Category Archives: Maple Park

Cooking for Kaneland

School, village officials cook for Kaneland fundraiser
by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Local school officials and village presidents know how to do their respective jobs … but can they cook?

The answer to that question will be revealed at the Kaneland Foundation’s Cooking for Kids event, which will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, at Kaneland High School.

The featured chefs during the event will be Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler, Kaneland High School Principal Chip Hickman, Harter Middle School Principal Bryan Zwemke, Elburn Village President Dave Anderson, Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels and Maple Park Village President Kathy Curtis. According to Kaneland Foundation President Veronica Bruhl, these “chefs,” along with local businesses and catering companies, will create samples for community members to taste. Those in attendance will have a chance to pick their favorite appetizer, entree and desert.

Bruhl said the idea for the Cooking for Kids event came together last fall. The Kaneland Foundation’s goal in 2012 is to support academic excellence through innovation.

“The foundation discussed ideas for a new event that (would) bring the entire Kaneland community together. The idea (for) Cooking for Kids was born, since it would increase awareness among the community,” she said.

Schuler said he was involved in the Cooking for Kids event because he serves as executive director for the Kaneland Foundation. He also helped plan the event.

“As far as my credentials as a cook, I don’t really have any,” he said. “I have not been trained as a cook, but have friends in the right places that have agreed to help me. What I make will really be a surprise.”

Michels said he plans to make a Creole dish for the event.

“Somebody from the district called me, said they were putting on a fundraiser and asked if I was interested in cooking something,” he said. “I am going to have my oldest daughter and middle daughter help me out (during the event).”

The event will also feature a preview of student artwork for the Kaneland Fine Arts Festival, a performance by the Kaneland Madrigals and a silent auction.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at, and are $25 per adult and $10 per student/child. Tickets are $30 per adult and $15 per student/child if purchased at the door. All of the money collected will benefit students in District 302.

“We are hoping to sell 300 tickets and be in a better position to award more grant money to fund programs for Kaneland students,” Bruhl said.

MP Lions 2012 scholarship program

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Lions Club will again sponsor a $1,000 scholarship to a 2012 graduating senior who lives in Maple Park.

To be considered, the candidate is asked to submit a 250-to-500 word essay via their high school guidance office, or directly to the Maple Park Lions Club.

The essay topic will be “What Does Community Service Mean to Me?”

The essay will be judged by the Maple Park Lions Club scholarship committee. The scholarship will be awarded at the High School Annual “Scholarship Night.” Payment will be made directly to the institution, where the winning student will attend post-high school education classes.

Remember, only students with a Maple Park address residence will be considered for the scholarship.

Applications are due with the Lions by April 15.

MP updating tree ordinance

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—After having trees plagued by Emerald Ash Borers, the Village of Maple Park has started work on changing the ordinance, eliminating any tree affected by the beetle.

“Right now, the current tree ordinance allows trees that are almost all affected by these bugs and diseases, as well as requiring residents to get a permit and pay a $100 fee to plant a tree,” said Village President Kathy Curtis

After much research from trustee Pat Lunardon, a new list has been created, as well as a packet detailing the implant, mulching and care for the trees.

“This is all a good idea, but we definitely need to incorporate this into our existing ordinance,” said trustee Suzanne Fahnestock

Along with the changes to the types of trees, the fee may also be dropped.

“While there haven’t been many trees planted in the recent years, those that have probably haven’t gotten the permit and paid the fee,” Curtis said. “I don’t think there is a need for the fee, but we will need to enforce the permits.”

With the enforcement of permits, residents that do not apply for one could be subject to prosecution.

“We will be looking into this more in the coming months,” Curtis said, “We will need to look into harmonizing this into the current ordinance, and make any changes that need to be done.”

All the right moves under my belt: Learning Self Defense

Photo: Elburn Herald reporter Lynn Meredith practices an elbow strike with the help of instructor Bernice Marsala on Saturday at the Maple Park Community Center. The Kishwaukee Family YMCA’s Black Belt Karate Staff and the Maple Park Library hosted a female self defense course, led by instructor Tom Scott. Scott is a retired Sycamore Police Lieutenant and currently teaches martial arts and self defense classes through the Kishwaukee YMCA. Photo by John DiDonna

by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—On Saturday morning in the Maple Park Community Center gym, I stood in a circle with 35 other women as retired police officer and self-defense prevention specialist Tom Scott called out, “Who has the right to hurt you?” In unison and with gusto we called back, “No one!”

We learned that lesson and many more courtesy of Maple Park Police Department’s Sgt. Buzz Hodges and Officer Andy Rissman, who invited area women to attend the free class.

Scott was assisted by three experts in martial arts—women with various backgrounds and degrees of experience. One of the women, Leslie Rigg, teaches First Year Success, a self-defense program for all first-year students at NIU.

“It’s a program near and dear to my heart. We take care of these students for their parents while they are here. We want to make sure that young women and young men are confidant as they move around campus—as we know, sometimes at one in the morning,” Rigg said.

As I looked around the women in the class practicing their self-defense stance (feet wide, one ahead of the other, hands up), I noticed several teenaged and young adult women who either came on their own or with their mothers. Scott appropriately named his program “Daughters Safe,” making clear that every woman is the daughter of someone. His program emphasizes that a key component of self-defense for any aged woman is prevention.

“We want you to be the victor, not the victim,” he said. “The best protection you have is the knowledge that you have and what you do with it.”

Instructor Bernice Marsala delivers a palm thrust to "Bob the Dummy" as Tom Scott explains her technique. Photo by John DiDonna

After loosening up and starting to breathe more deeply, we learned the eight directions of movement and the eight weapons of protection. The eight directions are compass points around the body. The eight weapons are the hands, the feet, the elbows and the knees. We teamed up with a partner and started practicing something called “Push-pull.” The basic idea is that if a bad guy lunges at you and grabs you, you don’t pull back and resist his force. Instead, you go with his force. If he grabs and pulls back, you push toward him. It seems counter-intuitive, but it is an akido move that uses the enemy’s force against him. The reversal of energy knocks the attacker off his base.

“You use their force and turn their energy on them. You are going with the motion of the target,” Scott said.

Next, Scott began circling the group and coming close up to individual women—something he called “wolfing.” Some women immediately pulled back, on their guard, but others stood still, letting him come up close. Scott explained that how close you let someone into your space is up to you, but when it seems too close, it may be a trigger that the person could be an attacker. You can prevent an attack by paying attention to someone who starts to invade your personal space.

