Tag Archives: Bill Grabarek

Priorities, numbers needed to make a decision about water rate hike

by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—Discussion at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting centered on the need to have capital projects prioritized and numbers clarified in order to make a decision whether water and sewer rates should be increased.

The proposed increase would increase a current bill of $46.60 to $47.14, or 1.4 percent. The water rate per 100 cubic feet would go from $3.50 to $3.55, and the sewer from $2.60 to $2.64.

Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven said that the estimated revenues from the rate increase in 2010 were less than anticipated.

“The total shortfall is just over $54,000 of what we estimated revenues to be. We didn’t get as much money as we thought we were going to get, but we looked at the other side (expenditures) and found ways to reduce spending,” Nevenhoven said. “We stopped the bleeding we’d been experiencing the last couple of years.”

Last year’s large rate increase came at a time when the village was losing over $20,000 each month. Prior to that increase, water rates hadn’t been raised since the 1980s and sewer rates since the 1990s.

Usage fell following the rate hike with the system pumping 4 million gallons less than prior to the increase.

“With the increased rate, people think about it when they turn on their faucets. That’s why revenues are short,” Village Administrator Erin Willrett said.

The board discussed raising the base rate, which is currently $5 for both sewer and water. This money is used for capital improvements such as painting the water tower and replacing blowers. Additionally, a portion of the sewer revenue, approximately $1.10, is dedicated to repaying a $240,000 bond from Kane County. It will take 10 years to pay back the bond.

Trustee Jeff Walter emphasized that operational costs may not remain stable if people turn off their water to cut costs and that increasing the base charge makes sense. Bill Grabarek agreed.

“I’m hesitant to ask for a 1.4 percent increase in water bills,” he said. “I’d rather mess with the capital, not the operating money. I’d prefer to look at what it would be with the base charge (increase).”

In order to know how much money is actually needed, the board needs to know what projects have priority and what criteria is used. Also, village officials need to be able to inform the public that a rate hike is on the horizon. So, for the increase to be in effect by May 1, notification would need to be in the April 1 water bills.

“On Monday (at the village board meeting, March 21), you will see a project list and the staff-pick projects and recommendations,” Willrett said.

Boy Scout Park: the orphan by the tracks

by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—Walk by the open lot northeast of the tracks on First Street, and you’ll see glimpses of a space that was once Boy Scout Park. It began as a project to beautify an empty space that the village didn’t need. Now the village is considering selling it.

“It’s sitting there as an orphan right along the railroad tracks,” Trustee Bill Grabarek said. “It was purchased as the cornerstone of a governmental campus. We wanted to enlarge the municipal campus, but that use turned out to not be viable.”

The village paid approximately $200,000 for the lot and house. The house was subsequently torn down when it was clear it couldn’t be used due to structural issues. The question then became what to do with this piece of land that could not be used as originally hoped.

“It’s not big enough for a parking lot. It’s not big enough for a skate park,” Grabarek said. “It’s right by the tracks. There’s issues of safety with the trains right there. It’s not attractive.”

The Village Board discussed the possibility of selling the property.

“It’s a piece of property that the village should not own, has no need for, has no reason for,” Village President Dave Anderson said. “Now’s as good a time as any (to sell). For the past year and a half that I’ve been in office, it has not been an asset to the taxpayers or the village of Elburn.”

Should the board decide to sell the property, it cannot set the price, according to state statutes, but it can set a minimum price. The village can either accept sealed bids, or it can have the land appraised by a state licensed appraiser and conduct a private sale or public auction.

Tax levy discussion draws a crowd

Residents, officials discuss Elburn’s financial situation
by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—The announcement that the village of Elburn was going to ask for a 47 percent increase in the 2010 property tax levy to Kane County awakened a crowd of citizens to ask for the facts while expressing their protests.

The 2010 property tax levy of $939,718 would extend the tax rate to .49700. In other words, on a $300,000 house, taxpayers would pay $176.16 a year more in taxes.

That’s if the village gets the entire amount requested.

According to village officials, it’s not likely they will. Last year, the village asked for $742,321 and received $637,404.

Nevertheless, residents asked the hard questions at the public hearing Monday. Citing foreclosures and unemployment, food pantries and fixed incomes, people called for the village to take a hard look at its expenses.

“Take a hard look at reducing wages and salaries and other expenses—do hungry people and those on fixed incomes care if we are a Tree City USA?—before looking to increase taxes,” said Jack Hansen, an Elburn resident and former village trustee.

Where does the money come from?
Village President Dave Anderson explained that roughly one-third of the money the village collects comes from property taxes, one-third from local sales taxes, and another third from state income taxes.

Municipalities present their property tax levies to the county by the end of each year. The county, in the spring, determines the actual amount each municipality will receive, as well as the property tax rate.

Where does the money go?
Here’s where it gets dicey: you have mandated costs that the village has no control over like retirement funds, social security, liability insurance and an audit. These expenses cost the village more than it takes in from the tax levy.

In 2009, Kane County extended $120,414.17 to the village for retirement funds, but the actual cost to the village was $159,000. It received $63,285.43 for liability insurance, but paid out $92,000. Social Security cost the village $158,000, but it received only $87,920.17.

“We have zero control over mandated costs, other than letting people go, and then service is going to be diminished,” Anderson said. “The money has to come from somewhere.”

The only place cuts can be made are in the discretionary costs that involve cutting personnel, reducing salaries, losing services, and trimming day-to-day expenses.

“The residents brought up good comments, and I think we need to discuss, in depth, ways we could cut expenses before we raise taxes,” trustee Jerry Schmidt said.

The board discussed the difficult process of cutting. Ken Anderson reiterated his commitment to being fiscally responsible in the face of tough times.

“We can come up with a bunch of things to cut, but the village of Elburn is going to look different, and the village of Elburn is going to feel different,” he said. “But I’m going to keep saying it: when we get into the budget, we need to keep chipping away to be the leanest, meanest machine we can. We’ve got to do that.”

The state-mandated process ends when the village submits its levy to the Kane County Treasurer’s Office before the Dec. 28 deadline. After that, the village can discuss the budget in more detail.

“We ask for what we need. Are we going to get it? No. But if we don’t ask, then it’s shame on us,” Dave Anderson said. “If we don’t approve the levy, we get nada. We still have time left, through the budget process. That’s when we can make decisions.”

The board voted unanimously to approve the levy. Trustees Bill Grabarek and Jeff Walter were absent.

