings, due to questions from several heavy-power-using industrial businesses in the village.

With the move toward more green and sustainable energy sources, as well as a 30 percent tax credit in the recent federal stimulus package reducing the cost to implement the technology, more communities are taking a look at this issue, according to Community Development Director Rich Young.

Trustee Bob Bohler raised some concerns about the potential for excessive noise generation and other problems.

“This gets complicated really fast, and the technology keeps changing,” Bohler said.

Trustee Melisa Taylor said the issue may also be complicated due to the airport nearby.

“There is no way we can sit here and say today what may or may not be appropriate,” Eichelberger said. “We want to encourage it, but encourage it in a responsible way.”

The moratorium may be extended longer than the six months, if the Village Board determines it needs more time to study the issue.