By this time, the energy of the group was flowing, and we starting using our weapons of protection. The assistants came around holding up small mats and stood behind them while we punched the mats with the palm of our hands, jabbed with our elbows and strategically placed some upper cuts with our knees. I was beginning to think that defending myself seemed pretty fun.

Scott must have sensed the group getting a little too blood-thirsty because he took the opportunity to point out how the law defines self-defense.

“The exception to violence is when someone is hurting you. You have to fight to escape, to protect yourself, not to stay in the fight,” he said. “So if someone comes up to you and asks for the time, you don’t start jabbing him. The law says you can use force that is ‘reasonable and necessary.’”

With that caution in mind, we moved on to a discussion of “verbal judo.” What do you do, one woman asked, if someone approaches you with vulgar language? Do you ignore him? Do you yell back?

Scott and Rigg explained that the same idea of push-pull that turns the attacker’s energy on him when he grabs you turns a verbal attacker’s energy back on him when he says inappropriate things.

“Verbal pushing is like physical pushing. You go with their energy, rather than push back,” Rigg said. “Remember, it’s only words.”

We then learned how not to be singled out for an attack. The reality is that predators go for the easy target.

“They are not going to pick on someone who is going to fight back. They are looking for an easy kill, an easy target. They will go after someone they see as weak, maybe the elderly or someone who is distracted,” Scott said. “Keep your hands free and pay attention to your environment. If you’re attacked, make as much noise as possible. It may come across as impolite, but it’s OK to be impolite.”

It’s so good to be empowered.

If you are confronted

1. Note all avenues of escape and
possible “weapons” available to
you. Run away yelling if you can.

2. Act confidant, angry and
aggressive. Yell, swear and show
him loudly that you’re not going
to take it.

3. Never believe an attacker. They will
lie to gain control.

4. Never get into his car or let him
take you to an isolated place.

Maple Park girl rides the Iditarod Trail

Photo: 11-year-old Olivia Goodenough (above), of Maple Park was packed into the sled in the ceremonial start to the Iditarod race March 3 in Alaska. The Iditarod is a 1,000-mile race starting in Willow and ending in Nome. Olivia traveled with musher Colleen Robertia and her husband. Courtesy Photo

Grandparent gives once-in-a-lifetime gift
by Susan O’Neill
MAPLE PARK—Olivia Goodenough, 11-year old Maple Park resident and Kaneland sixth-grader, is an outdoorsy kind of girl, according to her grandfather, Geneva resident Dennis Goodenough. She hunts deer and coyotes, fishes and can drive a four-wheeler with the best of them. So when Dennis won a chance to ride in a sled in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race held in Alaska each March, he gave the honor to Olivia.

Olivia’s grandparents had taken her and one of her cousins to Alaska last summer to visit Dennis’ sister, Lori Kirker, who lives in Houston, about 65 miles north of Anchorage. Several years earlier, Olivia had talked her great-aunt into getting a puppy that she could call Snowball and say it was hers. Although Olivia loves dogs, her father and brothers are allergic to them, so she can’t have one of her own at home.

When Olivia came to visit last year, she met Snowball for the first time, and it was love at first sight. Olivia had a great time, and Kirker invited her to come back to watch the Iditarod, a 1,000-mile dog-sled race that starts in a town about 60 miles north of Anchorage, and finishes in Nome.

When Olivia arrived at Kirker’s home, she had the chance to drive Kirker’s sled through the Alaskan woods with her four dogs, including Snowball. But that was just a warm-up for the real thing.

Through a charity auction, Dennis won the bid for a seat on Iditarod racer Colleen Robertia’s sled. Called IditaRiders, passengers are strapped into the basket of the musher’s sled for the 12-mile ceremonial race on Saturday, March 3, the day before the actual Iditarod. Olivia met Robertia at a pre-race musher banquet, and was introduced to her dogs the day of the race.

Olivia received instructions on what to do if she fell off the sled.

Olivia Goodenough spends some quality time with the dogs of her sled. Courtesy Photo

“She (Robertia) told me not to stick my arms out, because it could break my arm,” Olivia said.

When asked if that scared her, she said no.

“I figured I’d have a pretty good story to tell back at school,” she said with a grin.

Then she climbed into the basket for a thrilling ride. She said there were people all along the race route, cheering them on.

Her family took a shuttle to the end-point to watch them come in, and to their surprise, when Robertia’s sled came into view, Olivia was driving it with Robertia standing behind her.

Kirker said that Robertia must have felt Olivia was up to the challenge. She was the only IditaRider who was given that opportunity.

“She’s so mature for an 11-year-old,” Kirker said.

“She made it around a bunch of holes, and she was standing on the brakes coming into the finish,” her grandfather said.

Meanwhile, the folks at home were watching Olivia on the television at Bootleggers Pizza and Bar in Maple Park, as they ate a festive dinner of caribou stew and reindeer meat.

The next day, at the beginning of the race, Robertia asked Olivia to “be the rabbit.” This entailed running ahead of the dogs to lead them into the starting gate. She was thrilled to do it.

When Olivia came home, the race was well underway. Although the race was likely to last into the second week, Olivia made it home in time to finish her Illinois State Achievement Test. It may be hard to come back down to reality, but the Maple Park girl brought back some great stories to tell.

MP police plan anti-bullying workshops

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—After hearing from parents of students in Kaneland schools, the Maple Park Police Department decided to hold a series of anti-bullying workshops, free of charge, to help educate students and their parents about bullying and how to help reduce it.

“We have had parents come to us about bullying at school or on the buses,” Officer Andy Rissman said. “They wanted to know if there was anything we could do about it.”

After hearing from some of these parents, the Police Department decided to put on a series of anti-bullying workshops.

“We decided to hold three separate workshops,” Rissman said. “The first night will be for the parents of students, the second will be for students aged 6 to 10, and the third will be for middle and high school students.”

By holding several different workshops, the program will be able to better focus on different areas of anti-bullying for the different groups.

“The parents will be educated on what to do when a child comes to them about bullying, and the students will be educated on what to do when they see bullying, as well as the effects of bullying someone,” Rissman said.

The officers will be doing this by showing videos, as well as having speakers.

“We are going to have a few different speakers,” Rissman said. “Tom Scott, a self-defense instructor, will talk about the importance of self esteem, (plus) Nicki Bajaj, an attorney, and representatives of the Kaneland School District, who the parents and students can talk to directly.”

The workshops will take place over three nights. The first, for the parents, will be on Monday, March 12. A workshop geared for students ages 6 to 10 will be held on Tuesday, March 13, and one for middle and high school students will take place on Thursday, March 15. All workshops will start at 6:30 p.m. on their respective nights in the village offices of the Maple Park Civic Center.

