Category Archives: Maple Park

Clock continues to tick

Kaneland reviews Intergovernmental Agreement as Jan. 1expiration approaches
by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Tuesday reviewed its current Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), which allows Kaneland to collect consistent land cash payments, capital-impact and transition fees from the nine municipalities within the School District.

The Kaneland School District offered a three-year IGA extension to all nine municipalities, but Sugar Grove recently stated that it would like a significant reduction in its capital-impact and transition fees. Sugar Grove’s response forced the School District to take a step back and reopen IGA talks in the hope of reaching a unanimous agreement with all nine municipalities before the current IGA expires on Jan. 1, 2011.

Kaneland School Superintendent Jeff Schuler led the discussion and stressed that the cost to educate a student in the Kaneland School District should remain the same regardless of the municipality that student resides in.

“We want to make sure that we are consistent with our municipalities. The School District wants to make sure we are not potentially caught in a position between competing municipalities,” he said. “(And) that’s why we’ve fought to maintain a consistent model.”

Schuler also touched upon the notion that residential growth should pay some of its own way.

“When you don’t have impact payments in place, the cost of growth, when it comes to educating new students, will fall squarely on existing taxpayers,” he said. “There are very direct measurable costs with growth when it comes to building buildings; when it comes to building classrooms; when it comes to doing necessary (school) renovation; as well as when it comes to educating students.”

Schuler’s presentation, which KSB Secretary Lisa Wiet referred to as a “re-education of the board as well as a reaffirmation of our goals,” essentially echoed his statement made at the Sugar Grove Village Board meeting on Nov. 16.

But can re-education and reaffirmation fix the district’s IGA logjam before Jan.1?

“We continue to have conversations with the municipalities, and the municipalities are having conversations between themselves. We feel that we should be able to get something in place (by January),” Wiet said.

• The current Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the Kaneland School District and the municipalities within it sets a fee table, based on home type, number of bedrooms and home value.

• The table remains consistent, regardless of the municipality within which a new development is constructed.

• The fees are designed to offset the cost of new growth, in effect requiring that new growth pay its own way.

• The IGA is designed to extend to all municipalities that extend into the Kaneland School District boundary. Its function is to eliminate impact and transition fees from being a negotiation tool between individual municipalities and developers.

• The current IGA will expire Jan. 1, 2011

Don’t forget the stuffing!

Ansley Ruh helps sort the food at Grace United Methodist church in Maple Park on Nov. 21. She is the daughter of Kari and Ryan Ruh, who coordinated the turkey food drop. Grace United Methodist and St. Mary’s Catholic church teamed up to gather turkeys, hams and other food items to help families in need. The food will help families in need in local communities. Photo by John DiDonna

Holiday worship service seeks to create unity

by Keith Beebe
Sugar Grove—Mention the upcoming holiday season to anyone and you’ll likely hear a few groans. After all, the holidays have come to represent long department store lines, ruthless “Black Friday” crowds and credit cards practically smoldering from overuse.

However, hidden amongst all the rat race activity is the fact that the holidays are meant to celebrate life, family, friends and goodwill. The Sugar Grove Methodist Church understands this true meaning of the holiday season and will proudly put it on display during the Kaneland Area Thanksgiving Eve Worship on Wednesday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend this ecumenical service, which will include at least six congregations from Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Kaneville.

People from all congregations are welcome to attend the service, and are invited even if they do not belong to any congregation.

“These are people who are sometimes neighbors and know each other but go to different churches on Sundays,” said Steve Good, pastor at the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church. “So this is one of those rare opportunities where they can all worship with each other. We live in the same communities, and it’s wonderful to actually come together in the same place of worship, sing the songs together and hear the scriptures together.”

Good said the Thanksgiving worship service is held at a different location each year, which means the head pastor of the hosting church must organize and publicize the service. Good assigned various scripture-reading assignments to several pastors in the area, and also asked the pastor of Elburn’s Community Congregational Church to preach a sermon during the Thanksgiving eve worship

“My job is to sort of set up the service and welcome everyone to come in and worship with us and with each other,” Good said. “It’s a rare opportunity for everyone to pray together, and there’s a sense of unity that we all have something to be thankful for as we consider the ways God has blessed us in the past year. It’s a great feeling.”

Good said the Thanksgiving eve offering will be shared with the Between Friends Food Pantry in Sugar Grove and the Elburn Food Pantry.

“We want to let them benefit from the offering and help our neighbors, who might need a little extra help making ends meet this year,” he said. “It’s certainly a real need in our community, and I think people will feel good about helping both of those food pantries.”

People can also bring a nonperishable food item to the Thanksgiving eve service for donation to the food pantries.

Maple Park considers tax increase referendum

MAPLE PARK—Recently, the Maple Park Village Board has been looking into alternative ways to finance projects, as the General Obligation Bond will expire in 2011.

At Monday’s meeting, the board decided on the first step of the process, choosing to look into a tax increase.

“The tax increase will be no larger than the decrease of the G.O. Bond,” said Board member Mark Delaney.

