‘Drop, Cover and Hold On’

IEMA encourages participation in Great Central U.S. ShakeOut Feb. 7
SPRINGFIELD—More than 152,000 Illinois residents have already registered to participate in a multi-state earthquake drill, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is encouraging even more groups and individuals to join in the second annual “Great Central U.S. ShakeOut” on Feb. 7.

“With the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones located in Southern Illinois, it’s important for people to know how to stay safe if a major earthquake occurs,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut will be the perfect opportunity for families, businesses, schools and other groups to practice the ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On’ protective actions they should take during an earthquake.”

Monken explained that the slogan “Drop, Cover and Hold On” reminds people to “drop” down to the floor, take “cover” under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and “hold on” to the furniture item and be prepared to move with it until the shaking ends.

More than 1.2 million people in nine states currently are registered to participate in the Shakeout drill, which will begin at 10:15 a.m. on Feb. 7. Last April, more than 250,000 Illinois residents participated in the first ShakeOut drill in the Central U.S.

Schools, businesses, government agencies, families and others can register to participate in the drill at www.shakeout.org/centralus. Registered participants will receive additional information about the drill and earthquake preparedness.

“The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut” drill is being organized by the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), which includes members from states impacted by the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Other partners include state and local emergency management agencies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Citizen Corps, U.S. Geological Survey, the American Red Cross and other public and private entities.

Besides Illinois, other states participating in the drill include Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Additional information about the earthquake risk in Illinois and steps to take before, during and after an earthquake is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

Color cues

by Tresa Erickson, MultiAd
You recently got engaged, and the excitement is brewing. You can’t wait to start the wedding planning. One of the first decisions you’ll face is selecting a color palette. There are so many shades to choose from. How do you decide?

While some brides have no trouble selecting a color palette, others struggle with it. The good news is that there are many facets from which you may take your color cues, starting with your color faves. What colors are you drawn to? Gold? Orange? Red? If you love red and can’t picture yourself getting married without it, then you have already won half the battle. All you need to do now is select one or two more colors, and you will have your palette. If the red is rather intense, you might opt for some neutrals like white, silver, black or gray.

Don’t have a favorite color? No problem. Look to your choices in apparel for your color cues. Start shopping for bridesmaid dresses, and once you select a style and color, take your cues from it. If the dresses are purple, you’ll want to make sure you work in some shade of purple into your palette. The same goes with the tuxes. If the groom has chosen gray tuxes, then you’ll want to make sure gray is either part of your palette or goes well with it.

Flowers also provide important color cues. What flowers are in season and what are you hoping to incorporate into your wedding? If you have your eye on a lot of pale pink blooms, then you will definitely want to work that color into your palette, or at the very least, choose a complementary palette.

Location and season can also provide color cues. Check out the venues you have selected for the ceremony and the reception. Do any of the colors there appeal to you? If you are getting married in a gazebo surrounded by yellow tulips, perhaps a cream palette with accents of maize and gold would work well. Season can also make a difference. Winter colors differ dramatically from summer colors. Maroon and silver might serve a November wedding well, but not a May wedding.

Still having trouble selecting a color palette? Consider current trends. A couple rounds of shopping should clue you in to these. Check out any supplies you might already have on hand, such as some tablecloths you borrowed from a friend who just got married. Think about all of the items you have selected thus far from the wedding dress to the wedding cake. If you’ve got a lot of ivory and cream going on, you might want to select a color that pops.

Keep in mind that just because you select a color palette early on doesn’t mean it will work. Be willing to make some changes the deeper you get into the planning. That pale green you chose for your accent color might turn into forest green once you select the invitations. Light green lettering doesn’t show up nearly as well on crisp, white paper as dark green does. Whether you choose the color palette or let it choose you, be open to change. You never know. That burgundy you’re hoping for might serve your April wedding better as fuschia.

The art of compromise

by Tresa Erickson, MultiAd
You’ve seen enough to know that weddings can bring out the worst in people. Joining two people from different backgrounds in holy matrimony is rarely smooth sailing. What should be a union of two often turns into a union of families, and that can make for very difficult times. Even when the families take a step back to respect the wishes of the bride and groom, things can get out of hand. Although the wedding is theirs, brides and grooms can get carried away and alienate others with their wedding choices. How do you avoid this? You learn the art of compromise.

Compromise, a settlement of differences by mutual concessions.

That’s right. Differences and concessions. With so many people involved in the planning of a wedding, it is not uncommon for differences to occur. Whether concessions are made depends upon the willingness of the parties involved. Are you willing to consider options other than your own? Are you willing to consider that the options of others might be better? Just because you want round tables at your reception does not mean you should have them. They may not be available or work for the space.

Don’t assume there is one and only one way to do things. There might be several. You should take the time to listen to all of the options available before determining what is best for your purposes. Compromise cannot work without concession. It may be your wedding, but that doesn’t mean you have all of the best ideas. The more open you are to getting the feedback of others and pursuing what works, the easier the planning will be.

Of course, not all opinions are feasible. You must be able to separate the good from the bad, the essential from the non-essential, the important from the not so important. If an idea will not work, there’s no use in considering it. If an idea will work but you have your heart set on something else, it’s fine to axe it. It is your wedding, and you don’t have to concede on everything. Do remember, however, that your wedding will be just the first of many good days to come. The fact that you have to simplify the wording on the invitations for your parents’ sake probably won’t matter to you 10 years from now.

Respect is key. Family and friends must understand that it is not their wedding and respect the wishes of those involved, in particular the bride and groom. The bride and groom must understand that while it is their wedding there are others involved who may want to have a say. The couple must respect the opinions of each other and those involved in the wedding planning. That respect can lead to the willingness to concede, which in turn, can lead to a better wedding overall.