“These workshops are completely free, and we are going to have some fun,” Rissman said. “It’s important we educate as many people as we can, so we can stop bullying in our schools.”

Maple Park Water Department seeks budget item for well house upkeep

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—During the Maple Park Committee of the Whole discussion of the 2012-13 budget on Tuesday, Bob O’Connor came before the board to discuss the needs of the village’s Water Department.

“The main problem is the room that holds the chlorine in the well house,” O’Connor said. “We don’t need to change the system; we just need to seal off the containers.”

Currently, the tops of the drums that hold the fluoride and chlorine do not screw on, allowing the gasses to escape, and fill the room.

“At that point it is basically mustard gas,” said O’Connor.

Even with the ventilation system, the atmosphere in the room is less than ideal for the electronic components in the room.

“The gasses in the room wears the various meters and machines out much faster then they should,” O’Connor said, “We need to upgrade these drums to ones that have screw on tops, completely riding the room of its current problems.”

To upgrade the four drums, O’Connor believes it would be about $300 to $400 per drum, and while not needed, he also believes two additional meters could benefit the room.

“It is my recommendation that we replace the drums, and add two meters,” O’Connor said. “It would make the job much easier while measuring out the chemicals.”

While the budget will not be finalized until next month’s Village Board meeting, they did realize that this is something that needs consideration.

“The replacement of these drums would be a safety feature, as well,” trustee Debra Armstrong said. “Even with the safety gear being used, it still sounds like it’s still dangerous to have to be in the well house.”

a new outlook Kaneland grad comes home from war with new perspective

Photo: Jessie Miles (center) at home with sisters Savanah (left), Hallie and brother, Charlie. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Editor’s note: On Dec. 15, the Elburn Herald published a story about Jessie Miles while she was on her way home from deployment, “I’ll be home for Christmas.” We followed up with Jessie and her family after she returned home and had time to spend with everyone. That story is below.

by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove/Maple Park—National Guard Spc. Jessie Miles arrived home from Afghanistan just in time for Christmas. The 22-year-old Kaneland High School graduate had joined the National Guard a year out of high school, went through basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and was stationed in California when she was deployed overseas about a year ago.

“Jessie was always an outdoorsy girl,” said her mom, Kippy Miles.

She told of Jessie’s love for fishing and hunting, as well as being able to skin and field dress her own deer.

After high school graduation, Jessie took general education classes at Waubonsee Community College for two semesters, but wasn’t really seeing a direction for her life.

One day, her mom asked her if she would consider going to talk to a recruiter at the National Guard unit in Sycamore. It was like a light bulb went off. Her father, Marshall, went back with her the next day, and she signed up.

Her tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 870 MP Company included training members of the Afghan police and army, as well as going on a number of combat missions. Although she said she is not allowed to talk about that, she did say she had a lot of close calls.

She lost a good friend from her unit, 21-year-old Specialist Sean Walsh from San Jose, Calif., who was killed 10 days before they were to come home. Jessie said that he was an only child, and Jessie has been in touch with his mom since she came home.

She said there were a lot of ups and downs, that being over there was hard, and physically and mentally challenging.

“It was good, though,” she said. “I gained a lot of mental and physical strength. If I could do what I did there, I feel like I pretty much can do anything. I have more confidence now.”

She said she saw the way that the Afghani people live—many in mud and straw houses, and there are many old buildings with no electricity or running water.

“We have so much and they have so little, and we don’t appreciate it,” she said. “We’re so lucky.”

She said that her experiences opened her eyes up to what is really important in life.

“Now, what’s important is my family—making sure they have what they need and that they’re happy.”

Jessie and her family have been spending a lot of time together since she came home in December. The timing worked out well, with her brother Charlie, 20, home from college for much of the time.

Between her dad’s house in Sugar Grove and her mom’s in Maple Park, she and Charlie and their sisters Savanah, 17, and Hallie, 14, have just been doing a lot of hanging out, Jessie said. The siblings recently went to stay at a water park near the Wisconsin Dells for the weekend.

Charlie said that he and Jessie have always been close, and that it has been great to be able to see her again every day. He hadn’t seen her since the spring of 2009, when she left for basic training.

He said he sees differences in her now that she’s home again. He said she has developed leadership qualities, that she has a direction and purpose.

Jessie is currently applying to schools, and hopes to go to colleges in either Colorado or Oregon to study architecture. In the meantime, she is hoping to stay at home and travel back and forth to California for her National Guard weekend drills. Once she finds out where she will go to school, she will transfer to the National Guard there.

”I want to make a future for myself,” she said.

Maple Park passes Tax Increment Financing district

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—After months of planning, public hearings and deliberation, the Maple Park Village Board voted to enact a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district, but not before discussing its size.

The discussion was whether to go with the last proposed TIF map, or a new map drafted to exclude a large area from the northern part of the district.

“It is greatly reduced from the original map,” Village President Kathy Curtis said. “(It is) down from an area that would be developed into 400 homes, to an area that would be developed into 100 homes.”

This area was reduced due to feedback from the public.

“This area would produce less of an impact to the taxing bodies,” Curtis said. “Also, we wouldn’t realistically see 400 houses in that area in the next 20 years.”

The reason those 400 lots were originally included was due to the plan of the proposed water treatment plant, which has also been scaled back.

“A water treatment plant of that size is no longer needed,” Village Engineer Jeremy Lin said. “We originally thought it was needed, but looking at a more recent growth projection, it is not.”

The board agreed that the smaller map would serve the needs of the TIF and be better for the village.

“The smaller map is much more reasonable and manageable,” Village Trustee Greg Cutsinger said. “We needed to take into consideration the worries of the taxing bodies.”

The board then voted to pass the three ordinances needed to officially enact the TIF district: the first approving the TIF plan, the second to approve the map and legal description, and the third adopting the TIF for Maple Park.

“The board would like to thank all that have participated in this process,” Village Trustee Terry Borg said. “We listened to the comments that were being made, and took them into consideration.”

Borg also addressed the difficulty surrounding the TIF, and that it was a much longer process than some may think.

“There were two boards, composed of nine different people that have discussed a TIF,” Borg said. “We tried many ways before this to come up with financing, including a failed referendum last March. We made this decision to protect Maple Park, and give it the ability to grow.”

As well as passing the TIF, the board also passed a resolution stating why it enacted the district, as well as its intentions, to provide to future Village Board members.

“It is important (that) future boards understand what we are trying to do,” Curtis said. “We are making decisions for the future of Maple Park.”