While there are other options, a tax increase would allow flexibility on what the revenue will be used for; the other options would limit the revenue for use on a specific project.

The board will vote on whether or not to pursue a referendum for a tax increase at next month’s meeting, and if passed, the measure will be included on the ballot in April 2011.

MP’s Bobbitt triumphs daily, wins award

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—After being diagnosed with cancer, dealing with unemployment, going through a divorce, and later relocating from Georgia, Maple Park resident Leah Bobbitt knows what it is like to go through many hardships.

“When I found the lump through a self-breast exam, I knew in my gut that something was not right,” Bobbitt said, “My gut told me what I was about to have diagnosed. I felt numb; I just didn’t know how I was going to tell my Mom that I had cancer. I was at a very busy time in my life.”

Bobbitt was 28 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After having both breasts removed, she found out the cancer had already spread to her lymph nodes.

“They took a cancerous tissue sample, and sent it to the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion,” Bobbitt said, “It came back that I actually had two different cancers in my breast.”

Bobbitt was then diagnosed with Stage IIA breast cancer, which would require chemotherapy to kill any residual cells that may have spread.

“My journey had just begun,” said Bobbitt, “The cancer out of my body was the easy part. The nine surgeries, four-and-a-half months of chemo, and tissue expanders for over six months—that was the most trying and painful part.”

Bobbitt, going through a divorce, then relocated to Illinois, giving up her job as a nail technician in Georgia.

“It was challenging; I had no job,” Bobbitt said. “I wanted to make sure my daughter had a relationship with her father, so I gave up my clientele, rented a townhouse sight unseen, and moved up here.”

That is when Bobbitt found Everest College. She had always been steered toward the medical industry and found she could change her career after an accelerated two-year program, which is completed in nine months. While in the program, she was also a Student Ambassador, a leadership program exceptional students may apply for.

“As part of the program, I was responsible for showing leadership,” said Bobbitt, “I tutored students and helped in class wherever I could. Our duty was to help whoever we could.”

Bobbitt is now working as a traveling phlebotomist, doing wellness check-ups for companies and their employees.

To recognize Bobbitt for all that she has overcome, Everest College has chosen to give Bobbitt the 2010 Dream Award, which is given to a graduate who has completed a post-secondary education while overcoming great challenges.

“Leah is truly deserving of this award and is an inspiration to all of her teachers, classmates and Everest staff,” said Robert Van Elsen, president of Everest’s North Aurora campus. “Though she faced many hardships, we are very proud of her for finding a way to succeed. We congratulate her on winning this award and wish her continued success in fulfilling her education and career goals.”

“I just feel that I’ve done what I’ve done because that’s who I am,” Bobbitt said, “But I am humbled that the staff, administrators and teachers have bestowed this honor on me.”

Along with the award, Bobbitt will receive a $2,500 scholarship to pursue an advanced program at Everest.

Bobbitt continues to be involved with various breast cancer organizations, working to raise awareness.

“I wear pink every October, loud and proud, because people need to know that cancer doesn’t care who you are, how old you are, where you are in your life, or what your plans are,” Bobbitt said.

Expand or expire?

updated Nov. 24, 2010 at 8:36 a.m.
Maple Park ponders wastewater plant expansion project
by Lynn Meredith
Maple Park—Maple Park has a situation: to find money to expand its wastewater treatment facilities or let the expansion permit expire.

A discharge permit issued by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) is set to expire Feb. 28, 2012. The permit, issued in February 2007, allows the village to expand its treatment facilities and build a new plant.

The original plan called for a new plant that would pump 1 million gallons of water a day and serve the two subdivisions, John Clare and Grand Pointe Homes, which were annexed into the village, and other developments waiting annexation. But times have changed, and only John Clare remains. That vision of a treatment plant is no longer realistic.

“We are trying to position where we are going before the permit expires,” Village President Kathy Curtis said. “We have one developer, with the other developers hanging tight in the market. They will eventually want to build out.”

The problem is that the existing plant does not have the capacity to cover potentially six new developments. Although no one is building now, the farmland has been sold to the developers.

The other problem is that if the village lets the discharge permit expire, it will have lost all of the investment that developers put into getting it in the first place.

“The plant is at a standstill,” Curtis said. “We can’t let it expire, or we will lose the expensive permit which developers paid for.”

Dave Johnson of John Clare believes the village is wise to hang on to the permit, given that the developer group invested close to $1 million in the project since its inception in 2004.

“We were starting from scratch and spent a considerable amount of money. We paid for $1 million of work that produced benefit to the village,” Johnson said.

Johnson said that developers, primarily John Clare and now-defunct Grand Pointe Homes, spent $450,000 in the initial phases. They paid fees to establish Maple Park’s Fiscal Planning Area. This plan calls for the village to define existing boundaries and those into the future, about a 20-year timeline. They also paid for a flood plain study and the categorizing of the village’s infrastructure.

Another $450,000 was spent on analyzing future infrastructure needs, such as designing the sewer plant, wells and water towers, conducting engineering studies to size water and sewer lines, and covering attorney fees for both the village and the developers.