IDOT, ISP, Illinois Tollway encourage motorists to prepare for winter driving condition

CHICAGO—Illinois transportation and law enforcement officials urged motorists to prepare for winter driving conditions. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois Tollway and the Illinois State Police (ISP) are working together to ensure the state’s frontline winter crews and emergency equipment are available to respond to possible inclement weather and make travel safer and easier on Illinois’ highways, tollways and major roads.

“We want all motorists to be aware of winter road conditions and encourage drivers to slow down, buckle up and cooperate with snow plows,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “IDOT winter crews remain prepared to clear state roadways as needed, but we also ask motorists to take the necessary steps to help ensure their personal safety as well.”

State agencies encouraged defensive driving in winter weather, and offered tips on how motorists can help transportation and law enforcement workers road ensure safety.

“We have been preparing for this winter season for many months and are ready to put our plans into action, now that the first major snowfall is on its way,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “While Tollway crews work to clear snow and ice from our roadways, we ask that our customers drive carefully and give snowplow drivers room to do their job safely and effectively.”

In addition, ISP has coordinated road safety plans with the Illinois Tollway and IDOT to ensure traffic enforcement priorities include safe driving, safe roads and safe access for all citizens during the winter months.

“Winter driving conditions can be hazardous on first responders and motorists. We are reminding the motoring public that when accidents occur and conditions are extreme, (those who are) exchanging insurance and driver information are advised to keep motorists safe and roads clear, unless medical attention is required,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau.

Motorists can file accident reports at the nearest State Police District within seven business days.

To help keep state routes clear and passable, IDOT has more than 400,000 tons of salt, 3,600 employees and 1,700 pieces of equipment prepared for deployment to cover over 43,000 lane miles statewide. The Illinois Tollway also has more than 80,000 tons of salt, 41,000 gallons of anti-icing materials and 7,000 tons of roadway abrasives, as well as more than 400 employees, and its full fleet of 183 snowplows prepared for the 286-mile system of roads serving 12 counties in Northern Illinois.

In addition, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) recently kicked off its annual Preparedness Campaign. Helpful information on severe winter weather and disaster preparedness is available on the Ready Illinois website, www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

Winter weather travel
safety tips include:

• Watch out for black ice roads that appear clear but can be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shady areas—all are prone to black ice.
• Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to help prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.
• Do not travel unless absolutely necessary. If you do have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route.
• Always carry an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.
• Carry a cell phone and always wear a safety belt.
• Dress warmly for the weather—layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in anticipation of unexpected winter weather emergencies.
• Make sure someone is aware of your travel route.
• Clear snow and ice from all windows, mirrors and lights on your vehicle before you drive. Blowing snow can significantly diminish visibility. Clearing all snow before you begin driving assures maximum vision of your surroundings and assists in reducing ice and snow buildup as you drive.
• Adjust speed to road conditions and traffic around you. Reducing speed during inclement weather conditions increases your ability to respond to the unexpected.
• Increase the interval between your vehicle and the one in front of you. By creating more distance between your vehicle and others, you decrease your chances of a collision, because stopping distances increase as pavement conditions deteriorate.
• Avoid unnecessary lane changes. During heavy snowstorms, slush and packed snow build up in the area between traffic lanes. Abrupt or frequent lane changes may cause your vehicle to slide on the buildup and spin out of control.
• Keep away from snowplows. Should you encounter snowplows, the safest choice is to keep back and let them do their job. They travel at a speed of approximately 30 mph, so traffic delays should be expected. During periods of extremely heavy snow, Illinois Tollway snowplows will work in tandem to remove as much ice, slush and snow as possible from all lanes at once.
• Do not use the shoulder of the road to pass a snowplow. Some snowplows are equipped with wing plows that extend to the left or right of the vehicle. While these wings allow for more efficient removal of snow, they are nearly invisible to passing motorists due to blowing snow. De-icing materials spread from the rear of the truck may also be a distraction to motorists attempting to pass.
• Reduce speed in cash lanes at toll plazas. Drivers paying cash at mainline toll plazas or traveling on ramps should adjust their speed on approach during snow and ice storms.
• Watch for lane designations on approach to the toll plaza; switching lanes close to the toll plaza is unsafe, especially during winter weather.
• Call *999 for Tollway road assistance. Should you encounter car trouble and require roadway assistance, try to move your car to a safe position on the shoulder or in an untraveled area. Report stranded vehicles by dialing *999 from a cellular phone.
• Stay in your vehicle; H.E.L.P. is on the way. During continued periods of extremely cold weather, the Illinois Tollway operates a “Zero Patrol” to supplement the Illinois State Police District 15 and the Tollway’s Highway Emergency Lane Patrol (H.E.L.P.) vehicles. These patrols enable workers to cover the entire 286-mile Tollway system 24 hours per day when temperatures and wind chills are at or below zero. Stay in your vehicle—it’s the safest place to be if you are stranded.
• The Illinois Tollway operates a toll-free telephone line to keep customers up to date about weather conditions on its roadways. Customers can call 1-800-TOLL-FYI (1-800-865- 5394) to get recorded information that is updated every two hours or as conditions require during winter storms.
• The Tollway’s Traffic and Incident Management System (TIMS) provides real-time travel times via the Illinois Tollway’s website www.illinoistollway.com.

Waubonsee adds to its art collection

Sugar Grove—During the fall 2011 semester, Waubonsee Community College purchased 11 pieces of student-created artwork to display around its campuses, including a piece from local student Christa Trumph of Sugar Grove.