The TIF district is in effect immediately and will last 23 years, which is the longest allowed under TIF law, but can potentially be ended at any time with an ordinance.

“To address the concerns of the taxing bodies, this board lives in this village, ” Borg said. “We use these services, and we want to continue having them available to us.”

Looking forward

Maple Park plans improvements in 2012 to prepare for future
by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—While continuing to deal with limited finances in 2012, Maple Park officials still hope they can make the improvements the village needs.

“We have several important projects for 2012, including improvements to water mains, a new water well and water tower, improvements to waste water treatment systems, and pending approval of a tax increment financing district,” Trustee Suzanne Fahnestock said.

While the village views all of these projects as important, they know some warrant priority.

“The most important project is the water main, and the other projects that focus on the well, tower and waste water treatment,” Fahnestock said.

In 2012, the village is working on improving these systems for its current residents, as well as possible future growth.

“While we have adequate water supply and waste water treatment for our current residents and businesses, we do not have the additional capacity to keep up with future growth,” Fahnestock said. “We made significant improvements in 2011, but we need to continue to make improvements to the water mains, wells, water towers and waste water treatment systems in 2012.”

While the village knows what projects it needs to accomplish, actually accomplishing them won’t be as easy.

“The biggest challenge regarding the various water systems and services is the need for funding,” Fahnestock said. “In 2011, the village was successful in applying for funding from both the county and the state. In 2012, we will continue to pursue funding options for these improvements to our water systems.”

As well as improving the water system itself, the village will also continue to work on other means to improve storm water and flooding issues.

“We will be reviewing and reworking ordinances in the village, in order to reflect better storm water management and land use policies,” Fahnestock said.

The sooner the village addresses these needs, the sooner the village can start to grow.

“Currently, the village has developers interested in commercial and residential development, but those projects will require the upgrades and additional capacity in our water systems,” Fahnestock said.

Safety first

Sergeant Buzz Hodges of the Maple Park Police Department hands Zack Gould, 13, an unloaded weapon to examine. Hodges and Officer Andy Rissman, along with Ted and Theo Mikrut of the National Rifle Association, held gun safety classes for kids on Dec. 29 at the Village Hall. There were classes for older as well as younger kids. They learned things to do and what not to do when coming in contact with guns. It is part of an ongoing program to protect families from gun-related injuries or death. Photo by John DiDonna

Maple Park looks back

by David Maas
Maple Park—During 2011, the village of Maple Park was able to complete a few improvement projects and hold events, while at the same time being faced with the challenge of dealing with their limited finances.

“We had a few major projects the village started this year,” Village President Kathy Curtis said. “We did water main replacement in the northeast corridor of town, the street project and storm water mitigation.”

In the street project, the Civic Center parking lot and South Street were repaired.

“We also repaired the Civic Center roof,” Curtis said. “The building had been leaking in several spots.”

All of the major projects that the village had started this year were finished, except for the storm water mitigation project on Ashton Avenue, which will continue into next year.

Aside from projects in the village, Maple Park was also able to hold many events.

“We were able to hold another successful Maple Park Fun Fest, but we are also lucky enough to have Police Chief Mike Acosta, who held many events for the residents of Maple Park,” Curtis said.

Among the events the Police Department held were Kops and Kids at the Movies, a bike safety event, and Guns and Girls, which was used to teach the women of Maple Park various aspects about firearms, including safety.

“While we were able to make improvements in the village this year, we would always like to do more,” Curtis said.

While the village has been trying to come up with ways to produce the necessary finances for the improvements they wish to do, it has been difficult. While much time was spent on developing a Tax Increment Financing District, there has been no progress since the final public hearing, which was held in November.

“While we hope to continue serving the residents and working on improvements, financing will continue to be a problem in the upcoming year,” Curtis said.

Maple Park puts question for energy aggregation on March Ballot

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday passed an ordinance to include a vote on energy aggregation on the ballot in the upcoming election.

“All in all, this is a good thing for the village, and its residents,” Trustee Terry Borg said.

Energy aggregation would allow the village to go through an outside broker to enter in an opt-in service with an energy supplier to save residents on their energy bill.

“Maple Park will not be alone in this discussion,” Village Attorney Kevin Buick said. “Many municipalities will have this on their ballots next spring.”

The next step for the village is to find a broker to represent them to the various energy suppliers.

“We have started research and gathering information to help us,” Village President Kathy Curtis said. “We have some time to make the decision.”

Because this ordinance allows for the question to be put on a ballot, and it is ultimately up to the residents vote and decide on pursuing, the Village Board is looking for ways to educate the public.

“If we settle on a broker before the election, it is possible they could come in and help us hold public hearings for the residents,” Curtis said.

The question for energy aggregation will appear on the March 20, 2012, election ballot.

Concerns continue with MP TIF District

Public bodies air concerns during final public hearing
by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—At the final public hearing regarding the proposed Maple Park TIF District, the Board of Trustees heard more comments and concerns from the residents, as well as representatives from the various taxing bodies affected.

While the proposed TIF District doesn’t increase taxes itself, some are wary about how it may affect the village’s residents.

“I’d really like to make sure the village understands, while the TIF doesn’t impact taxes, if we need to pass a referendum for more money, people outside of the TIF would see that increase in taxes as well,” Fire Chief Kevin Peterson said.

A TIF District is an economic tool intended to spur development in a defined area. Tax revenue is frozen for property within a TIF District’s boundaries, and any increase in tax revenue generated from inside the district is earmarked to help further development within the district. With the TIF District’s lifespan up to 23 years, various representatives from other taxing bodies expressed concern with the idea.

Peterson urged the board to think about the future of the Fire Department.
“You’ll be looking at us to service new developments,” Peterson said, “The cost of the new equipment our department might need in the future would be very expensive.”

Peterson stated that the cost of a Ladder Truck alone could be over $1 million, with the possibility of multiple other vehicles and department upgrades.

While the board knows the taxing bodies are afraid of the possibility of providing services to more locations while working with the same level of funding, they believe they can help ease the fear.

“As development occurs, there will be different impacts on the different taxing bodies. We can look at those impacts when they happen, so we can best handle the taxing bodies,” Village President Kathy Curtis said.

Kaneland School District Superintendent Jeff Schuler was also in attendance, and said that depending on how the TIF District progresses, the district could either benefit or be hurt.

“While we may benefit from the economical development spurred by the TIF, if it is implemented for the full 23 years, we will not,” Schuler said. “We will see a huge impact on our district, not just our children.”

Judy Yagen, representative of Virgil Township, also fears the length of the proposed TIF.