“It would take years to generate that permit again,” Johnson said. “It’s an extremely valuable asset.”

Another complication with letting the permit expire is that the IEPA can then inspect the existing plant. If it finds violations, it can require upgrades and even impose penalties that the village would have to finance.

“We’re trying to protect the current homeowners. If violations to the existing plant ever become too costly, the village would have to recover the expense through user fees. However, this would be just to improve the treatment efficiency of the existing capacity,” Curtis said. “That’s the wild card. It could be something or it could be nothing.”

The village has not yet identified revenue streams to pay back a loan they have pre-approved by the IEPA. Curtis said that none of the new developers have volunteered to assist with the expansion. The Public Relations and Development Committee is looking for ways to design a plant in phases, so that as new development comes in, further expansion can take place.

“It’s still costly, but not like building a plant all at once. We could build one to take care of existing needs and John Clare subdivisions, and add in as development comes,” Curtis said. “The existing plant has reserved capacity for the existing town and approved developments with the exception of John Clare. Plant expansion is needed to serve the John Clare project. And we can have no new development without a new plant.”

The Elburn Herald reported an incorrect date in a story on page 7A of the Nov. 11 edition (“Expand or expire?”). The discharge permit issued by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to the village of Maple Park is set to expire in Feb. 2012. It was originally listed in the story as Feb. 28, 2010.
The Elburn Herald regrets the error.
The Elburn Herald wants its news reports to be fair and accurate. If you know of an error, please contact:
Ryan Wells, Editor
123 N. Main St., Elburn, IL 60119
phone (630) 365-6446

Spend money to get money?

3-2 vote for allocation, loan of bond proceeds
by Lynn Meredith
MAPLEPARK—With $16.8 million in Recovery Zone Economic Development bonds to be issued for economic development projects to Kane County, Maple Park is eager to obtain funds to pay for its water main replacement project.

The project will increase the flow of water for the Fire Department and residents. It will also replace pipe that would provide water capacity for future development.

But the money doesn’t come without strings.

For a $300,000 project, Kane County will give Maple Park $100,000, but the village must figure out where to come up with the remaining $200,000.

For Trustee Mark Delaney, that seems like an unreasonable request.

“At this point in time, I don’t think we can afford this. We have to put out $300,000 and then have to ask to get reimbursed. We have to spend $300,000 and hope to get $200,000. I don’t know why that’s a requirement,” Delaney said.

Suzanne Fahnestock said that while the village asked for the $300,000, the county is not saying that Maple Park spend that amount.

“I hate to see us miss this opportunity. We have the opportunity to fix something,” Fahnestock said.

Village Engineer Jeremy Lin said that that there is no formula for what the county expects. But roughly, the county will give 33 percent, the village gives 33 percent and the village has to find the other 33 percent.

The Recovery Zone bond program is there to help. The village can opt to take out a loan from the program to finance the $200,000.

“At 3 percent, that’s a really reasonable interest rate. Any improvement to the village is a great improvement,” Fahnestock said.

The village has already budgeted for the first $100,000 with the money in its Water Improvement Fund. Where to get the other $100,000 is in dispute.

“It’s frustrating that there’s no formula or rules,” Nick Moisa said. “We either have to reduce our scope or get a loan. We’re trying to protect a really limited budget.”

But Trustee Terry Borg said that the village has the first $100,000 and can take out a loan for the second $100,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.

“We have the money to cover the bills. Without some kind of action, we’re going to muddle around for another 10 years. We planned for it. The money is definitely there,” he said.

Debra Armstrong, Terry Borg and Suzanne Fahnestock voted to approve the agreement between Kane County and Maple Park for the allocation and loan of bond proceeds. Nick Moisa and Mark Delaney opposed the motion.

Maple Park renews 911 service agreement

Maple Park—Maple Park on Tuesday renewed its 911 service for another three years, in effect Dec. 1 until Nov. 30, 2013.

The village entered into an agreement with the Kane County Emergency Communication Board. It provides 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week 911 and public safety dispatching services. The agreement provides for the answering of emergency telephone calls to 911 and radio communications with emergency medical, fire and police services.

The village will pay projected fees of $22,148 for 2011, $23,255 for 2012 and $24,418 for 2013. The costs are calculated on a base fee of $5,000. Then the total services for the county are divided by the total number of calls for service made in Maple Park. Maple Park uses .68 percent of the total in Kane County.

MP signs IGA with Kaneland

by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—In a close vote, the Maple Park Village Board passed a motion to sign an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Kaneland School District. The agreement calls for municipalities to collect impact and land-use fees from developers to offset costs of educating children of new residents to the district.

The IGA asks the towns of Elburn, Virgil, Sugar Grove, Maple Park, Kaneville, Montgomery and Cortland to bind together to defray at least a part of the immediate financial demands on facilities and services whenever development comes into the district. From 1997 to 2010, Kaneland enrollment doubled. The district wants to maintain consistency so that developers are not paying different levels of fees in various communities.