Sho-Deen development discussion on hold

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Several village officials are not sure whether they want Sho-Deen Inc. to reduce the commercial scope of the planned Elburn Station development on Elburn’s east side. Others are concerned about the residential density of the project.

The Elburn Village Board on Monday with a 4-2 vote tabled a motion to approve the Geneva developer’s request to eliminate a commercial parcel from the project plan. However, the board intends to continue discussing Sho-Deen’s proposal.

“This can be brought forward (again) at a future meeting,” Village President Dave Anderson said.

Sho-Deen no longer wants to develop the parcel that is just north of Route 38. That section includes most of the plan’s commercial development.

Trustees Jerry Schmidt and Patricial Romke opposed tabling the motion. Dave Anderson and trustees Jeff Walter, Ken Anderson and Bill Grabarek voted to table it.

“The (potential) loss of that commercial bothers me,” Grabarek said.

Sho-Deen representative Dave Patzelt said that just because an area is zoned commercial does not mean businesses will want to locate there. However, his comment did not sway Grabarek.

“I can’t go with it right now,” Grabarek said. “Not without the commercial property north of 38.”

Sho-Deen Inc. first proposed Elburn Station to the village in January 2007. The development property is on the east side of the village between Route 38 and Keslinger Road.

Plans for Elburn Station feature single-family homes on lots ranging in width from 30 to 80 feet; multi-family housing within a half-mile around the Metra station with density up to 12 units per acre; and commercial areas on the north and south sides.

Aside from the proposed removal of most of the Elburn Station commercial property, the development’s density concerns several trustees.

“How does having more people … benefit the village of Elburn?” Ken Anderson said.

Walter said, “You are putting too many people in a small area.”

Trustees Walter and Anderson were not on the Village Board when it approved the existing concept plan for Elburn Station in March 2008. In that plan, the total number of planned residences was approximately 3,000, including up to 1,000 multi-family units.

Schmidt was not on the board in 2008 either, but he said he likes the existing concept plan’s multi-family housing, particularly if Sho-Deen builds condominiums rather than apartments.

“I like the whole (Elburn Station) concept,” Schmidt said Tuesday. “In today’s market, things change. Sho-Deen said they could offer Elburn something it doesn’t have.”

Romke said Monday that Elburn’s multi-family units would be a housing opportunity for singles, younger professionals and retirees, which could attract new businesses to Elburn.

“The whole trend in housing is to go smaller,” Romke said.

Romke also said that she approves of Sho-Deen’s desire not to develop the commercial portion of Elburn Station north of Route 38, adding that she does not want the area “to turn into another Randall Road.”

On Oct. 5, the Elburn Planning Commission voted 4-2 not to recommend Village Board approval of the proposed change.

Proposed levy intended to capture new growth

Board will vote on final proposal Nov. 15
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Village Administrator Erin Willrett on Tuesday presented the village’s tentative 2010 property tax levy of $939,718.

The tentative levy is the amount that village officials are considering asking Kane County to approve as the total 2010 property taxes for the village next year (the property tax extension).

The property tax levy is 47 percent more than the actual property tax extension in 2009, Willrett told the Finance Committee. The village, like many taxing bodies, sets its annual levy request on the high side, although it may not receive county approval of the entire amount.

“It is important to recognize that last year, $742,321 was requested from the village to be levied and $637,404 was extended from the county,” Willrett said.

Under the state’s Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, if the village did not propose a levy high enough to capture all new property growth that occurred during the year, that growth would never be added to the tax rolls.

Municipalities present their property tax levies to the county by the end of each year. The county, in the spring, determines the actual amount each municipality will receive, as well as the property tax rate. The county bases those figures on the municipality’s total equalized assessed valuation (EAV) and property growth in the town the previous year.

The village had little new growth in 2010, so it expects to capture it all on the tax rolls through the higher levy request, Finance Committee member Bill Grabarek said.

“There is not a whole lot going on in terms of bricks and mortar. I think we have issued only two residential building permits in the last year,” Grabarek said.

Total EAV in Elburn in 2009 was $199 million, compared to an estimated $189 million in 2010, Willrett said.

The Finance Committee in a consensus vote recommended the tentative levy to the Village Board, which will vote on it Monday, Oct. 18. Then, the proposed levy will be available for public inspection from that date through Monday, Nov. 15, when the board will hold a public hearing and approve the final levy to submit to Kane County by Dec. 28.

Protecting volunteer protectors

Elburn officials struggle with insurance and liability issues for police volunteers
by Ryan Wells
Elburn—As part of the effort to appoint voluntary auxiliary officers in the village, Elburn officials faced the question of insurance and liability during Monday’s Village Board meeting.

The volunteer officer program, known as the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), is supported by federal grant money and has been providing training since this spring. The program trains volunteers to provide traffic control assistance during community events, as well as an increased village emergency and disaster response.

Village administrator Erin Willrett said the program has received positive feedback, with approximately 12 individuals taking part in the training so far, and one or two working at an event at a time.

The questions of insurance and liability create an uncertainty that could threaten the program.

“The issue is, do we want to turn away volunteers because we’re not sure how they are covered?” Willrett said.

The issue of liability is fairly straightforward, Village President Dave Anderson said. Issues of liability govern the volunteers’ actions while representing the village, and in those cases, the village would be liable. This circumstance would be covered under the village’s liability insurance.

The issue that remains unresolved is one of worker’s compensation insurance and coverage.

“If there was a surgeon who volunteered, and God forbid something happened and he or she could no longer perform surgery, who’s liable (for the lost wages)?” Anderson asked.

Willrett said she contacted the Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Association (IMLRMA) for clarification on this issue and the response did not provide a definitive answer.

The e-mailed response from Jason Neiman, IMLRMA claims and litigation manager, stated that a municipality’s workman’s compensation insurance generally is not intended to cover volunteers. However, the final decision on each case is left up to a worker’s compensation commission or an arbitrator.

“The general leaning of the commission seems to be in favor of compensation,” Neiman wrote in his e-mail.

Elburn officials expressed unease with the lack of a clear, definitive answer.

“I’m uncomfortable with this level of murkiness,” Trustee Bill Grabarek said.

Police Chief Steve Smith said the CERT volunteers have become an important part of the department.

“One problem is that the KCOEM (Kane County Office of Emergency Management) have been used so much, they’ve pulled in their horns as to what they do and where they go,” Smith said. “If it’s an incorporated area, they’re not going to come unless they have to.”