“We will become victims,” Yagen said. “We will feel victimized by the plan, because Maple Park will take our revenues that we need to provide our services for the next 23 years. It’s too long.”

“We are aware of these fears,” Curtis said. “But the proposed TIF would potentially give us the ability (to) complete the repairs and upgrades the village needs.”

With this final public hearing, the board has now fulfilled all of its requirements prior to voting on the actual creation of the TIF District. That vote could occur at the Dec. 6 Village Board meeting.

Fall prescribed burns in area forest preserves

GENEVA—Conditions are once again almost right for the Forest Preserve District to perform prescribed burns in various natural areas throughout Kane County.

Each fall and spring, the district conducts prescribed burns across prairies, woodlands and wetlands to improve or maintain the ecological health of a site. These carefully controlled burns release nutrients from burned plant materials; encourage seed growth; open the woodland floor to sunlight so native wildflowers and plants can flourish, and they reduce an abundance of non-native brush such as buckthorn.

“Fire is a natural and essential ingredient of healthy native ecosystems,” said Drew Ullberg, director of natural resources.

Fires perform a house-cleaning function for nature and woodlands. Prairies are adapted to fire, and depend on it to maintain their unique character.

Sites targeted for the fall burn season include portions of the following properties:

• Big Rock Forest Preserve in Big Rock
• Blackberry Maples Forest Preserve in Elburn
• Bliss Woods Forest Preserve in Sugar Grove
• Bolcum Road Wetlands in St. Charles
• Brunner Family Forest Preserve in West Dundee
• Burnidge Forest Preserve in Elgin
• Fabyan Forest Preserve (East) in Geneva
• Fitchie Creek Forest Preserve in Elgin
• Hannaford Woods/Nickels Farm in Sugar Grove
• Johnson’s Mound in Elburn
• LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles
• Lone Grove Forest Preserve in Maple Park
• Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve in Hampshire
• Pingree Grove Forest Preserve in Hampshire
• Schweitzer Woods Forest Preserve in West Dundee

Before a burn, trained staff survey the preserve and create a detailed plan of action. They then carefully monitor the weather and wait until conditions are right, to minimize the chance of smoke blowing toward homes and roads. Staff also notify residents via mail, so that those with health concerns can avoid the smoke.

For more information on prescribed burns, call (630) 232-5980 or visit

Energy aggregation

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday discussed the possibility of energy aggregation for the village.

“Earlier this month, we had a presentation from Bill McMahon of the Progressive Energy Group,” Village President Kathy Curtis said.

In energy aggregation, the village works with a broker to find the best possible rates on electricity for its residents, from various suppliers.

“The next step is to decide if we want to pass an ordinance, because the residents ultimately decide if we take this further.” Curtis said.

In order to move forward, residents of Maple Park will decide if they want energy aggregation.

If the vote passes for aggregation, residents do have the option to not take part.

“It is important that they know they can opt out,” Trustee Suzanne Fahnestock said.

The village will draft an ordinance, and vote on it at the Dec. 6 Board meeting.

Maple Park Board amends liquor ordinance

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday passed an ordinance amending the village’s previous liquor control ordinance.

“This will only change the permitted hours of sale of alcohol for Sundays,” Village President Kathy Curtis said.

The board drafted the change after local bar owners asked for increased hours to better accommodate patrons for various sporting events.

“They will now be able to start selling one hour earlier, at 11 am, and serve an hour later, until 11 p.m.,” Curtis said.

While the village had allowed increased hours of sale previously for special occasions, in order for a longer period of time, such as the current football season, an ordinance had to be passed.

Proposed MP TIF District passes Joint Review vote

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—A Joint Review Board met on Oct. 28 and voted in favor of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District proposed by the village of Maple Park.

A TIF District is a tool that can be used by municipalities to spur economic development by defining a specific area and dedicating any tax revenue increase from inside the district to further development within its boundaries.

The Joint Reveiw Board on Oct. 28 was made up of representatives from various taxing bodies the TIF would affect, including Beth Miller of the Maple Park Public Library, Kevin Peterson of the Maple Park Countryside Fire District, and Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler of the Kaneland School District.

“The board participants were not voting on whether they agreed or disagreed with TIF conceptually,” Maple Park President Kathy Curtis said. “They were voting on whether the village followed the legal process for establishing a TIF district.”

Since the vote was dealing with the legality of the proposed TIF, Curtis said she was not concerned.

“The whole time we have been working on this TIF, the village has followed the prescribed process for establishing a district,” Curtis said.

While the Joint Review Bboard made the decision that the proposed TIF followed the correct legal processes, Curtis said she still anticipates that there may be some concerned citizens.

“If the TIF is established, I think residents will want to know that the money is being used appropriately,” Curtis said, “I’d like to assure them that this Board of Trustees has good intentions for the revenue stream we hope to see.”

The final public hearing regarding the proposed TIF District will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 22, with the Village Board vote set for Tuesday, Dec. 6.

Next up
• Final public hearing on the proposed TIF District is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 22

• Village Board vote is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 6

‘Who ya gonna call?’

The Lincoln Highway 4-H Club hosted the annual Halloween Parade on Monday at the Maple Park Civic Center. Gaven Hargrove (at right), 10, and Maddie McGrady, 9, pose as Frankenstein and his bride.

Prizes were given to winners in each age group. Jackson and Connor, 4, (above) show off their prizes. The event was sponsored by the Maple Park Lions Club, St. Mary, St. Vincent DePaul Society and the Maple Park Rec Council.

Photos by John DiDonna

MP Board continues TIF discussion

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Oct. 20 discussed the proposed Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District map with the village’s TIF lawyer, Herb Klein.

A TIF District is a tool used by villages to spur economic development by taking the incremental tax the village receives for improving a pre-defined area. The additional tax money received is then used to further fund development costs within the TIF District.

The Oct. 20 meeting was meant to inform the trustees, as well as give them time to ask questions about the proposed map.

“This is the final map for the proposed TIF District,” Klein said, “While it is smaller than previous maps, it does go farther north than any of them, and still has the important areas.”

The important areas included in the map are those that are in need of infrastructure repairs, which can use the funds produced by the TIF.

“That is the reason for the TIF,” Village Board President Kathy Curtis said. “We are trying to implement this TIF because we are in need of major infrastructure repairs, not because we’ve made deals with developers.”

While developers did come to the board and suggest they implement a TIF to give them incentive to develop in Maple Park, Curtis said she was adamant about making sure residents of the village were aware of this.