The three-year agreement calls for the collection of land dedications or cash equivalent payments from residential developers, along with school impact fees. The district uses the land-cash payments to obtain school sites in the municipalities. The impact fees are based on tables and apply to all new annexation agreements.

“The tables have not changed (from the previous IGA), but the assessed values have gone down,” Maple Park Village President Kathy Curtis said. “They apply to new construction and new annexation.”

The IGA implements a phased-in schedule of payments based on home value. In 2011, a new $200,000, three-bedroom home will be assessed $3,560 in impact fees. By 2013, the impact fee will be $5,934.

Trustee Terry Borg said that the idea of the IGA is to have all of the communities that make up the Kaneland School District support the schools equally.

“Current residents are not taxed to pay for new residents,” Borg said, “New people to the community pay the same amount to support the School District as current residents.”

The vote was split with Debra Armstrong, Suzanne Fahnestock and Terry Borg voting to sign the agreement. Nick Moisa and Mark Delaney voted against it. Trustee Pat Lunardon was absent but provided a statement.

“She said that she was not in agreement with the IGA. She said that we were not on a level playing field and that the agreement binds us,” Curtis said.

The motion passed in a 3-2 vote.

Halloween happenings and Trick or Treat hours

Elburn resident Chuck Swanson went all-out with the Halloween decorations this year, but the high winds Tuesday wreaked havoc on the frightful crew in his front yard. Photo by Mary Herra

Trick-or-Treat Times
Local officials have set the following times for trick-or-treating in their villages on Halloween, Sunday, Oct. 31.
• Maple Park: 3-6 p.m.
At 3:30 p.m., Lincoln Highway 4-H Club will host a costume judging the Civic Center gym.
• Sugar Grove: 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
• Elburn: 4-7 p.m.
• Kaneville: 3-7 p.m.

Wind leads to thousands of power outages

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Galeforce winds on Tuesday led to power outages in more than 60,000 households and businesses in Northern Illinois including the Kaneland area, ComEd spokesman Alicia Zatkowski said.

Zatkowksi said at 10 a.m. Tuesday that the power outages began occurring at approximately 2 a.m. and were expected to continue through the day. The wind, in some areas as strong as 70 mph, knocked trees onto power lines, which was the main reason for the outages, she said.

Between 7 and 10 a.m., the number of power outages increased threefold, she said.

ComEd was prepared for the outages, Zatkowski said.

“We did know this was coming,” she said.

ComEd increased the number of employees on Tuesday’s shifts to deal with the expected power-line damage.

“Currently, we have 340 crews mobilized and ready to go into the field to restore downed power lines,” Zatkowski said Tuesday morning.

Although local homes and businesses were without power until Tuesday afternoon, Elburn Village Hall was able to remain in operation all day because it has a backup generator, Village Administrator Erin Willret said.

MP mulls intergovernmental agreement

Discussion with Kaneland focused on handling growth
by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—A lot has changed in the six years since Kaneland School District and the municipalities in the district signed their first intergovernmental agreement (IGA). In 2004, growth was omnipresent; today, well, not so much.

The IGA is an agreement specifying that the villages will charge developers the same capital-impact, transition and land-use fees. With all district towns agreeing to a standard rate, developers cannot bargain for better impact fees in one town than in another.

“The agreement protects villages from development, especially at a time when developers are hungry,” Kaneland Assistant Superintendent of Business Julie Ann Fuchs told the Maple Park Village Board on Monday. “By uniting through the intergovernmental agreement, you are telling developers that if you come to Kaneland, you are paying Kaneland fees.”

When a family moves into a new development in the district, the students begin attending school right away. But the district doesn’t see impact fees from the development for six to 18 months. With the cost to educate every student being $9,000, regardless of what community they come from, the district wants to ensure that the villages collect appropriate fees, Kaneland officials said.

The tables in the updated agreement are the same as in the previous two agreements. For a three-bedroom, $200,000 house, the villages collect $6,148.

Five of the eight municipalities in the district have signed the agreement so far. Virgil, Maple Park and Sugar Grove are in the decision-making process.

“The School District is the equalizing force in the district, but there is great disparity among the communities,” Trustee Terry Borg said. “It’s a conversation. As we think about this conversation (among the communities), we need to have you as partners at our table, too.”

Schuler stressed that he wanted to avoid a situation where villages in the district are competing with one another for developers.

“This is the time to make the agreement, not when developers are knocking and decisions are based on emotions,” Schuler said. “What I fear is if you have seven to eight municipalities all cutting deals individually, it’s not going to fall equally. If you have a referendum, then it will hit everybody squarely.”

Trustee Mark Delaney said future impact fees must not only help the School District, but the village, too. He said development cannot take place without costly major infrastructure improvements.

“In order to build houses, we have to have a wastewater plant that will help us build the houses that will bring the kids. We’ve got a $13 million obligation on our hands,” he said.

Maple Park must revise its plan for street repairs

Village officials cite state specifications as reason
by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) changed its specifications for street repairs in Maple Park, causing the village to prioritize which streets it can repair.