He explained that the federal Department of Homeland Security will have requirements come into effect for municipalities in general, as well as those specific to communities that contain mass transit, like Elburn’s rail line.

“There are things we are not going to be able to do with the size of our department, and we have to rely on volunteers,” Smith said.

Besides the regulatory pressures, Smith said the ability to have more people available more quickly in the event of a disaster is important.

“If something serious happens, we need a stop-gap,” he said.

Through the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System, officers from neighboring departments could be called for assistance during an emergency in Elburn.

“But it takes time to get people here,” Smith said. “CERT helps in the short-term.”

In a disaster scenario, CERT volunteer officers would be used to help evacuate areas, shut down streets, and set up and maintain temporary shelters, among other activities.

“We have a wonderful group of people volunteering, and we want to protect them and the village,” Anderson said.

Willrett will explore pricing on private insurance that could provide the coverage needed. In addition, Willrett will re-explore the village’s current insurance and investigate a suggestion that the village pay volunteers a nominal, fixed amount in order to consider them a paid employee, she said.

Businesses ask for expanded liquor-sales hours

[quote]by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Two Elburn business operators want the village to expand the number of hours they can sell alcohol under the current municipal liquor code.

Kevin Schmidt, owner of Schmidt’s Towne Tap in downtown Elburn, asked the Village Board on Monday for permission to open his bar at 11 a.m. on Sunday instead of at noon as currently allowed under his Class A liquor license.

Currently, restaurants, clubs and taverns may not sell alcohol on Sundays until noon. However, liquor stores in the village may sell packaged liquor starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Schmidt said since the village allows liquor stores to sell alcohol Sunday morning, bars should have the same privilege.

“I want to be able to open the doors (of Schmidt’s, a sports bar) at 11 a.m., for the pre-game shows,” Schmidt said.

Also on Monday, Hughes Creek Golf Club manager Heather Espe requested that the village allow clubs that hold a Class F liquor license, including Hughes, to begin selling alcohol at 9 a.m. on weekdays and at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“We have golfers who want a beer or a bloody Mary at the (course) turn,” Espe said. “It would be a nice added bonus for us, since our competitors (Bliss Creek Golf and Tanna Farms golf clubs) can do it.”

Trustee Jerry Schmidt said he supports both the proposed Class F and Class A liquor code changes.

“I think it’s good for Elburn,” Schmidt said.

Trustees Gordon Dierschow and Patricia Romke also said they support allowing the earlier liquor sales.

If the Village Board approves the Class F and Class A ordinance changes, all businesses in the village that hold those liquor licenses would be affected, not just Schmidt’s and Hughes Creek.

Trustee Bill Grabarek said he is hesitant about permanently allowing the sale of liquor at bars before noon on Sunday, as opposed to just permitting a temporary variance during football season.

Grabarek said that before the board votes on the proposed liquor-code change for Class A licenses, he wants to gauge community sentiment about the issue.

“Do they really want the bars to open at 11 a.m. (Sunday)?” Grabarek asked.

The Village Board possibly will vote on the proposed changes on Monday, Aug. 2.

Liquor stores in Elburn, which hold Class C liquor licenses, would not be affected by either proposed liquor-code change.

Lazarus House is Marcusson’s legacy

Shelter’s founder and director steps down after 13 years’ service
by Keith Beebe
ELBURN—When Elburn resident Darlene Marcusson steps down from her position as Lazarus House executive director at the end of 2010, it will not be because she can no longer handle the 14-hour days she has grown accustomed to working, or because she is interested in pursuing other employment. In fact, her reason for stepping down is about as simple as it gets.

“I’m old,” she said. “I’ll be 62 years old in September, and my husband is already retired, so I think it’s time to join him.”

Marcusson, who founded Lazarus House in 1997 and has served as executive director for more than a decade, still plans to work on a part-time basis for the homeless shelter and service provider in St. Charles.

“It’s not like Darlene is leaving for good … She’ll still occasionally be available for consultations,” said Bill Grabarek, Lazarus board member. “We know, however, that there is indeed life after Lazarus House for Darlene, and we wish her well.”

Now that Marcusson has relinquished her leadership role at Lazarus, she will have the opportunity to visit her daughter in south Florida more frequently.

“My daughter lives about halfway between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, and I miss her,” Marcusson said. “My husband and I really look forward to being able to visit her more often.”

The shelter’s current associate director, Liz Eakins, will become the new executive director at the start of 2011. Grabarek, of Elburn, said he was extremely confident about Eakins ability to handle the leadership role.

“Liz is an excellent replacement choice for Darlene, and I have no doubt that Lazarus House will continue to grow with her serving in that position,” Grabarek said.

Marcusson also has confidence in Eakins.

“Liz is well-respected by the entire staff, and I know she’ll do a wonderful job as the new director,” Marcusson said.

The Lazarus board unquestionably holds that respect for Marcusson.

“She was the driving force behind Lazarus House and was a huge reason for its overwhelming success in the service area,” Grabarek said.

Marcusson is grateful for the opportunity she was given to work closely with the community during her time as executive director, she said.

Under Marcusson’s leadership for the past 13 years, Lazarus House has assisted thousands of people in need with its 24-hour shelter, three-meal-per-day soup kitchen, personal development programs, and transitional living quarters. In addition, Lazarus House helps subsidize household budgets and connects clients with appropriate social services agencies in the area to help them regain their independence.

Marcusson believes that founding Lazarus House was her destiny and now she is completely confident in her decision to step down at the end of the year.

“I have no idea what the Lord has in store for me, but we all have an assignment in life, and I have no doubt Lazarus House was what I was meant to do,” she said.

Shelter history
Darlene Marcusson founded Lazarus House in 1997 and since then led the organization through tremendous growth. Lazarus currently has approximately 40 employees and hundreds of volunteers, and serves St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia and western rural Kane County. Following is an abbreviated history of the St. Charles organization.

• June 1, 1997: Marcusson founded Lazarus House, which began as a warm-weather shelter (June through September) for homeless individuals connected to St. Charles.

• 1998: The program expanded its service area and located at the Free Methodist Church in St. Charles as a permanent site open 365 days a year.

• July 2003: The Lazarus House Center for Transitional Living opened its doors.

• January 2006: Lazarus House received a grant for a pilot program to provide ongoing rental subsidies to qualifying low-income households in St. Charles

• October 2006: Lazarus House opened the Daytime Center for Women and Children.