“Some residents think we are doing this for developers,” Curtis said. “I want to make it very clear that we have not negotiated with developers. We are doing this so we can improve the infrastructure for our town. If a developer comes in and needs to plug into our infrastructure, they still have to pay for their part of it; that is their responsibility.”

“A lot of vacant lots have been included in the map for that reason,” Klein said. “There is a reason, that with incentive, the land could be developed that might not be otherwise.”

If the vacant lots were developed, that would help generate the TIF funds needed for the infrastructure needs.

“We really need to get the basics done,” Curtis said. “We really need to do road repairs, and if we are going to grow, we need to improve the sewer and water systems, too.”

The village will hold its final public hearing on Nov. 22, after which the TIF District can be passed as early as Dec. 6.

Maple Park explores expanding Sunday liquor hours

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—At Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, the Maple Park Board of Trustees addressed an appeal from local tavern owners who’d like a change in the hours they are allowed to serve alcohol on Sundays.

“I have allowed hour changes for special circumstances,” Village President Kathy Curtis said. “But when they asked for the football season, I can’t allow that large an occurrence without an ordinance.”

Local taverns are asking that on Sundays, they be allowed to serve alcohol one hour earlier, at 11 a.m., and one hour later, until 11 p.m.

“Elburn already has an ordnance that allows these hours,” Curtis said, “And we actually missed out on some business from a group of motorcyclists that came through last weekend.”

“Not only did we miss out on some motorcyclists, but we also might miss out on some of the snowmobilers going through in the coming months,” Trustee Steve Nowak said.

While the board did see the positives of enacting an ordinance, they also discussed possible problems.

“How will this affect the area?” Trustee Susan Faunstock asked. “And how does the Police Department feel about the extra hours?”

“I’ve talked to Chief Acosta about this, and he sees no additional problems for the Department that would arise because of these hours,” Curtis said.

The board then voted to have an ordinance drafted, which will appear on the Village Board November meeting’s agenda for an official vote.

“I see this as a good thing,” Nowak said. “It keeps people in town to watch sporting events, as opposed to going other places.”

Motorcycles on parade

700 bikers ride for charity
by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—Motorcyclists with toys strapped to their bikes will be in town Sunday, Oct. 9, as they gather at Knuckleheads Tavern in Elburn for the DuKane Toy and Food Run to benefit local DuPage and Kane County charities. The DuKane chapter of A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education ( ABATE) has been riding for charity for 25 years, making it one of the oldest toy and food run in the country. To date, the chapter has given over $1.5 million in toys and food to over 20 different charities each year.

“I research the organizations that can benefit the most,” said Judy Kaenel, the president of the DuKane ABATE chapter. “This year the Elburn Food Pantry and the Maple Park Food Pantry are having trouble keeping their shelves stocked.”

The list of charities includes a physician from Elgin who treats families with small children for free and gives a Christmas party each year, with never enough toys to go around.

The ride will start and end at the Batavia VFW on Route 25. They will arrive at Knuckleheads starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday, and take off on a cafe ride at 12:30 p.m.

“We’ll go down Route 47 to Main Street, and then head to Batavia,” Event Coordinator Willy Elliott said. “We’ll go through downtown Batavia and cross the river, and then go back to the VFW.”

Emergency vehicles and police departments will be on hand to smooth the way for the 700-plus motorcyclists to get through intersections.

“There will be a wait (for traffic), but it will be quite quick,” Kaenel said. “We’ll be handing out notes to waiting motorists, telling what this ride is all about. The slowest part will be in downtown Batavia.”

Led by Santa Claus as they come into Batavia, the bikers will be joined by several state and local representatives, including Kay Hatcher and Chris Lauzen. The representatives will either join in with their own bikes or hop on the back of one. Kaenel speculated that Hatcher may be given the honor of riding with Santa.

Once back at the VFW, the donated toys will be loaded onto flatbed trucks by helpers dressed as reindeer. What’s unique about this charity drive is that the charities themselves are invited to the event.

“You can see the people (from the charities) come up and get (the donations),” Elliott said.

Kaenel emphasized that anyone can come to the event at the VFW. While riders must register, the public can bring a donation.

“If you want to bring a big box of food, you know you’re helping a family, and it may be a neighbor or family member of your own who needs to use it one day,” Kaenel said. “That’s why it’s important to keep it in DuPage and Kane.”

The bikers and the public will be able to relax to the music of Stoker Red and browse vendors displaying leather goods and clothes, wood carving, tattoo and piercing, food, and other motorcycle centered items.

Riders come from all over northern Illinois, Elliott said. The Latin American Motorcyclists Association and other groups will be coming from Chicago. Others come from Iowa and Indiana.

What started out as a group of guys who wanted to throw a party, the DuKane Toy and Food Run grew to include 6,000 riders at its event in 2001. The purpose of ABATE is to educate the public about motorcycling and traffic safety. They visit over 100 schools and talk to the Drivers’ Education classes. They talk at senior centers to explain how to share the road with motorcycles. They work with the court in cases involving distracted drivers, such as when a driver is texting and kills a motorcyclist. They also want to protect the rights of cyclists to choose whether or not to wear a helmet, and to be able to ride into all towns without restriction.

“We want education, not legislation,” Kaenel said. “People’s ideas of bikers need changing, and we work to change them.”

Village moves forward in TIF process

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday passed an ordinance to establish the official date for the TIF District public hearing.

While the village has previously held two public hearings for the proposed TIF District, Illinois law requires at least one meeting, enacted by an ordinance.

“We will have the proposed TIF District completed,” Village President Kathy Curtis said. “We will have the map of the district for this meeting.”

The final public hearing will be held Nov. 22, at 6 p.m. This meeting will be the last time residents have the opportunity to voice their opinions in front of the board.

After this public hearing, if the Joint Review Board determines that the TIF District meets its requirements, the board can then enact the TIF District if they chose. The earliest the proposed district can be passed is Dec. 6, at that month’s Village Board meeting.

MP High School Class of 1956

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park High School Class of 1956 gathered at Papa G’s in Elburn for its 55th reunion on Sept. 10.

Those present were: (front) Marty Strausberger of Elburn, Clark Reynolds of Virgil, Arland Sanderson of Tennessee; (back) Helen Emberson Faber of North Carolina, Dawn Lee Walmer of Wisconsin, Jane Johnson Ostrom of Maple Park, and Anita Lindgren Kendall of Sycamore, Ill.

Letters were read from several class- mates, and a memorial table remembered those who have passed away.