The bidding process for planned repairs will go forward, but in pieces. The funds aren’t there to do everything IDOT stipulates, village officials said.

Maple Park Trustee Mark Delaney said Monday that the village previously decided to do the asphalt this year and the binder coat next year, but now cannot go forward with this plan.

“IDOT won’t let us just do a binder coat,” Delaney said during the Committee of the Whole meeting. “It’s either the whole thing or nothing.”

He said prices for asphalt and crew are $23,000, but with the binder coat added, they are $56,000. Because of weather, the village needs to do the work by Nov. 15, or wait until next May.

“We need to do it in the next 30 days, or we’re out of luck,” Delaney said.

Village President Kathy Curtis said that waiting until next year would cost the village additional engineering fees.

Delaney suggested that the village give priority to the parking lot at the Civic Center and Green, South and Mulberry streets because of the threat of water damage that has occurred in the past.

“IDOT wants us to go down to the base and build them up from scratch,” Delaney said. “We have to lower the parking lot by 3.5 inches, down below grade, and then asphalt it.”

Village officials had been concerned about another requirement from IDOT that the village make all streets 24 feet wide, something not possible on all the roads needing repair, they said. For example, Willow Street is 18 feet wide, and South Street is 14 feet wide. Widening them would have involved cutting into front lawns and removing culverts. The state dropped the requirement this week, however.

‘Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.’ features local actors

ELGIN—Young thespians from Elburn and Maple Park are among the nearly 100 youths who will bring “Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.” to the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin, when the Children’s Theatre of Elgin brings its newest production to the stage Friday through Sunday, Oct. 22-24.

Local cast members are Tracey Suppes of Elburn, and Amanda and Tristan Schulz of Maple Park.

Based on a 1970s television series, “Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.” tells the story of a new teacher facing his first day at his job and the fear and uncertainty he experiences. The musical follows Tom Mizer on his first day of teaching, as his thoughts come to life in the form of songs about math, language, art, science and history.

The show includes nearly a dozen songs including “A Noun is a Person, Place or Thing” and “Three is a Magic Number.”

“Along with being a high-energy, enticing show, it’s educational as well,” co-director Allison Cherry said. “Facts are easily retained when put to music, and this show gives a lot of information through song.”

Cherry added that “Schoolhouse Rock! Jr.” is a wonderful experience for the actors onstage as well as the audience.

“The kids are having so much fun while performing that it’s impossible not to get into it as well,” she said.

While the children have been rehearsing on stage in recent weeks, parents have been busy behind the scenes sewing costumes, building sets, doing publicity, making baked goods for the concession stands and handling ticket sales.

“Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.” is produced and presented by the Children’s Theatre of Elgin (CTE), a nonprofit organization and an in-residence ensemble at the Elgin Community College Arts Center.

Friday, Saturday, Oct. 22-23, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 24, 2 p.m.
Tickets cost $10 for adults
and $8 for students and seniors
Call the Hemmens Box Office
at (847) 931-5900

Recycling programs vary among villages

by Keith Beebe
SG/MP/ELB/KNVL—The concept of recycling rarely comes across as complex. After all, what’s so difficult about placing plastics and paper in a separate bin when you are putting the garbage out? Well, some people might be interested to find out that although Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Kaneville all embrace recycling programs, the overall approach to “going green” varies a bit from one village to another.

Take Elburn, for example, where residents pay a yearly recycling fee regardless of whether or not they use the service provided by Waste Management. In addition to the recycling bin provided by Waste Management, residents are able to use any container as an extra recycle bin, as long as it has “recycle only” written on it. The village also offers “recycle only” stickers free of charge. All materials, with the exception of items including hazardous waste (batteries, anti-freeze, pool chemicals, etc.), are acceptable for recycle pick-up.

“Since all Elburn residents pay for recycling, it makes sense for them to use the service and get the most out of their money,” Village Administrator Erin Willrett said. “There is no separate rate (for recycling). It’s all bundled into one (cost covering trash pick-up).”

Sugar Grove also has a contract with Waste Management, but provides each of its residents with one, 64-gallon container for recycling use. Common materials such as plastics, glass and cardboard are accepted, but used household batteries must be put in a sandwich bag and placed next to the recycling container.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a resident ask for a second container, since the one we provide them with is quite large,” Sugar Grove Village Clerk Cynthia Galbreath said.

Maple Park, like Elburn and Sugar Grove, has a recycle pick-up contract with Waste Management, but the village’s approach to recycling containers is a bit more traditional. Waste Management provides all the bins, and any resident who wants a bigger container must pay extra for it.

And then there is Kaneville, where recycling is certainly encouraged but also greeted with a more freewheeling approach.

“We’ve typically let residents choose their own recycle pick-up service in the past,” Village Clerk Sandra Weiss said.

Kaneville’s guidelines regarding recycling will become more traditional on Jan. 1, 2011, when the village will enter into a recycle pick-up contract with Waste Management.