Through its Student Art Purchase Program, which started in fall 2006, the college has acquired a total of 119 pieces of original artwork.

Scout gets Hinckley out of a ‘jam’ on his path to Eagle

HINCKLEY—Sam Kimpan, a 17-year-old Hinckley-Big Rock honor student who is a member of Big Rock Troop 19, cleaned the Little Rock creek from Sycamore Street to Hinckley’s sewage treatment plant in August 2010 as his Eagle Scout Leadership Project.

Tires, metal, logs, lawnmowers, a swing set, barbecue grill and even the front suspension of a car were removed from the creek over two weekends. The most challenging part of this project was removing a 20 foot by 40 foot log jam just downstream from Hinckley. The creek dropped about 12 inches in the area where the log jam was at its worse. At this point in the creek, the jam was so bad that mulch could not get through. Fifteen to 20 Scouts and community volunteers helped Sam complete his project.

Sam submitted his paper work to the Boy Scouts of America and is awaiting his board of review which determines if he will become and Eagle Scout.

Feltes joins MetLife firm

DOWNER’S GROVE, Ill.—The Premier Wealth Group announced that Elburn resident Brett Feltes has joined the firm as a financial services representative.

Brett is a 2006 graduate of The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where he earned his Bachelors of Arts degree in economics with a minor in business administration. He is licensed to sell life and health insurance in Illinois and also holds his FINRA series 6 license and is a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and University of Illinois Alumni Association. He enjoys golfing, fishing and hunting.

January is National Radon Awareness Month

KANE COUNTY—The Kane County Healthy Places Coalition is urging homeowners to have their homes tested for the presence of this odorless, tasteless and colorless gas as part of National Radon Awareness Month.

Radon is a radioactive gas, estimated to cause as many as 20,000 deaths from lung cancer each year throughout the United States. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today, following tobacco use. Kane County is designated by the USEPA as an area with a high potential of exceeding the recommended level of radon gas in homes. Test results for homes in Kane County have found that 27 percent of tested homes exceed the recommended limit for radon gas, which is 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter of air). Test results from some areas within Kane County commonly exceed this level.

Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. Testing is inexpensive and easy—it should only take a few minutes of your time. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon. Do-it-yourself test kits are cheap ($15 to $30) and can be purchased at hardware stores, home improvement stores and online. These kits are cost effective and easy ways to screen your home. Professional testing services are also available. To find a professional in your area, visit www.radon.illinois.gov and click on “List of licensed measurement professionals.”

More information about National Radon Awareness Month is available by visiting the U.S. EPA radon website at www.epa.gov/radon. To learn more about the new radon law in Illinois, visit the IEMA radon website at www.radon.illinois.gov.

Local residents named to Marquette University dean’s list

MILWAUKEE—Amy Weigelmann, Hannah O’Conner and Megan Tonner, all of Sugar Grove; and Lindsay Bartel of Elburn; have been named to the dean’s list for the fall 2011 semester at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Weigelmann is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. O’Conner is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. Tonner is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish for the Professions. Bartel is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary/middle education.

Krauss named to Bryan College dean’s list

DAYTON, Tenn.—Wendy Krauss of Sugar Grove was among 194 undergraduates named to the Bryan College dean’s list for the fall 2011 semester.

Wendy, the daughter of Mark and Donna Krauss of Sugar Grove, was recognized for outstanding academic achievement.

Byron College students earn dean’s list recognition by recording a grade average in the top 25 percent of grades by students in the traditional undergraduate program for that semester.

Vote on Elburn Station set for Feb. 6

Feb. 2, 2011 Update: This article initially stated the meeting was Jan. 30, 2012, not the correct date of Feb. 6, 2012. The Herald regrets the error.

Board discusses Elburn Station plan prior to vote
by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—The Village Board will have the opportunity to vote whether or not to approve the Elburn Station development at its next meeting on Monday, Feb. 6. Board members discussed the plan at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday before agreeing to place it on the agenda.

The first topic of discussion addressed by the representative from ShoDeen Inc., Dave Patzelt, was water and sewer installations for the development that would tie in to existing infrastructure. Village engineers Rempe-Sharpe recommended oversized pipe, the elimination of two existing lift stations and the construction of a new lift station at Pouley Road. This option would accommodate long-term development, including property north of Route 38 and east and west of Pouley Road, which is beyond the scope of the current ShoDeen project, and would cost the village approximately $600,000.

“Are we going to spend approximately $600,000 on speculation that those properties would develop?” Trustee Bill Grabarek asked. “To consider that in the current economy, how would we finance that?”

Village engineers responded that it would be cheaper to do all the work now rather than piece by piece, and that impact fees from future development could pay for the oversized pipes.

“If the build-out for (the areas not included in ShoDeen’s plan) is 25 years or more, I don’t see the payback (for fronting the costs now),” Trustee Jeff Walter said.

The board agreed that the village does not have the funds at this time to go with the more expensive, long-term option. They agreed that an option that eliminated only one lift station and did not install the over-sized pipes was a better choice at a cost to the village of $261,000.

The next topic of discussion clarified how the Anderson Road project and the ShoDeen development are interwoven. When dirt is being moved to build the bridge, that is the time to create the storm water ponds, put in water mains, sewer, utility sleeves and an access road to the Metra station.

Patzelt said that ShoDeen does not have a signed agreement with Kane County Department of Transportation (KDOT), and that if the bridge does not get built, then ShoDeen would get back the right of way it had granted the county and would change the plans for the development quite substantially.

“We don’t want this plan (the one currently being considered) if we don’t have Anderson Road. We only want this plan if we have Anderson Road,” Patzelt said.