Family turns heartache to helping hands

Photo: Part of the Pumpkins for a Cure team at Kuipers’ Farm getting ready to load pumpkins. Steve Rambo (left to right), Paul Zellmer, Mary Agnes, Judy Col- lignon and Sue Coari. Photo by John DiDonna

by Susan O’Neill

GENEVA—Mary Agnes and Paul Zellmer’s son, Jim Zellmer, developed Type 1 diabetes when he was just 6 years old. When he came home after six days in the hospital, he realized that this was not like the time his brother had his tonsils removed. This disease would be with him the rest of his life, and he would have to take shots every day for the rest of his life.

“Mommy, fix this,” he said.

Mary’s heart went out to her son. She knew she couldn’t make the diabetes go away. But she could do something that would help him— and the rest of the family—feel that they had some measure of control.

Paul’s parents, Iowa farmers, offered to donate a crop of pumpkins and gourds to raise money that would go to help find a cure for dia- betes. The following fall, they made $2,000 sell- ing the pumpkins and gourds on their front lawn in the Mill Creek Subdivision in Geneva.

“Everybody was so generous,” Mary said.

Seven years later, Pumpkins for a Cure is a two-day event held in front of the Kane Coun- ty Court House in Geneva. The Zellmers sell pumpkins and gourds and late-blooming mums. This year, they are ordering 11 tons of pump- kins, and there will also be specialty pumpkins available. People pay whatever amount they want.

There are all kinds of children’s activities, including a children’s raffle, a craft table, face painting, music by Jeanie B and more. Haunt- ed hay rides, a professional pumpkin carver, fall gardening and decorating tips by Master Gardener Debbie Notaro, a pet costume con- test, free hot dogs and a performance by the Jesse White Tumblers make it a whole day of fun while people contribute to a good cause.

New this year is an event called Taste for a Cure. Held in front of the Little Traveler, seven Fox Valley restaurants will serve a sample of their best desserts containing pumpkin. People may purchase $5 tickets from Mary before the event, which entitles them to taste three desserts. Tickets the day of the event are $10.

“The price is affordable,” Mary said. “A family of four can come for $20.”

Individuals can vote for their favorite in the people’s choice category, and there will also be an award for the most creative dessert. A professional panel of judges, including head judge and All Chocolate Kitchen owner Alain Roby, will determine the best dessert.

The Zellmers have created their own not- for-profit organization, the Zellmer Childhood Disease Foundation, which supports education and research projects related to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of juvenile diabetes and other chronic childhood diseases.

The organizations that receive the money include the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.

During the past seven years, they have raised $250,000.

“People really do care and they really want to help,” Mary said. “The women who come, I think they are grateful that they have healthy children, and this is their way of showing that gratitude.”

The foundation uses the money to fund grants for specific research, including a current project at the University of Illinois at Chicago to develop a newer, more advanced insulin treatment.

In addition to raising money for diabetes research and education, the family has also funded over 100 scholarships to send children with diabetes to a diabetes camp sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. Jim and his younger brother Joe volunteered as junior counselors this year at one of the camps.

The children do everything that normal campers would do, except that the staff are all nurses and doctors who volunteer their time each year to provide campers with a safe camp experience. They also teach the children how to recognize when their blood sugar is low and how to give themselves their own shots.

Jim and Joe (who does not have diabetes) both attended the camp when they were younger, and they loved it so much that they wanted to give back what they feel they received.

Mary said that having a son with diabetes and all of the activities they have become involved with has been a life-changing experience for the entire family. She said it has been a great lesson in how Jim and the rest of them really can change their own destiny.




Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1 and 2 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kane County Courthouse 100 S. Third St., Geneva

Pumpkins, gourds, fall mums and all kinds of free activities

All proceeds go to the Zellmer Childhood Disease Foundation

To purchase advance tickets for Taste for a Cure, call Mary Zellmer at (630) 479-8116

MP man gets prison for thefts

MAPLE PARK—A Maple Park man was sent to prison for his role in several thefts in 2010 in a rural Kane County town.

Denis P. Walsh, 24, of the 44W block of Peterson Road, Maple Park, on Sept. 22 agreed with the Kane County State’s Attorney to a sentence of three years in the Illinois Department of

Corrections in exchange for a guilty plea to one count of unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle, a Class 2 felony.

Associate Judge Patricia P. Golden accepted the plea.

On or around the early morning of April 30, 2010, Walsh entered a garage in the 2S block of Harter Road, Kaneville, and took a 2005 Honda 50cc motorcycle. Around the same time, Walsh was involved in the theft of property from approximately a dozen neighboring residences.

As part of the plea agreement, Walsh agreed to pay a total of $2,907 in restitution to two victims.

According to Illinois law, Walsh is eligible for day-for-day sentencing. Walsh was given credit for at least 23 days served in the Kane County jail.

Walsh had been free on $7,500 bond. Bond was revoked upon conviction.

The case was prosecuted by Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Erwin.

Maple Park Board hears concerns about proposed TIF

by David Maas

MAPLE PARK—At a second Maple Park Public Hearing to discuss the village’s proposed implementation of a TIF District held last Thursday, the Maple Park Village Board updated the residents on the current status of the project and answered their questions, as well as hear some of their concerns.

Once again in attendance was Herb Klein, of the Jacob & Klein Law Firm, the village’s TIF attorney.

“We’re still working off of the map done for the survey, not the map for the final plan,” Klein said. “The map is not final yet; there are still some discrepancies we are work- ing out.”

As the TIF is described as a tool to spur develop- ment, the village wants to be sure it includes the areas where the funds raised by the proposed TIF can be used for capital improvements, such as street, sewer and stormwater system improvements.

“It’s important we keep contigui- ty in the map,” Klein said. “Especially keeping it contiguous to the sewer plant, so the village can expand it with the TIF funds.”

Because this meeting was meant primarily to hear from the residents of the village, some residents voiced their opposition to the TIF, with the main reason being the freezing of the tax rates that the taxing bodies would receive, for up to 23 years.

“If we have a TIF implemented and have our rates frozen; if 2,000 new residents moved in, we would not be able to provide anywhere near the same level of service we currently do,” said Sukey Blake, Director of the Maple Park Public Library.

Representatives from the Maple Park Fire Department and the Virgil Township also expressed similar concerns.

“The taxing bodies are the ones who are burdened by this TIF,” said Judy Yagen, Vir- gil Township Supervisor. “I’d like the board to really reconsider, as it’s hard for us as taxing bodies to consider.”

The board then tried to address some of those concerns.

“Once the money starts flowing, we can then enter intergovernmental agreements with the taxing bodies and provide them with funds they need,” Village President Kathy Curtis said. Klein also addressed some concerns, by reminding residents of the potential positives of a TIF District.