One “green” item not allowed in any of these village’s recycle bins is a compacted fluorescent light bulb (CFL), which uses less energy and lasts considerably longer than incandescent light bulbs. The reason residents may not place these energy-saving light bulbs in their everyday recycle bin is because the bulbs contain very small amounts of mercury. However, residents can recycle CFL bulbs at any location that collects hazardous waste recyclables.

Trustee seats up for election in spring

MAPLE PARK—Three village trustee seats will be up for election in April 2011, when the four-year terms of Nick Moisa, Pat Lunardon and Mark Delaney expire. The village will post procedures for declaring candidacy on its website. Residents interested in running for trustee also may obtain candidacy information from Village Clerk Claudie Tremaine at (815) 827-3309.

Additional information for prospective candidates about running in a municipal election is available in the Illinois Candidates’ Guide on the state’s election website,

Civic Center improvements planned

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Oct. 5 awarded the Civic Center chimney repair contract to Bruce Masonry and Tile, not to exceed $9,875.

The chimney work is required before the village can proceed with necessary roof repairs. The village will save bricks from the chimney to reuse or possibly sell to raise funds for the community.

The village will seek bids for the Civic Center parking lot improvements and for the roof project, which it will pay for with a county riverboat grant and funds from the motor fuel tax fund.

Total estimated costs for the projects total more than $83,000.

New ordinance will address golf cart use in Maple Park

by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—Tooling around on a golf cart can be fun and a great way to get from one place to another, but it’s not as free-wheeling as you might think. Maple Park is taking steps to develop a golf cart ordinance that would help regulate the vehicles’ use on village streets.

“Yes, they are legal, and residents are using them,” Village President Kathy Curtis said Oct. 5, during the Village Board meeting. “But we need an ordinance to police them better. We need something to use as a guideline.”

Golf cart drivers must have a valid driver’s license and insurance. Illinois does not require the cart to have a license plate. Golf cart drivers are subject to Illinois driving laws.

“They are accountable to all state statutes,” Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta said. “They can be charged with drunk driving.”

Curtis said that a local golf cart ordinance will benefit both police officers and residents because the village will have clarified rules to follow.

Trustee Terry Borg noted that a number of senior citizens use golf carts to get around, so the intent of the law is not to do away with the carts.

“The issue is safety, not prohibition,” Borg said.

Trustee Mark Delaney volunteered to draft the ordinance.

The new ordinance will pertain to golf carts only.

Animal masks donated to MP Fire Dept.

Resident conducts community collection to purchase devices
by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—When village resident Kimberley Meyers heard a disc jockey on US 99 talk about a resuscitation mask for pets that could be installed on a fire truck just like human oxygen masks, she agreed with the radio host that every fire department should have one. So she set out to make it happen in Maple Park.

Meyers collected donations from people at Maple Park taverns during Fun Fest this year to purchase the animal masks. She raised $110 and bought two sets for Maple Park.

“My idea was to ask for $1 from everyone to spread it around, so it would seem like a community effort,” Meyers said. “I hit all three bars. The patrons and the owners were very generous.”

The mask fits over the snout of the animal and uses the regular oxygen that fire departments already have. It comes in three sizes for animals ranging from birds to bull mastiffs.

“It is designed as an oxygen recovery mask, if an animal is overcome by smoke and needs oxygen just like we would,” Meyers said.

Before collecting the money, Meyers spoke to Maple Park Fire Chief Kevin Peterson about putting the masks on his truck.

“He was leery at first, but I told him to watch the video of the dog being resuscitated,” Meyers said. “The dog is out, but pretty soon, you see his tail start to wag. It’s cool. I told the chief that I’d get the masks. He was gracious about agreeing to do it.”

Peterson said that he had heard of the masks before but hadn’t looked into them until Meyers brought them to his attention.

“It’s a good thing. The biggest time it will be used is at a fire with smoke inhalation,” Peterson said.

Before Peterson installs the devices in a fire truck, he plans to obtain some training on how to use them.

“It’s one of these things that you may never have to use, but it’s a good thing to have,” Peterson said.

The Fire Department does not need to purchase any additional equipment for the masks.

Although Meyers has two cats, her motivation was to help Maple Park.

“I wanted to do something for the town,” Meyers said. “This seemed pretty easy. If they never have to use it, that’s great. If they do, it will be well worth it.”

To see a dramatic animal resuscitation using one of the pet masks, visit

MP seeks public works manager

MAPLE PARK—The village of Maple Park is accepting applications for the public works director position, because of the resignation of Eric Pinion Nov. 1.

The position is posted on the village’s website and in the window at Village Hall. To be considered for the new position, which has the new title of manager of public works, a candidate must submit a cover letter, application and resume. Interviews will begin Monday, Oct. 25, and the village will accept applications until filling the position. The salary is $42,000 to $45,000.

The village will host a retirement reception for Pinion Saturday, Oct. 30.

MP denies Sunday liquor sale request

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Monday turned down a tavern owner’s request to sell liquor before noon on Sundays. Maple Park ordinances permit bars to sell liquor from noon to 10 p.m. on Sundays. Kenny Robinson, of The Pub in Maple Park, asked the board to allow his business to sell alcoholic beverages earlier in the day. No board discussion preceded the vote, from which Trustee Mark Delaney abstained. Trustee Nick Moisa was absent.