The county is waiting for federal money to come through before they start the bridge work. Grabarek suggested that without federal funds, the bridge by necessity would be much smaller, like other local bridges. He made the comparison between a substantial bridge paid for with federal funds, like the one at Peck Road, with a smaller bridge paid purely with local funds like the one on Harley Road. He suggested that the board make the development plan contingent on a Peck Road-type bridge being built.

“I think we should consider making (approval of the plan) conditional on the federal money being there,” Grabarek said. “Without the federal money, the benefit to Elburn is tenuous.”

Patzelt agreed that a smaller bridge would necessitate a redesign of the land plan.

“A substantial redesign,” Grabarek added.

Additional topics included questions about materials, phasing, multi-family redesignated as retirement, costs to maintain open spaces, and access along South Street to the Metra parking lot.

Walter pointed out that if South Street is used as the connection to Metra, it will become a cut-through street for the large numbers of commuters coming from DeKalb. The street and intersection with Route 47 would need substantial work to accommodate the increased traffic. Those improvements would be at village expense.

Photos: It all happens at the health fair

Senior Kris Leeseberg (right photo) demonstrates his kicking technique during the KHS Health Fair on Tuesday. Owner/Instructor Kimberly Cote from Midtown Martial Arts was on hand to teach students the health benefits of
martial arts.


Diego Ochoa (above) experiences what it is like to climb stairs while wearing fire fighting equipment. The Fox Valley career Center Fire Science Department presented this demonstration.


Dr. Kenneth Baumruck, (right) of Elburn Chiropractic, gives a spinal evaluation to student Luke Kreiter.


Student Jeff Bergstrom (left) works the ropes, which were a part of the Delnor Health and Wellness exhibit during the Health Fair. About 40 health related businesses were on hand to teach students about healthy lifestyles.

Photos by John DiDonna

Photos: Elburn’s own Derby Day

Jacob Grisch (above) of Elburn talks to his dad, Fred, after the Elburn Boy Scout Pack 107 Pinewood Derby at Family Life Church on Keslinger Road in Elburn Friday night. A group of boy scouts (below) watch as the cars are set off the start line. Seth Nosek (bottom photo) worked on the Elburn Herald pinewood derby car with his father, Dave. There were over 150 cars entered in the races.


Photos by Mary Herra

The search continues

Kaneville discusses changes in search for enforcement officer
by David Maas
KANEVILLE—The Kaneville Village Board last Thursday decided to change directions with tits current search for a Zoning and Building Enforcement Officer, while members are still trying to solidify the officer’s duties, and re-evaluate the financial aspect of outsourcing the job.

At previous meetings, the board had discussed paying over $3,000 a year for this position.

“I just don’t feel we have that amount of money,” Trustee Pat Hill said. “Residents don’t think we should be spending that much on this.”

The board has discussed other means of getting the zoning and building enforcement done, such as a pay-by-pay basis with the county, but they feel they need an individual outside the village.

“Is it expensive? Yes,” Trustee Paul Ross said. “But the reason we’re doing this is some of us have been personally accosted. We aren’t doing anything but trying to uphold ordinances.”

“We definitely need to hire an individual,” Trustee Jon Behm said.

The board then decided that they needed to look at their options.

“Let’s try to cut the previous number in half,” President Bob Rodney said. “Maybe we could go with a monthly retainer.”

“We still have to keep in mind that we need to make it worth their while to do this job for us,” Ross said.

While, for the time being, the board will be re-evaluating this position, they will also be continuing research.

“I think it’s time that we look around at neighboring communities,” Rodney said. “Let’s see how they are doing this.”

Veterinarian accepts post with Animal Control

Kane County—Dr. Kimberly Rudloff, DVM, accepted an offer of employment as Kane County’s new Veterinarian/Administrator for the Kane County Animal Control Department. Dr. Rudloff will begin her duties on Monday, Feb. 6, at an annual salary of $88,000.

“Dr. Rudloff is a caring and compassionate veterinary professional and a solid clinician, administrator and businesswoman with a consistent record of success,” said Paul Kuehnert, Executive Director Kane County Health Department. “Based on her personal attributes, professional qualifications and past experiences, I fully expect her to excel as Kane County’s Veterinarian/Administrator.”

Dr. Rudloff’s selection was the result of a recruitment process that began immediately after the Kane County Board passed Resolution 11-358, authorizing the hiring freeze exemption and approving the new job description. A national search was undertaken with ads in veterinary and public health professional journals and newsletters, as well as both print and online advertising in the Chicago metropolitan area. This resulted in the receipt of 110 applications, seven of which met the qualifications for the position. Six of the 7 qualified applicants were residents of the Chicago area, submitted their applications within a few weeks of the advertisements, and were interviewed.

Dr. Rudloff has been in practice since 1991. She obtained both her undergraduate degree (animal sciences) and her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the Ohio State University. Following graduation, she completed a one-year internship in emergency medicine and critical care. In addition to her years of clinical experience in both general and emergency veterinary medicine, Dr. Rudloff has served in professional teaching, clinical research, consulting, and administrative roles.

As the Assistant Director of Membership and Field Services for the American Veterinary Medical Association, she coordinated efforts to design and implement employment and housing programs for veterinarians and animal care technicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina. In her most recent position, she developed, established and now directs the veterinary technology and veterinary assistance programs for Sanford Brown College in Hillside, Ill.

Elburn water/sewer rates to increase

ELBURN—Residents will likely see an increase in their water and sewer rates. Public Works asked for the increase to keep costs even with expenses that have been rising.