“One of the most important things to remember about a TIF is that it is completely local, and if there are concerns, residents know who they can talk to,” Klein said. “Also, once the growth starts, there is massive job creation potential, which will help with unemployment.”

The village continues work on the proposed TIF District and will hold two more meetings in the near future; a Joint Review Board, and another Public Hearing.

“While the Joint Review Board isn’t a pub- lic hearing, I’m not going to keep residents from attending. It is not a public hearing, but they can sit in and observe,” Klein said.

The purpose of the Joint Review Board is for one representative from each taxing body to look over the proposed TIF District and vote on if the factors used in the developed plan meet the requirements.

The Joint Review Board will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 26, while the next Public Hear- ing will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The earliest the proposed TIF can be passed is Dec. 6, at that month’s Village Board meet- ing.

MP to hold second info meeting on TIF District Thursday

by Susan O’Neill
MAPLE PARK—The village of Maple Park will hold a second informational public meeting to discuss the Village Board’s proposed TIF District from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22. This meeting will further define the proposed boundaries of the district. The first public meeting to discuss the TIF was held on Aug. 16.

Rationale for TIF District
The Village Board introduced the idea of a TIF District as an option for raising capital to pay for infrastructure improvements within the village, after a referendum to continue property taxes at their current level failed in April. An earlier referendum approved by Maple Park residents in 1997 for a capital bond issue to pay for the village’s sewer system is set to expire this year, resulting in a decrease in property taxes of 33 percent, or $90,000, according to a 2010 Austin Meade Financial Report.

The April referendum asked to continue taxing residents at the higher level. The additional funding was meant to finance public improvements to the village.

“We’re a blighted area,” Village President Kathy Curtis said. “We have several millions of dollars of infrastructure needs. There are no revenue streams to support a bond.”

Trustee Terry Borg said that in addition to the referendum, trustees looked at Special Service Areas, but with the current economy, that was no longer an option.

“It came down to money,” he said.

He referred to similar proposals for TIFs by other villages, such as Cortland and Sugar Grove.

“We’re all cash-strapped,” he said.

Curtis said the village’s master plan includes infrastructure improvements such as a new wastewater treatment plant, flood mitigation, street rehabilitation and upgrades and improvements to the storm water sewers.

She said that the lack of additional wastewater treatment capacity is a major obstacle for further development in Maple Park. As an example, she said that John Claire Ltd. can’t move forward with its development until a new wastewater plant is built.

The money that the TIF District would give the village access to would be used to finance these improvements.

How a TIF works
The establishment of a TIF District freezes the property taxes allocated to the taxing bodies at the level they were receiving at the beginning of the TIF. The amount of property taxes the taxing bodies, such as the school district, fire district, police department, township and others, would receive would remain constant for the life of the TIF.

According to Borg, the incremental increases in the property taxes generated by the increased value of the property due to development and initial improvements in the area would be used by the village to pay for the infrastructure improvements within the village, improving downtown Maple Park and helping business people to reinvest in their businesses. The idea is that this would also stimulate further commercial, industrial and residential development and improvements.

However, Curtis and Borg both said that the village does not want to harm the other taxing bodies, and board members are obtaining advice from attorney Herb Klein on how the village might share the incremental increase in taxes with the school, fire and library districts.

The boundaries of the current proposed district include all of the annexed property in and around the downtown area of Maple Park. According to Curtis, these boundaries were modified since the initial village meeting, based on feedback at that meeting. There is a lot of annexed property to the north and the south of the downtown area, she said. There are properties to the east and west that are owned by developers and have the potential for annexation, but are not annexed as of the current time, so they will not be included.

Taxing bodies’ reactions
Virgil Township Supervisor Judy (Probst) Yagen said that she does not feel that the TIF is in the best interest of the township, which services Maple Park, Virgil and the surrounding area.

“The development will increase the work of all the offices, and we’ll still have to provide services, but we won’t have the funds to pay for it,” she said.

The township includes the road district, the assessment office and general assistance, among others.

“The township barely has enough to meet the needs of the area now,” she said. “We (the township) have a good relationship with the (Village) Board, but this TIF District has gotten so big, we’ve got concerns.

“All that money will go to the village, and they will disperse it as they see fit. I don’t feel it’s equitable,” she said.

Fire Chief Kevin Peterson said that although he doesn’t think the Fire District will benefit from the TIF District, he plans to go to Thursday’s meeting to find out more about how it will work.

“I need to get myself more education,” he said.

Kaneland School District Superintendent Jeff Schuler was not available at press time.

Next steps
After the informational meeting on Thursday, Sept. 22, there will be another couple of public hearings, Borg said. Curtis added that the village officials will also convene a joint review board, which includes all of the taxing bodies that receive their funding through village property taxes. She said the time frame for the creation of the TIF District is by the end of this year.

Rep. Hatcher announces Foxy Readers Summer Reading Club graduates

YORKVILLE—State Representative Kay Hatcher has announced the Class of 2011 graduates of her popular Foxy Readers Summer Reading Club. The club features area students who pledge to continue reading during their summer vacation.

Graduates and their families will be honored at a special reception Saturday, Sept. 17, at 1:30 p.m. at the Plano Public Library. Local Foxy Reader award winners include: Nicole Loske, Tyler Rhodes, Caitlyn Schedin and Yuki Tanizaki, Jake Voss and Alyssa Voss all of Elburn; and Hailey Parisek of Maple Park.

For additional information about this and other community programs Rep. Hatcher sponsors, contact her legislative office at (630) 553-3223 or at

Traffic signal planned for Route 38, Meredith

Maple Park—State Sen. Chris Lauzen (R-25) announced that a traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of Route 38 and Meredith Road near Kaneland High School.

The intersection near Kaneland High School has been the site of multiple fatal vehicle accidents in recent years.

“I am very thankful that a stop light will be installed at this active, dangerous intersection,” Lauzen said in a statement last week. “Illinois Route 38 and Meredith Road will become a safer place for students and parents after this project is completed.”

In 2007, after three vehicle-related deaths occurred at this intersection, Senator Lauzen worked with state and local officials to have a flashing light installed. The light was only supposed to be in place until the money could be allocated for a permanent traffic signal.

“It has been clear for many years that this project needed to be funded,” Lauzen said. “The flashing signal was a temporary solution, and the new signal will hopefully be a lasting life-saving fix.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) awarded a contract for widening the intersection and installing the signal to Curran Contracting Company. The work is scheduled to begin in September.

The project, which is located in Virgil Township in unincorporated Kane County south of Maple Park and north of Elburn, is planned to be completed by December 2011.