• October 2008: Lazarus House opened the Community Resource Center for its our Outreach Program (homelessness prevention).

Source: www.lazarushouseonline.com

Trained auxiliary officers would aid Elburn police

[quote]by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Elburn village officials want to appoint voluntary auxiliary officers who will be available to assist the Police Department with traffic control and emergency and disaster response.

Under a proposed ordinance, the village would be able to appoint people as auxiliary officers after they received training from the village’s Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) program.

“It isn’t like the Old West anymore, where you could deputize anyone and form a posse,” trustee Bill Grabarek said during Tuesday’s Public Safety Committee meeting, for which he is chairman.

Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith said having auxiliary officers on hand for emergencies would be extremely helpful.

“We (the Police Department) have only got two officers on duty at any one time,” Smith said. “We don’t have the number of bodies, the staffing to provide extra officers during accidents and weather-related emergencies.”

The ordinance would allow the village to appoint auxiliary officers who would not have arrest power, weapons or emergency vehicles.

The volunteers would not wear police uniforms but would have distinctive garb such as polo shirts identifying them as auxiliary officers. They also would receive reflective vests and flashlights. The village would pay for those items with C.E.R.T. grant money.

“It sounds like we’d be pretty fortunate to have them. They would not cost the village any money and they would be performing a service, a great service,” Trustee Jerry Schmidt said.

The pool of auxiliary officer applicants will come from this year’s seven-week C.E.R.T. program, which finishes up on Thursday and included instruction in fire suppression, disaster first-aid and psychology, search and rescue, terrorism and weather. Elburn Police Department and Elburn and Countryside Fire Department conducted the training.

Commisioner to decide penalty

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Village Liquor Commissioner Dave Anderson said he is not sure if the village will penalize three Elburn businesses that violated the village liquor code by selling alcohol to minors on May 20.

Schmidt’s Towne Tavern, 107 N. Main St., Riley’s Classic Bar & Grill, 117 N. Main St., and Rosati’s, 860 N. Main St., received citations for violating the state liquor code by selling liquor to underage, undercover buyers in a state-agency sting May 20. The illegal sales also violated the village’s liquor code.

Anderson said the village has yet to receive official notification of the citations from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, which conducted the sting. When he does, Anderson will decide whether the village should review the local violations.

“If they are adjucicated by the state, it could be a double jeaopardy situation,” Anderson said.

Anderson said he would not preside over any village hearing related to Schmidt’s offense, since he did not grant that tavern’s liquor license. Trustee Bill Grabarek likely would; Grabarek served as the liquor commissioner granting the Schmidt’s liquor license last year because of Anderson’s conflict of interest as the owner of Schmidt’s building at that time, Anderson said.

The village typically follows progressive discipline in cases of liquor-code violations, starting with a fine for a minor infraction, and more for serious or repeat infractions, Assistant Village Administrator Dave Morrison said. Penalties could range from a liquor-license suspension of one or more days to a license revocation. He said it is up to liquor commissioner to look at all the circumstances, decide how serious the violation was and what, if any, penalty the business will receive.

“The local liquor commissioner has broad discretion in dealing with these matters,” Morrison said.

Village adopts mission statement

ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board approved a mission statement on Monday that will be the philosophy behind every decision that village officials make in the future, said Village President Dave Anderson, who composed the statement with feedback from the Planning Commission.

The statement is: “We are and shall be an innovative community that maintains small-town values while working to enhance the quality of life of our residents; promote and support our businesses; and welcome new opportunities which enable the Village of Elburn to be the ideal place to live, work, worship and play.”

“I think this says what we are, what we want to do, and how to get there,” Anderson said.

Village trustee Bill Grabarek said the mission statement is consistent with the village motto of “better, not just bigger.”

Trustee Gordon Dierschow said the mission statement is not “set in stone,” and Anderson agreed that it could be changed in the future if the board desires.

Committee recommends higher water-sewer charges

Village Board to vote on proposal at March 15 meeting
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Elburn Village Board members in recent weeks have debated the best way to raise water and sewer revenue, with ideas ranging from charging a customer fee to hiking usage rates. On Monday, they decided the village should do both.

The Committee of the Whole recommended that the village establish a $10 base fee ($5 for water and $5 for sewer) and increase usage rates to $6.10 per 100 cubic feet ($3.50 for water and $2.59 for sewer).

The Village Board will vote on the recommendation during its next meeting, Monday, March 15.

Elburn officials determined in February that the village needs to charge more for water and sewer service because of rising costs, declining revenue and an aging water and sewer system needing repairs,

“It’s a bitter pill that we have to swallow, but it’s been neglected for so long,” Trustee Patricia Romke said Monday.

The village has not raised its water and sewer rates in many years. Currently, the sewer usage rate is $2 per 100 cubic feet, and the water rate is $2.69 per 100 cf.

Trustee Bill Grabarek did not agree with the Committee of the Whole’s recommendation Monday. Grabarek said the proposed increases in water and sewer charges would impact low users on limited incomes, including seniors and single people, the hardest. He believes that the village should raise usage rates more and charge a lower base fee.

“My feeling is (when the Village Board votes on the recommendation), I’m probably going to say ‘nay,’” Grabarek said.

In addition, the reserve fund that the village draws on to pay for water and sewer capital improvements has dwindled. By the end of the fiscal year this June, that capital fund will total just $53,000, compared to $543,000 five years ago, Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven said. Several major water and sewer projects needed this year alone will cost more than $100,000.

With the rate increase proposed Monday, annual water and sewer operations, costing $1.15 million, could “break even” in 2010-11; the hike would boost revenue by about $303,000 annually, Nevenhoven said.

Monthly water and sewer operating revenue has fallen short of operating costs by about $25,000 monthly for more than a year, Nevenhoven said.

The $10 base fee would raise more than $150,000 annually for the water and sewer capital improvement fund, village officials said. Their goal to build up the fund to be able to pay for future unexpected and planned projects, including painting two water towers for $400,000.

How much would
water-sewer bills go up?

The following chart shows estimated increases in monthly water and sewer bills for households and businesses if the Village Board approves the new base fee and usage rates proposed on Monday.
Current bill  /  Proiected bill
$10    $16.10
$10.38    $22.17
$14.07    $28.24
$18.76    $34.32
$23.45    $40.38
$42.21    $64.66
$70.35    $101.08
$93.80    $131.43
$150.08    $204.27
$178.22    $240.69

Village officials: Higher water, sewer charges needed

Rate hikes, customer fee among options
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Senior resident Joanne Gordon is concerned about the impact that a proposed $20 water and sewer fee would have on her household budget and those of others. Village officials are considering the new fee to boost revenue they said is necessary to ensure efficient water and sewer services.