Individuals will not see the drastic increase of a few years ago. Residents on the lower end of the usage scale are likely to not see any change in their bills, while users on the higher end of the scale could see an increase up to approximately $18 per month.

Editorial: Sugar Grove officials, come back to the negotiating table

After years of their basements filling up with water due to stormwater runoff, the residents of the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions could see light at the end of the tunnel.

It looked like a large-scale effort requiring cooperation from a multitude of people and organizations might finally be nearing completion, and the work to resolve their issue could begin.

A solution required an extension of a drainage system through the property of three families’ farm property, and then connect to the Rob Roy Drainage District No. 2 to carry the flow of water out of the area.

To accomplish this, the village would need to obtain easements from each of the families, as well as an agreement with the Drainage District to connect to its system. In turn, the Drainage District would need to conduct its own work to ensure that it could handle the additional flow of water, which would require additional engineering work.

Every step of this multi-faceted agreement would require money, which is where Kane County’s role would come into play. The county had obtained stimulus funds and earmarked a portion of that—approximately $171,000—to help provide funding for the project—with an estimated total price tag of $1.7 million. The county would also use recovery bonds to issue a $330,000 loan to the Drainage District. Beyond that, the affected residents themselves would pay for half of the project’s cost over the next 20 years.

In short, there are many different individuals, families and government entities with a financial stake in this project, and everything was aimed at the goal of preventing stormwater drainage from flowing into the homes of those residents.

These problems are not new, nor should they be a surprise to anyone involved. According to Elburn Herald Assistant Editor Keith Beebe’s story, documentation goes back to 1992—before the subdivisions were built—that concerns existed with the development plan and the potential drainage problems the plan would create.

Fast forward nearly 20 years, and the complicated negotiations to resolve the issues—issues the village should have resolved long ago—seemed to be falling into place.

That is, until earlier this month when Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels announced that the village was walking away from the negotiating table. When asked about the decision, he explained that the village could not come to terms with one of the farm families—the Sauer family—as well as with the Rob Roy Drainage District.

What is odd about this turn of events is that in both cases, the other parties expressed a significant desire to resolve the situation and had been willing to either waive some of the fees or donate a portion of the necessary easement to help move the project along.

The majority of current Sugar Grove officials were not in place when this situation was created, and Michels had just joined the board by appointment in 1995. By then, the ongoing series of bad decisions was already well under way.

So while today’s Sugar Grove Village Board is not responsible for creating this problem, they are responsible for resolving it. Walking away from a negotiation in which all involved parties want to see a resolution is not, in our view or in anyone involved other than the village, the best way forward.

We call on the village to return to the negotiating table. The Sauer family desires continued discussions, as do Rob Roy Drainage District and Kane County officials. But most of all, so do the residents of the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions—not only do they desire that the negotiations continue, they deserve it.

Down the drain?

Sugar Grove ends Mallard Point drainage negotiations
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The solution to the drainage problems in the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions in Sugar Grove just became more complex.

Two months after the Village Board approved four resolutions for improvements and an extension of the drainage system in the two subdivisions, Village President Sean Michels announced on Jan. 4 that the village was walking away from a deal with the Rob Roy Drainage District No. 2 and three land owners (one of which is the family of Sugar Grove Police Chief Brad Sauer) to allow for the installation of a pipe—18 inches in diameter and 8,800 feet long—that would convey water from the subdivisions to the Drainage District ditch located near Jericho Road and Route 30.

The landowners were involved in the deal because the pipe would have to travel through their property to reach the Drainage District’s concrete ditch. The Sauer family owns the largest of the three properties.

The cost of the project was estimated at $1.7 million, with Kane County slated to kick in $171,000 toward that cost. The Drainage District, during the last 17 months, has spent in excess of $100,000 in engineering and legal fees related to the project, according to Drainage District President Mike Fagel.

“The position of the village is that we’ve reached the end of our negotiations. We negotiated with the Sauers and the Rob Roy Drainage District and could not come to terms,” Michels said. “Therefore, the village is moving on to look for other alternatives to rectify the situation and help out the residents with their drainage issue.”

Michels, who has been village president since 1999, cited control of drain tile (after installation), price of easement and wetlands as reasons why the village chose to end negotiations.

“The big (reasons) are (with) the Sauers. With Rob Roy, it was the permitting process and some of the fees that they were requesting,” he said. “We had been negotiating since May with Rob Roy and since August with the Sauers, and in late December when we received final proposals (from them), that was when the village made the decision to move in another direction.”

According to Fagel, the Drainage District on Dec. 26 agreed to waive the $18,000 connection fee. The district maintained that the village should pay for engineering costs, with a $10,000 cap.

“The permit process protects all of us, but we do not want to stand in the way of this project,” Fagel said.

Mallard Point resident Jim Stone spoke during public comment at the Village Board meeting on Jan. 17, stating his frustration over the fact that the village didn’t send out a hard-copy letter to notify residents of its intention to cease negotiations with the Sauer family and the Drainage District. Instead, the village sent out e-mails to Mallard Point residents who had signed up to receive electronic notices from the village.

Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said during the meeting that the e-mail-only notification was “maybe an oversight.”

“The fact that they pulled out of the agreement … that’s just pathetic,” Stone later said. “My basement is in horrible shape (because of flooding), and so are a lot of other basements in this subdivision.”

Mallard Point drainage concerns
documented 20 years ago

A letter from attorney Bruce A. Brown, representing Rob Roy Drainage District, to attorney Leonard Stoecker, dated July 21, 1992, states, “The drainage district is obviously concerned that the proposed development could unduly burden the downstream landowners and the drainage district system. In view with past contracts with this developer, we are also concerned that this project may be an ‘on again, off again’ proposition.