Rural MP man indicted on additional counts in illegal drug case

Second person also indicted in case

MAPLE PARK—A rural Maple Park man charged last month in a narcotics and money laundering scheme has been indicted on additional counts. In addition, a Chicago man was indicted in the case.

Fernando Pilar-Lopez, 37, of the 2N block of Meredith Road, Maple Park, was indicted Sept. 28 by a Kane County grand jury on two counts of criminal drug conspiracy, each a Class X felony, six counts of money laundering, each a Class 1 felony, one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class X felony.

Pilar-Lopez had been arrested after a search of his residence Aug. 26 revealed approximately $1 million in cash and 2,800 grams of a controlled substance that tested positive for cocaine and had a street value of $280,000. At that time, he was charged with one count of criminal drug conspiracy, a Class X felony, one count of money laundering, a Class 1 felony, and one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class X felony.

Also on Sept. 28, Dennis Campbell, 32, of the 1600 block of South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, was indicted by a Kane County jury on six counts of money laundering, each a Class 1 felony.

Campbell is alleged to have transferred cash to another person, Pilar-Lopez, after receiving narcotics.

The charges against Pilar-Lopez and Campbell are not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case remains under investigation.

Sharing future boundary bounty

[quote]by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Board decided Monday to keep the door open to finding common ground with Cortland on where the two villages’ boundaries meet, but they want more equitable terms.

Since 2002, when growth was sweeping the communities of Cortland and Maple Park, the two villages envisioned the day when their borders would meet. Even though growth has slowed, the villages still are envisioning how far each will expand.

At issue are the shared revenues at a possible I-88 interchange and its four corners of potential commercial development.

Cortland has offered a 70-30 split of the revenues and a sharing of the property and sales taxes only, rather than comprehensive revenue sharing, said Maple Park’s Village Attorney, Kevin Buick.

The village had assumed a 50-50 split and the establishment of a zone from which the villages would share revenue. The concept is based on a local model of DeKalb and Sycamore’s agreement along Route 23. The Maple Park Board did not react favorably to Cortland’s offer.

“We do our share, they do their share and we get 30 percent,” Maple Park trustee Mark Delaney said.

The Elburn Herald contacted the Cortland Village Administrator about the Maple Park Board’s reaction but did not receive a response before press time on Wednesday.

Village President Kathy Curtis questioned whether Maple Park should continue the negotiations with Cortland.

“I don’t know how many thousands of dollars we have spent on drafting this agreement over the years. It’s been on the agenda for 10 years. We’ve spent $1,200 just this fiscal year. How can we keep investing this money and not (be) making strides?”

However, the board determined that an agreement is necessary to protect Maple Park’s interests.

“Even if there is no revenue sharing agreement, we need to draw the line in the sand,” Delaney said. “We have to get how far east they go and how far west we go.”

Wastewater plant takes top priority

Road extension plan on village’s back burner
by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Monday postponed starting work on the Schrader Road extension agreement, citing more current concerns for the revenue-strapped village.

Trustee Debra Armstrong said the village has more pressing priorities than extending Schrader for future development.

“We agreed to only spend money on what impacts the village today,” Armstrong said. “What are we getting out of it now? It might not get done in the next 20 years.”

The proposed extension, with a railway overpass, would be a major outlet for the planned Meadowbrooks residential development on the east side of the village.

“This agreement would be between the village and the landowners, that if we ever get out there, they will donate the land to us to be annexed,” Village President Kathy Curtis said.

The board voted during its Monday meeting to draft the Schrader extension agreement at a later date. The cost to draft the agreement, including legal fees and a desk-top survey expense, will be approximately $1,000. Planning Commissioner Art Maercker said the road extension is part of the village’s Comprehensive Plan.

Curtis said the board currently should focus on building a new wastewater treatment plant instead, which is necessary to attract and keep development.

“We have nowhere to flush the toilets,” Curtis said. “I don’t know why we are thinking about anything but a wastewater treatment plant. We should be thinking of nothing else than that, 24 hours a day.”

The village needs a larger wastewater treatment plant before any future development occurs in Maple Park, village officials said. Another planned subdivision is a 469-home development that John Clare Ltd. intends to build at County Line Road and Route 38. John Clare Ltd. several months ago obtained a five-year extension from the village for starting the project.

The new wastewater treatment plant will have computerized flow monitoring, holding tank, pump station and other features. It will replace the existing plant on Maple Park Road, which consists of an aerated lagoon.

The village last spring pre-applied for a $5 million Illinois Environmental Protection Agency loan funded by federal stimulus money to pay for the new plant. The village could obtain the low-interest loan as early as next spring.

Five sisters to appear on Family Feud Thursday

by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—Five sisters, all Kaneland High School graduates, took a shot that they could get on the game show Family Feud, and they succeeded.