“I understand the need, but it is going to be a hardship on many people,” said Gordon, who lives in the 300 block of West Nebraska Street.

The $20 customer fee per household would increase water and sewer revenue by $463,200 per year, Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven said.

During Monday’s Village Board meeting, Gordon asked the board to consider an alternative that would have a smaller impact on the pocketbooks of those with fixed or limited incomes.

“Is there something that can be proposed that would be in the middle, that would be less hard on people?” Gordon said.

Village trustees discussed other options Monday, such as charging senior households and those who use the least water either a lower customer fee or no fee. They also talked about raising the rates that the village charges for usage in the future. Those rates have not changed for many years—$2.69 per 100 cubic feet for water and $2 per 100 cubic feet for sewer.

“We are going to have to look at a higher price for water,” Trustee Bill Grabarek said.

The Village Board is expected to make a decision about charging more for water and sewer services during their 2010-11 budget planning within the next three months.

By the end of the fiscal year this summer, the village’s water and sewer fund will have about $53,000 available for capital improvements, compared to $543,000 five years ago, Nevenhoven said.

The existing water and sewer fund falls far short of what is necessary to pay for operations and several major water and sewer improvements Nevenhoven said are needed this year to keep the system operating smoothly (see below).

“This (the $20 customer fee) is one of the quickest ways to get that fund re-built,” Nevenhoven said. “I realize it’s going to be hard on people, but we need to push the water from the well to the user and we need to treat it.”

The reason the fund has dwindled is because water and sewer connection fees collected by the village for new homes have dropped dramatically with the residential building decline, Nevenhoven said. The water and sewer fund, under state law, must be self-sustaining and cannot include property tax revenue, he said.

Trustee Ken Anderson suggested implementing the customer service fee and when it builds up the water and sewer capital fund enough to pay for needed improvements and emergency projects, then the village could transition out of the customer fee and into a higher usage rates.

Trustee Patricia Romke and Village President Dave Anderson said the $20 fee is not an unreasonable amount for households to pay.

“I just think that this is so minimal,” Romke said.

The minimum monthly household water and sewer bill of $24.69 for water and sewer, including the $20 proposed customer fee, would be less than a dollar a day, Village President Dave Anderson said.

“I believe the water I use in a day is worth $1, fixed income and all,” he added.

New revenue needed
for improvements

The village of Elburn proposed a $20 monthly customer fee for water and sewer services to provide revenue for system improvements this year including the following:
• removing and replacing sections of
sewer that have collapsed in the
Cambridge subdivision, $20,000;
• extending the Main Street Alley
west-side alley water line to
eliminate a dead-end causing
stagnant water odor, $20,000;
• sequestering iron at wells No. 3 and
No. 4 for $27,000;
• installing a Third Street water main
extension from the library to
Shannon Street, $40,000;
• inspecting and repairing well No. 3
pump, $10,000; inspecting the north
water tower, $3,000;
• inspecting and cleaning the
Blackberry Creek water tower,
$5,000;
• rebuilding a wasting pump at
the treatment plant, $8,000.
Elburn Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven presented these project proposals to the Village Board on Monday and said they need to be done as soon as possible, hopefully this summer.

Committee wants senior tax rebates restored

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board eliminated municipal utility tax rebates for seniors, less than two months ago. Since then, some residents have asked that the program be reinstated, village officials said.

In response, the Elburn Finance Committee recommended Monday that the board restore the rebate program, with some changes.

The committee recommended reinstating the program only for seniors age 65 and older with annual household incomes of no more than $55,000.

“We want to help the people who really need it,” committee member and trustee Bill Grabarek said.

The committee also recommended allowing the rebates only for gas and electric bill taxes, not for telephone service.

Village President Dave Anderson, who attended the meeting, agreed with making the changes before restoring the program, saying the rebates should apply only to necessary services.

“You need heat, you need light,” Anderson said.

Village officials said the reason for the changes is that some individuals abused the program in the past by requesting refunds for several different phones, and that people who could afford the utility taxes obtained rebates.

Finance Committee members, who voted unanimously Monday to recommend the board’s reinstatement of the senior utility tax rebate program, were trustees Patricia Romke, Jeff Walter and Bill Grabarek, as well as Village Treasurer Mike Greenen.

On Sept. 21, trustees Patricia Romke, Bill Grabarek, Ken Anderson and Jerry Schmidt voted to eliminate the program 4-0. Trustees Gordon Dierschow and Jeff Walter were absent from the board meeting. Village officials at that time said doing away with the program for 2009 could save more than $10,000.

Village staff will estimate what the program will cost after the eligibility changes are made, Village Administrator David Morrison said. Then, the Village Board will decide whether to approve the committee’s recommendations.

Majority of board says no to video gambling

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—A majority of trustees want to ban video gambling in Elburn. So although a new state law would allow the activity, it will not be coming to Elburn while the current board is in place, unless one of the opposing trustees changes his, or her, mind.

Following its second discussion in a week about whether to allow video gambling in Elburn, the Village Board on Monday voted against it. The board then directed the village attorney to draft an ordinance banning video gambling in the village.

Only one trustee, Jerry Schmidt, voted in favor of allowing video gambling in the village, saying it would be a pro-growth measure.

“If we ban it in Elburn and they have it in other towns, people are going to go there instead,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said video gambling also would boost the village budget through tax revenue it would produce.

Voting to ban video gambling were trustees Patricia Romke, Bill Grabarek, Jeff Walter and Ken Anderson. Trustee Gordon Dierschow abstained from voting, saying the village should take more time to decide.

Grabarek said he wanted to ban video gambling now, as a “pre-emptive measure,” before the state adopts regulations he worries might prevent the village from banning it later. He said state estimates of tax revenue that video gambling could generate are way overstated. He added that most of the money from video gambling would go to bar owners.

“To me, that keeps the money within too small a circle,” Grabarek said.

The reason Romke voted for the ban was that she wants family-oriented businesses in Elburn, and if she had small children, she would not want to take them into an establishment with gambling. She said she finds the possibility of Elburn being a gambling destination, “scary.”

“It does not, in my opinion, fit the village of Elburn,” Romke said.