Brown urged the Village Board to reconsider their position on the project in light of the “drainage problems in (the) plan.”

A document from former village engineer/administrator Joe Wywrot to the Plan Commission, dated Feb. 10, 1995, states, “Based on wetland requirements, a number of lots in Mallard Point “are not buildable. The plat should indicate that the wetland in the area is to be mitigated if that is (the) intention.”

According to Fagel, developers in 1993 installed Mallard Point Unit 1 detention pond without the inclusion of a bypass pipe to reconnect a damaged drain tile at the location. A document dated April 7, 1998, from then-Village Engineer Brian L. Schiber states, “As a reminder, we are still awaiting the completion of the drain tile replacement around the wetlands.”

So, why wasn’t the bypass tile ever installed? According to Sugar Grove Township Supervisor Dan Nagel, an effort to install the pipe resulted in workers digging into running sand, which halted the project for good.

Kane County take
facilitator role in talks

In spring 2009 Kane County began serving as facilitator among all three negotiating sides in the deal to fix the drainage issue once and for all. Board representative Drew Frasz (Dist. 26-Elburn), the point man during these talks, said the board has a relationship with both the village and Drainage District, and wants to see the flooding issue through to the end.

“(The negotiations) have been a continual forward movement in a positive direction. It’s been slower than I would’ve liked to see it, but that’s just the necessity of getting all the facts down and engineering right,” he said. “Our goal was to communicate with all parties, find out what’s important to them and what they can bend on.”

Frasz said the 800-pound gorilla in the room during negotiations was the fact that, even if the three sides found a solution to the drainage issue, there wasn’t a funding mechanism to make it happen. Kane County then acquired a stimulus fund (otherwise known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act) of approximately $16,800,000 in fall 2009.

“Chairman (Karen) McConnaughay proposed that we make this funding available to any governmental agency in Kane County, to be used on drainage- and water-related projects,” Frasz said. “The Mallard Point issue was the impetus for that idea and, of course, the prime project that we wanted to fund with that money.”

Fagel said Kane County has been a true partner to the Drainage District in these negotiations.

“The County Board Chair, County Board member Drew Frasz and the Water Resources department have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us in the investigation, solution, financing and potential resolution (of the drainage issue),” he said.

As part of the deal, the Drainage District was slated to receive a $330,000 loan out of recovery bonds from the county.

“Those bonds have to be paid back, but it’s long term, low interest,” Frasz said.

If the drainage project is completed, Mallard Point residents will pay 50 percent of the project’s cost over 20 years.

The Sauer family was set to receive $275,000 from the village for the easement. Frasz said that during the negotiations, the village did not express a concern with the dollar amount.

According to Frasz, Sauer himself owns a small parcel of wetland on the north end of his family’s property and is willing to donate that land to the village as part of the easement deal.

Sauer said that he did not want to directly comment on the negotiations.

Letters from the Sauer family and Rob Roy Drainage District, including a cover letter from Kane County, were delivered to Village Hall on Tuesday. All three letters urged the village to reconsider its stance and re-enter negotiations with the other two sides.

“It’s entirely up to the village to decide if they want to move forward (with negotiations). As far as (Kane) County’s position, I’ve made it clear all along that the county is not ready or willing to give up on this project or the residents, whether they are in the municipality or in the unincorporated areas,” Frasz said. “We want to get the project done and we want to get it done this year. It’s really the village’s call … we ask them to look at the current situation, which is greatly improved, and reconsider jumping back into this thing with both feet.”

IDNR reminds snowmobile operators to practice safety

Additional opportunities to take safety courses in 2012
SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding snowmobile operators and riders to take extra caution this year when the snow begins to fall in Illinois.

Every year throughout the state, people are seriously injured or lose their lives on snowmobiles. Many of these accidents could have been prevented had proper precautions been taken and common sense been used.

In most instances, being alert, knowing the trail, and traveling at a reasonable rate of speed for trail conditions can prevent most accidents. In North America, more than 50 percent of snowmobile fatalities involve intoxicated operators.

Last season (2010-11) in Illinois, 47 reported snowmobile accidents resulted in 1 fatality.

“Snowmobiling is a fun activity for thousands of people in Illinois each year, but that fun can be quickly eclipsed if safety isn’t the top priority,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. “If you are planning to snowmobile this season but haven’t yet taken a safety course, there are new opportunities to do so in 2012.”

Starting in 2012, two new online snowmobile safety courses will be available the public to become familiar with safe sledding practices or to refresh themselves on staying safe. Individuals will be able to earn legal safety certification through either www.snowmobilecourse.com or www.snowmobile-ed.com. Both companies charge a fee of $29.50 to complete their course.

While IDNR encourages everyone to take a snowmobile safety class before their first ride of the season, state law requires that persons at least 12 years of age and less than 16 years must have in possession a valid Snowmobile Safety Education Certificate of Competency issued by IDNR in order to operate a snowmobile alone.

The IDNR continues to offer free traditional classroom safety classes though most have taken place for this season.

Current snowmobile safety education courses require students attend an eight-hour class where certified instructors teach basic safety principles, maintenance, operation, winter survival, regulations and a proper attitude of respect for the student’s fellow person and the environment.

Basic safety tips for safe snowmobiling:
• Know your equipment and make sure that equipment is in proper working order.

• Wear sensible, protective clothing designed for snowmobiling, such as a full-size helmet, goggles or face shield to prevent injuries from twigs, stones, ice chips and flying debris.

• Avoid wearing long scarves. They may get caught in moving parts of the snowmobile.