The Turk sisters, who grew up in Maple Park, wanted to give their father, Joe, a special birthday present for his 80th birthday. He was the one, however, who came up with the idea.

“You, girls,” he told them one day when the family was gathered, “you’re just way too intelligent. You’ve got to get on a game show.”

Kathy Turk Claesson took that idea and ran with it. She and her sisters started checking the Family Feud website to see where auditions were being held. Lo and behold, the next audition was being held in Schaumburg, Ill. Claesson sent an e-mail saying that five gregarious sisters wanted to be on the show for their father’s birthday, and enclosed the photo of the sisters they had taken for their dad. Within two weeks, the show asked them to audition.

“I have no idea if the e-mail had anything to do with getting accepted,” Claesson said. “It may have just been that we got it in early, but when we auditioned we didn’t see five sisters there. It was like it was meant to be.”

Out of approximately 100 families auditioning, the show’s producers selected 10 after each participated in a mock game. Family Feud coaches encouraged them to express positive energy and enthusiasm as they played the game. Something must have impressed the producers about the Turk sisters, because the family was asked to stay for another audition that same day, which was videotaped. The sisters returned home to wait on the results.

“Our expectations were not that high at all,” Claesson said. “We went to have fun.”

Two weeks later, the Turk sisters received an invitation to attend a taping, but they were not guaranteed that they would get on the show. From then on it was a whirlwind as the sisters and their family made speedy travel plans. In all, 13 other family members made the trip to Orlando, Fla., including Joe Turk and his wife, Evey Yagen, and eight of his nine granddaughters.

“It was a wonderful experience for all of us to travel together,” said another sister, Rose Turk Miller. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The Turk sisters did it right. Using money from their vacation travel fund, they bought matching aqua shirts and rented a limousine to take to the airport. There, they received a lot of stares and questions as they made their way to the terminal.

“People came up and asked us if we were in a singing group,” Miller said. “They asked us what the occasion was. We even stayed on the plane after everyone got off and had our pictures taken with the pilot and co-pilot.”

At the taping in Orlando, the sisters made their mark during rehearsal, where the final families were selected. They were again coached to be bubbly and enthusiastic and about the “do’s and don’ts” of being on camera.

“Steve Harvey really made you feel comfortable,” Miller said. “He would ask personal questions like he was really taking an interest. He made us not nervous.”

Miller added that Harvey was hilarious.

“It was like going to a comedy show,” she said.

The sisters also were impressed with the production staff.

“The people couldn’t have been better. To us it seemed like they made you feel they were pulling for you to win,” Claesson said. “One producer, Carlos, told us, ‘Don’t leave before we give you a hug.’ We felt like celebrities.”

The sisters can’t divulge before the show airs whether they won the game. To find out, tune in to WPWR My 50 on Thursday, Sept. 16, at 1:30 p.m.

Fun Fest facts cited

MAPLE PARK—Roger Kahl, Maple Park Park Fun Fest Committee member, reported to the Village Board on Monday about the success of last weekend’s events.

Kahl said the craft and vendor show had 56 booths; the festival sold 400 raffle tickets; the American Legion Post 312 sold 742 breakfasts; and 1,250 people purchased wristbands in the beer garden.

Longtime MP Public Works director says he will retire Nov. 1

by Lynn Meredith
Maple Park—The Maple Park Village Board received a shock at its meeting on Tuesday when President Kathy Curtis announced that Public Works Director Eric Pinion was retiring.

“He handed me this letter tonight, and I said, ‘I’m not going to like this, am I?’” Curtis said.

Pinion, who has held the post as Public Works Director for 27 years, will retire as of Nov. 1.

“I really don’t want to, but I want to,” Pinion told the board. “It’s time.”

Pinion has been, more or less, a one-man show in the Public Works Department and knows where the pipes are buried. Trustee Debra Armstrong said that they would have to do brain surgery to garnish all the information about the village that he has in his head.

His department handles snow removal, mowing and trimming, general building repairs, meter reading and replacement and vehicle maintenance. It also coordinates events like Fun Fest and makes sure the grounds are kept clean.

Pinion, 67, said he’s tired. He said the 12-hour days and canceled vacations add up.

“I enjoy what I do. I enjoy talking to the people. I don’t know any strangers. But I want to relax for a while,” Pinion said, and then added, “But I’ll find something. I can’t sit still for long.”

Infrastructure improvements on horizon

MAPLE PARK—Thanks to grant money, Maple Park is making its way toward funding improvements to its infrastructure.

The village received a $100,000 Department of Commerce Economic Opportunities grant to mitigate flooding in three areas of town. The work must be completed by July 2012, under grant restrictions.

The village also received a $50,000 grant to repair the roof on the community center. The concrete parapet wall needs significant masonry work to fill cracks and holes before roof repair can begin, village officials said. Trustee Pat Lunardon said that she has received several quotes that place masonry costs at $20,000.

Village officials expect that money from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will be available in 2011 to improve portions of the existing water main system. The mains need replacement to ensure that the system has adequate water pressure, said Jeremy Lin, principal engineer for the village.