Trustee Ken Anderson is opposed to having video gambling in the village, because it could promote addiction to the activity, which he said can cause serious problems for gamblers and their families, he said.

Trustee Walter said most of the residents he has talked to about the issue are against having video gambling in Elburn. Like Grabarek, he said unless the village places a moratorium now on video gambling, he is concerned that it could lose the opportunity for that control.

Village President Dave Anderson said he understands the fear of not being able to opt out later, but is concerned that future regulations also might prevent the village from reversing a ban on video gambling.

When the ordinance banning video gambling is ready for the Village Board to vote on, he would not participate unless his vote was required to break a tie.

Elburn officials ponder pros, cons of video gambling

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Elburn officials wonder if newly legalized video gambling is what they want for the village.

Video gambling in establishments with liquor licenses, allowed under an act Gov. Patrick Quinn signed into law July 13, will generate revenue for the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, including state-funded road and bridge projects.

Video gambling could generate an estimated $2,250 annually for the village in taxes for each gaming machine in Elburn, according to a report by the firm of Arduin, Laffer & Moore Econometrics.

The state imposes a 30 percent tax on the net income from each video gambling terminal, featuring poker, blackjack or other games. Of that tax, one-sixth will go to the village.

Village Attorney Bob Britz told trustees on Monday that it will be 60 days, as required under the act, before the Illinois Gaming Board adopts rules needed to enforce the act, but final regulations could take more than a year to develop.

“It’s going to take awhile for the state to adopt regulations; so, the village has time to decide which way it wants to go,” Britz said during the Committee of the Whole meeting Monday.

Village President Dave Anderson said he attended a meeting of the Metropolitan Mayors Conference in Chicago on Aug. 7, during which a presentation about the Video Gaming Act took place. He said presenters included representatives from the Illinois Municipal League and Chicago area municipalities.

“Other mayors said they are not sure what they want to do,” Anderson said.

A municipality may prohibit video gambling by passing an ordinance banning the machines within its geographical limits. Voters also may try to prevent video gaming; they would have to file a petition from at least 25 percent of registered voters of the municipality at least 90 days before an election; then, a proposition could be placed on the ballot asking whether video gaming should be prohibited.

Counties may ban video gaming by ordinance for unincorporated areas. For incorporated areas, the decision whether to ban video gaming is up to municipalities.

Village trustee Bill Grabarek said he wants the village to enact a ban on video gambling, which could be reversed later. For now, he wants to make sure Elburn disallows it until the village is certain it wants it.

“You’re not going to get family-oriented businesses (restaurants) in the village if you have five machines going clinkety-clank,” Grabarek said.

Grabarek called the additional tax money the village would receive, “chump change.”


Gaming machines will be regulated

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Video Gaming Act July 13, allowing video gambling terminals in bars, clubs and restaurants with liquor licenses.

The Illinois Gaming Board has jurisdiction over all video gaming operations; local governments and police will not be responsible for administering or enforcing the act.

Under the act:
• video terminals, up to five machines per establishment, for games such as poker or blackjack, must be located in an area of the business that is restricted to people 21 and older. The entrance to this area must be in the view of at least one adult employee.

• video gaming terminals may only be played during the legal hours of operation allowed for the consumption of alcoholic beverages at the establishment.

• the maximum wager played per hand may not exceed $2. Additionally, the cash award for the maximum wager may not exceed $500.

• establishments that violate the act will be subject to fines and possible revocation of their liquor and video gambling licenses. Any licensee who knowingly permits a person under the age of 21 to use or play a video gambling terminal will be fined up to $5,000.

Source: Illinois Liquor Control Commission

Village President sells building after buyer receives liquor license

Liquor code change allowed for indirect interest in the business
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Elburn Village President Dave Anderson sold his building at 107 N. Main St. on July 23 to Kevin Schmidt, three days after Schmidt obtained a village liquor license for the site, Village Attorney Bob Britz said.

Anderson said it was under contract for the previous two months, and under negotiation since February. Schmidt said he would not buy the building unless the village granted him a Class A liquor license for the site, so that he could open a tavern there.

Schmidt applied for the liquor license on May 13, a few days after Dave Anderson took the oath of office as the new village president.

A May 19 letter drafted by Schmidt’s attorney stated that Dave Anderson and Kevin Schmidt had reached an agreement for the purchase of the property, but that one term of the agreement between the parties was that the sale was contingent upon Schmidt being approved for a local liquor license.

On June 15, village trustees created a new available Class A liquor license but Schmidt was not granted a Class A license until July 20.

The village liquor code stated that a liquor license could not be issued to a business in which the village president or a village trustee had any direct or indirect interest.

Britz told village officials June 15 that removing the word “indirect” from the local liquor code first would need to take place, so that the local code matched the state liquor code, Village Administrator Erin Willrett said Tuesday.

The state, however, did not require the removal of the word “indirect” from Elburn’s liquor code. In addition, the village has approved other liquor licenses without changing its liquor code wording.

Britz, while he has been village attorney for Elburn, also has served as Anderson’s private counsel on legal matters including real estate transactions.

Britz and village staff then drafted an ordinance for the wording change, which trustees unanimously approved July 20. Trustee Bill Grabarek, as Deputy Liquor Commissioner, granted a Class A liquor license to Schmidt directly after the July 20 meeting, Britz said.

“I thought that with the word ‘indirect’ still in, there would have been a potential issue,” Grabarek said Wednesday. “The issue was that because the mayor (Dave Anderson) owned the building, basically we needed to knock out the word ‘indirect,’ to avoid the appearance of impropriety.”

The license Grabarek granted Schmidt was one of two available Class A licenses, another of which the board approved earlier that evening, July 20.

Updated 7/24: Code change allows liquor license for space village president owns

updated 7/24/2009 at 2:11 p.m. CST
Village president said in July 23 email building was under contract, now sold (not rented)
Trustee’s son’s application granted, 2 others pending
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board changed an ordinance on Monday to allow a liquor license to be issued for a new tavern in a building, at 107 N. Main St., that was owned by Village President Dave Anderson, even if he has an indirect interest in the business.

“Good common sense says everyone in the village has an indirect interest in the business,” Anderson said Wednesday.

The previous ordinance would have prohibited a liquor license for a business in which Anderson or any village trustee had direct or indirect interest. The change approved by village trustees Monday removed the reference to indirect interest. Anderson said the language change in the village liquor code mirrors the wording in the state’s liquor code. Anderson said he does not have a direct interest in the tavern business planned for the space he said July 23 he sold to Kevin Schmidt.