• Know the terrain you are going to ride. If unfamiliar to you, ask someone who has traveled over it before. Be aware of trails or portions of trails that may be closed.

• Drowning is one cause of snowmobile fatalities. When not familiar with the thickness of the ice or water currents, avoid these areas.

• Know the weather forecast and especially the ice and snow conditions in the area.

• Always use the buddy system. Never ride alone or unaccompanied.

• Travel at a reasonable rate of speed for your visibility conditions.

Reminder to riders and hikers: A minimum of 4 inches of snow cover must be present for
snowmobile use on state-managed property. Call ahead to site offices to get the latest snow conditions and trail closures at individual sites. Ignoring these closures can result in a minimum $75 fine and possible arrest. For a list of site offices please visit the IDNR website at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/.

KHS begins competition season

Photo: The sectional-bound KHS varsity cheerleaders are Captains Kristen Glover and Courtney Reiss (front); Madison Keith, Briana DiBenedetto, Samantha Markelz and Anna King (second row); Katrina Donnelly, Captain Laken Delahanty, Captain Abby West, Anna Croft and Denise Gombar (third row); and Jacqueline McClellan, Andrea Petrarca, Mattie Garrison and Nicole McClellan (back row). Courtesy Photo

KANELAND—Kaneland varsity cheerleaders began their competition season began in the Belvidere Competition on Jan. 7. KHS took home the second-place win in the medium division.

KHS competed in the ICCA regional competition at Andrew High School on Jan. 14, placing fourth and qualifying for ICCA State Championship Competition on Feb.11. Finally, the Kaneland Cheer Competition Squad participated in the conference competition at Rochelle, Ill. KHS took home the second-place win. For KHS, it’s on to IHSA sectionals on Jan. 28, in Rolling Meadows.

Fundraiser set for St. Peter teen youth mission trip

GENEVA—Bring a hungry appetite to the Knights of Columbus hall on Thursday, Jan. 26, to help raise funds for St. Peter Youth Ministry’s high school spring mission trip. Teens and their mentors will serve all the delicious spaghetti, salad, bread and dessert you can eat.

Dinner will be served from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall (Riverview Banquets and Catering), 1117 N. Washington Ave., Batavia.

Tickets are $10 for those 10 years of age and older, $5 for children 3 to 9 years old, and free for children 2 and younger.

Last year, teens of St. Peter Church in Geneva spent their spring break doing mission work in Mingo County in West Virginia. They worked with school children, helped move and organize furniture to be given away, painted a house for a woman who taught school into her 80s, helped write thank you notes to kind donors who contributed to the helping organizations, did indoor cleaning of buildings, and performed a myriad of other service projects. The group worked through the Christian Help and the A.B.L.E. Families, who work to serve the needs in the area. In 2012 during spring break, another group of St. Peter Church high school youth ministry group will head south to Vanceburg, Ken., to lend helping hands and hearts.

Tickets for the dinner can be purchased at the St. Peter Parish Center, 1891 Kaneville Road, Geneva, from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Call (630) 232-9026 or e-mail marykay@cgtekinc.com.

Ottawa stops Kaneland on lanes

KANELAND—Not even snow and hazardous travel conditions from a week prior could delay the end result of Thursday’s Kaneland-Ottawa bowling matchup.

Finally making it out for the Northern Illinois Big XII crossover matchup, the Lady Knights (2-13) fell to their Pirate counterparts by a 2,854-2,596 margin.

For KHS, the high series were bowled by Angela Charhut at 476 and Christie Crews at 447. Meanwhile, top games were had by Charhut with 181 and 171, and Anne Salerno’s 166.

In JV happenings, the Kaneland girls lost 2,385-2,288.

Also occurring this past week was the second annual Northern Illinois Big XII Conference meet, hosted by Sterling High School.

Kaneland finished in 10th place with a pin total of 4,985 pins felled. Morris, with 6,528, took the conference crown, while DeKalb finished second at 6,385 and Sterling third at 6,380.

Crews had high game, while Amanda Strayve and Elissa Eckert had high series.

The varsity bowlers head to IMSA in Aurora on Thursday, Jan. 26, where they picked up a late season win a year ago.

Anne Salerno has emerged as a bright spot for the Lady Knights, tallying series total of
1,319 pins in Kaneland’s last three encounters.

KHS wrestlers take third at NIB-12

Gust, Goress secure conference bragging rights
STERLING—If looking for incremental improvements that could go a long way, look at this year’s Northern Illinois Big XII conference meeting.

The Knights finished fourth as a team in the inaugural meet a year ago. This year, behind steady performances from a handful of Knights, Kaneland finished third with 164 team points, just two ahead of DeKalb High School.

Sycamore was crowned NIB-12 champs with 222.5 points, followed by Yorkville at 220. Rounding out the top five was LaSalle-Peru at 117.

Kaneland can boast 103-pound rep Stephen Gust as a conference champ with a 4-0 win over DeKalb counterpart Jackson Montgomery. Gust got to the finals with a 5-1 effort over Rochelle’s TC Hager.

Joining Gust on the first-place perch was teammate Dan Goress, who took the 138-pound class with a 13-6 win over Dixon’s Zach Lehman. Goress entered the final after beating Sycamore’s Thomas Ernster 9-2.

Making it to the finals was KHS junior Esai Ponce, who pinned Tyler Hermann of LaSalle-Peru in one minute, 23 seconds before losing 14-7 to DeKalb’s Doug Johnson in the final.

Ben Kovalick made it to the 220-pound final by virtue of a pin with 13 seconds left over Ottawa’s Cyrano Rayfield, and dropped a 7-3 match to Sycamore’s Matt Copple to end the day.

The regular season concludes with a home matchup vs. old rival Batavia on Friday, Jan. 27.

Boys stifle Pirate attack in Saturday win

Tyler Heinle (32) (above) goes up high for a shot in the fourth quarter of Kaneland’s 59-40 home win against Ottawa on Saturday. Ready for a rebound are Thomas Williams (24) and Dan Miller (22). Photo by Patti Wilk

KANELAND—KHS boys hoops posted a win on Saturday evening—a nice change from a hard loss the week prior to Morris.

With balanced scoring and home court advantage, the Knights took care of Northern Illinois Big XII West Division opponent Ottawa by a final of 59-40. The positive result raises Kaneland’s mark to 11-6 (3-2 NIB-12).

With Marcel Neil’s game-high 12 points and Tyler Heinle’s 10, Kaneland achieved its second-straight win over the Pirates, this after a 45-38 comeback win on Ottawa’s floor a year ago.

Kaneland led 11-7 after one and 25-22 at the halftime break. The margin increased to 42-33 and put the cinch on for the fourth quarter as the lead increased.

The Adam Wickness-coached sophomores also handled Ottawa with a 57-41 win, with Tyler Carlson supplying 18 points.

The sophomores are now 12-4.

In freshman action, the Knights took on Aurora Central Catholic on Thursday with the “A” side winning 34-30, and the “B” team falling 45-36.

Knight varsity hardcourt time continues on Friday, Jan. 28, in Rochelle—the site of last year’s conference clinching win.

The 88 keys


The 1988 Boys Cross Country Team was inducted into the Kaneland Hall of Fame at halftime during the boys varsity basketball game against Ottawa last Friday. Pictured L to R: Kaneland High School Athletic Director Leigh Jaffke, Kaneland School District Superintendant Dr. Jeff Schuler, Kevin McQuade, Jim Probst, Tim Wolf, Jake and Luke Fahrenbacher (Coach Eddington’s grandsons), Chad Clarey and Casey Wright. Shown is Dr. Schuler shaking the hand of Coach Eddington’s grandson Luke. Photo by Patti Wilk

Kaneland girls drill Bulldogs, Indians

Photo: Ernie Colombe gathers the troops during a timeout in the midst of Kaneland’s 41-27 win over Lemont on Tuesday. The Lady Knights are enjoying a 14-6 record through 20 games. Photo by Patti Wilk

Lady Knights secure first winning record since 05-06
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Looks like the KHS girls basketball crew can get used to this modified schedule.

Much like last week’s snowstorm forced the Lady Knights into an extra day of rest only to come back with a win in Morris, Kaneland’s scheduled contest on Friday was shelved and the action continued on Saturday afternoon vs. Streator.

KHS handed the crossover foe Bulldogs a 60-22 shellacking, and followed that win with a 41-27 win against visiting Lemont, and improved its record to 14-6, and 5-1 in the Northern Illinois Big XII.

With five games remaining in the 2011-12 regular season, the Lady Knights have eclipsed last year’s win total and clinched the program’s first winning record since 2005-06, and the first in coach Ernie Colombe’s six-season tenure.

On Saturday, the defense forced the visiting Lady Bulldogs into 40 turnovers and 27 percent shooting, while 23 steals supplanted the effort, as well. Allyson O’Herron and Brooke Harner led the squad with five each.

Despite shooting 21-of-61 from the field and 14-of-24 from the foul line, Kaneland was the recipient of a supremely balanced scoring attack. Alli Liss had a game-high 14 and Ashley Prost had 10 points and five boards.

Kaneland led 19-8 after a quarter of play and clamped down on the visitors once again to have a comfortable 34-11 lead at the half. The margin was upped to 46-17 after the third quarter.

Meanwhile, the sophomores (14-4) had an easy time against Streator with a 42-6 win. Sydney Strang had 15 points.

Freshmen girls beat Yorkville on Monday, 43-35, and handled DeKalb on Thursday, 33-19, to improve to 16-2 on the year.

On Tuesday, Prost contributed a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards.

Despite the Indians storming to a 7-0 lead, Kaneland closed to within 8-5 by the end of the quarter.

Kaneland’s 10 steals came in handy the rest of the contest, with plenty of breakaway opportunities and crisp passing producing success.

Down 13-11 in the second frame, Kaneland’s Marina Schaefer’s baseline jumper and Aly Harner’s three-pointer in the last 66 seconds gave Kaneland a 16-13 edge at the break.

In the third, Prost and Brooke Harner hit baskets to go up 27-15 with 1:48 to go, but Lemont closed to within 27-19 by the end of the half.

Cutting the lead to 29-23, Lemont had Kanreland reeling until a 9-0 run keyed by an Bradford pass to Prost made it 38-23 with 2:30 to go.

“We all just tried to put a lot of pressure on them,” Bradford said about the effort on both sides of the floor. “We wanted to force turnovers, and we were really getting into their guards’ heads.”

Ahead for the varsity group is a trip to Maple Leaf country to face Geneseo on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Letter: Perfect timing

Thursday evening, while reading the guest editorial of Kyla Kruse of the Energy Education Council, I read and took a mental note of the program guidelines before a storm, and I was personally pleased to realize that I passed probably 98.5 percent of the suggestions. I hope other Elburn Herald readers did also.

Then, the next day—Friday—we were able to “test” some of these guidelines, either in our homes or in our cars with the 5 inches of snow, all within a 8 hour time frame.

Thus, a big thank you to Kyla Kruse of the Energy Education Council and the Elburn Herald, for printing these guidelines as the Guest Editorial.

Bill Wulff
Sugar Grove