Anderson sold the building Thursday, July 23 to Kevin Schmidt, attorney Bob Britz said.

Also on Monday, the Village Board approved two ordinances allowing for the establishment of three new liquor licenses in the village, but not granting them to applicants.

After the board meeting closed, Deputy Liquor Commissioner and trustee Bill Grabarek approved an application for one of the licenses, for Schmidt’s bar, Village Attorney Bob Britz said. The license will allow the bar to sell beer, wine and hard liquor.

Applicants for the other two liquor licenses are Michael Rafferty, for the Riley Boys Tavern planned for the former Emma’s Pub at 117 Main, and Rosati’s—for a new restaurant space near Jewel-Osco at Route 47 and Route 38. Rafferty is seeking a license to sell beer, wine and hard liquor, and Rosati’s is seeking a license to serve beer and wine.

Rosati’s and Rafferty still must sign the letter of understanding with the village before Liquor Commissioner Dave Anderson can grant them the other new liquor licenses, village officials said.

Kevin Schmidt’s father, trustee Jerry Schmidt, voted during the July 20 Elburn Village Board meeting for an ordinance allowing for a liquor code language change, and for an ordinance creating a second available Class A liquor license, one of which was obtained by his son after the meeting. Trustee Jerry Schmidt said Wednesday that he did not believe voting for the ordinances on July 20 was a conflict of interest. Schmidt had recused himself from voting for the creation of one of the two Class A licenses in June. Those licenses are not assigned to any business at the time they are created. The license is granted to the applicant only when the liquor commissioner approves the application and assigns the license.

“I didn’t think it was. I want to support my son in this project, but I have no interest in the business,” trustee Schmidt said.

He added that during his campaign before being elected in April, he was a proponent of bringing new businesses to the village to boost tax revenue.

Village establishes a second Class A liquor license

Officials with conflicts of interest did not vote Monday
by Martha Quetsch
The Elburn Village Board established a second Class A liquor license Monday following Kevin Schmidt’s recent application for that type of license for a bar at 107 N. Main St.

A Class A license permits a bar to sell liquor for consumption on site and packaged liquor.

Schmidt said he wants to obtain the liquor license before proceeding with the plan for his business. His application requires approval by the Liquor Commissioner and Village Board.

Just before the discussion and vote on the matter, Village President and Liquor Commissioner Dave Anderson appointed, with Village Board consent, a Deputy Liquor Control Commissioner, trustee Bill Grabarek.

Anderson appointed Grabarek and did not take part in the discussion and vote regarding increasing the number of Class A licenses because he owns the property where Schmidt wants to open the business.

“I will be excusing myself because of conflict of interest,” Anderson said.

For the same reason, trustee Jerry Schmidt, Kevin Schmidt’s father, also excused himself from the discussion and vote about the second Class A license.

Grabarek and the board agreed to make the new license available through an ordinance it approved Monday. They are expected to decide in the near future whether to grant the license to Schmidt.

The village previously had one Class A license, held by Knucklehead’s Tavern. Elburn reduced the number of available Class A licenses from two after Emma’s Pub & Cantina closed in 2008; Emma’s shut down after the village called a hearing in 2008 to suspend the business’ liquor license because of illegal gambling on the premises.

Attorney will review regulations
Kevin Schmidt asked village officials whether under the Class A liquor license he is seeking for a bar in Elburn, children may eat there even if liquor sales exceed food sales, he said.

Officials at the Elburn Village Board meeting Monday were not certain if it is allowed under the current municipal liquor ordinance. So Village Attorney Bob Britz said he will study the ordinance to make that determination.

Trustee Jeff Walter said he hopes children are allowed in establishments like the one Schmidt plans.

“It’s a big point right now, having restaurants where we can take our families,” Walter said.

Schmidt wants to open the bar at 107 N. Main St.

3 new liquor licenses requested

New pubs, Rosati’s want to sell alcohol
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Three Elburn businesses, including Rosati’s and two pubs that could open downtown this summer, asked the village for liquor licenses.

One petitioner, Kevin Schmidt, plans to open a sports bar and grill at the former The Grocery Store site at 107 N. Main St. He said it would have tables for eating and nearly 30 seats at the bar.

During the Public Safety Committee meeting Monday, Schmidt asked if the village would waive its requirement that a business be primarily a restaurant, rather than a bar, to sell liquor while allowing children to eat there.

“I would think you could make an exception, so that kids with parents could eat at the tables. Otherwise you could have some angry citizens in Elburn,” Schmidt said.

The village allows Papa G’s to sell liquor in its restaurant, which has many families with children as customers, because the majority of its sales come from food, Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith said.

Michael Rafferty is remodeling the former Emma’s restaurant space at 117 Main St., where he intends to open an Irish pub and restaurant in August. He is seeking a license to sell beer, wine and spirits.

Trustee Bill Grabarek said they could petition the village separately for permission to have children in a business whose sales are mostly from alcohol.

Rosati’s owner A.J. Hussein plans to move his carryout business at 107 Valley Drive in two months to a larger site in the Jewel complex across the street. He wants to sell beer and wine in the new dine-in eatery.

The Village Board will decide whether to grant the liquor licenses after reviewing an ordinance drafted by staff allowing for the new licenses.

Proposed structure calls for more meetings

Board to decide May 18 whether to establish committees
by Martha Quetsch
If the Elburn Village Board establishes committees, trustees and some staff members will have more meetings to attend. However, the work they can accomplish will be worth their extra time, Village President Dave Anderson said.

The specialized committees would focus on separate village issues and make recommendations to the Village Board.

“For the most part, we will trust their recommendations,” Anderson said during Monday’s Village Board meeting. “I have seen it work.”

Anderson proposed creating the committees when he took office on May 4.

The committees Anderson designated are Finance, chaired by trustee Jeff Walter; Public Works, chaired by trustee Jerry Schmidt; Development, chaired by trustee Ken Anderson; and Public Safety, chaired by trustee Bill Grabarek.

Each committee would include three trustees and at least two staff members, meeting as often as twice a month.

Before the committees can be formally established, the Village Board must approve an ordinance allowing for them. Trustees are expected to vote on the ordinance on Monday, May 18.

Currently, all Elburn trustees gather twice a month to discuss village issues during their Committee of the Whole (COW) meetings. The COW structure has been in place for nearly 10 years.

Issues trustees talk about at COW meetings can be placed later on a Village Board “consent agenda,” allowing the board to decide on several matters with one vote.

However, commitee recommendations may not be placed on a consent agenda. So, each issue would require a separate vote, Grabarek said.

Anderson wants the committees to meet at often as twice a month for a period of time, and then possibly once a month.

“It’s going to take awhile to get comfortable and to know what our roles are on the committee side,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the committees will allow for more in-depth involvement and lead to more educated recommendations than are possible at the COW level.

Grabarek said he supports creating committees but wants trustees still to have the option to meet together as the COW.

Anderson reinstates board committees

by Martha Quetsch
After former Illinois Supreme Court Justice John Nickels swore in Village President Dave Anderson on Monday, Anderson said he wants to establish a committee structure for the board.

Committees were in place when Anderson was on the Village Board in the 1970s.

The committees will be made up of trustees and staff members who will research and discuss village issues and bring their findings to the board. The Village Board unanimously approved the committees and members Anderson assigned: Finance, chaired by trustee Jeff Walter; Public Works, chaired by trustee Jerry Schmidt; Development, chaired by trustee Ken Anderson; and Public Safety, chaired by trustee Bill Grabarek.

The committees will meet regularly, with dates and times to be announced.

Before the committees can be formally established, the Village Board must approve an ordinance allowing for them. Trustees are expected to vote on the ordinance on Monday, May 18.

Village Board Committees

Finance
Trustee Jeff Walter, Chairman
Trustee Bill Grabarek
Trustee Patricia Romke
Village Treasurer Mike Greenen
Village Administrator Erin Willrett

Public Works
Trustee Jerry Schmidt, Chairman
Trustee Gordon Dierschow
Trustee Ken Anderson
Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven
Village Administrator Erin Willrett

Development
Trustee Ken Anderson, Chairman
Trustee Jeff Walter
Trustee Gordon Dierschow
Planning Commissioner Jeff Metcalf
Fire district representative
Community Development Director David Morrison
Village Administrator Erin Willrett

Public Safety
Trustee Bill Grabarek, Chairman
Trustee Patricia Romke
Trustee Jerry Schmidt
Fire district representative
Police Chief Steve Smith
Village Administrator Erin Willrett

Outgoing Elburn officials praised for work

New trustees, village president to take office May 4
by Martha Quetsch
Elburn Village President Jim Willey and trustees Tom Burgholzer, Jeff Humm and Craig Swan received thanks Monday from other village officials for the work on behalf of the village during their terms of office.

Among those expressing appreciation during the Committee of the Whole meeting was 14-year Village Attorney Bob Britz.

“I have had the opportunity to work with all of you and I am a better person for having served under you,” Britz said.

Eight-year trustee Burgholzer and six-year trustee Jeff Humm sought re-election unsuccessfully April 4; and 14-year trustee Craig Swan and 12-year Village President Willey did not run for another term.

Trustee Bill Grabarek complimented Willey for his “intelligence, insightfulness and ability to take complex issues and make them understandable.”

“It’s been an honor. Elburn is an infinitely better village, better run and managed-90 percent due to you,” Grabarek told Willey.

Willey said before he took office in 1997, the board was “contentious and divided.” He thanked the outgoing trustees for helping to make the Village Board a consensus-building body. He recognized Humm’s useful expertise in infrastructure matters, Burgholzer’s comittment to providing more recreation for residents, and Swan for being the “conscience of the board” and for running for trustee when no one else would.

The last day in office for the outgoing board members is Monday, May 4, when Elburn’s three new trustees, Jeff Walter, Jerry Schmidt and Ken Anderson, and the new village president, Dave Anderson, will be sworn into office at 7 p.m. during the Village Board meeting at Lions Park clubhouse.

Village considers stricter rules for senior tax rebates

by Martha Quetsch
Any Elburn senior citizen may request a 75 percent refund of last year’s municipal utility taxes. But because some people may be misusing the program, village officials might tighten its rules.

“The idea was to help seniors through difficult times,” Village Administrator David Morrison said. “But now we have some concerns about potential abuse of the program,” Morrison said.

Seniors who want municipal utility tax refunds must be at least 62 years old. In addition, they must provide the village with copies of their utility bills-gas, electric and telephone-from the previous year.

However, one senior citizen submitted a refund application that included bills for six different cell phones. So now, village staff members are studying ways to make sure residents do not abuse the program.

One option they will consider is allowing municipal tax refunds on bills for just one telephone per applicant. Trustee Jeff Humm suggested the limit on Monday.

The only taxes eligible for reimbursement are those identified specifically on utility bills as municipal taxes. Municipal taxes typically are up to 6 percent of a phone bill and 5 percent of a gas bill, and electric bill municipal taxes are based on kilowatt use, Morrison said.

Approximately 34 village seniors applied for the village’s municipal utility tax reimbursement during the first two months of the year, trustee Bill Grabarek said.

Tax break request deadline is March 31
Senior citizens who want a
75-percent reimbursement
of their 2008 municipal utility taxes
must submit a request
with copies of last year’s telephone,
gas and electric bills
by Tuesday, March 31,
at Elburn Village Hall,
301 E. North St.,
during business hours,
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday.

Candidate petitions due soon

Mix of incumbents, newcomers announce they will run in Elburn

by Martha Quetsch

Several Elburn Village Board seats will be up for election on April 7, including those held by the village president and three trustees.

On Monday, Ken Anderson said he will run for trustee. An Elburn Planning Commissioner, he wants to be on the Village Board to help ensure that Elburn preserves its wetlands, open space and groundwater as the population grows, he said.

Anderson is project manager for the Kane County Department of Environmental Management.

Incumbent trustees Jeff Humm and Tom Burgholzer said Tuesday that they will seek re-election to the Village Board.

A trustee for six years, Humm was appointed to fill a board vacancy in 2003 and elected to a full four-year term in 2005.

Humm said he can assist with village public works issues including wastewater management and water supply.

“That’s my background and I want to continue to help,” said Humm, an engineering supervisor for Fox Metro Water Reclamation District.

He also wants to help ease the transition for a board that will have a new president and at least one new trustee.

“I think it will be helpful to have trustees with experience,” Humm said.

Burgholzer plans to run for a third consecutive term because he enjoys being on the board.

“To be invested in the growth of the village is just awesome,” said Burgholzer, who retired from a career in law enforcement before becoming a trustee.

The other trustee seat that is up for election has been held since 1996 by Craig Swan. Swan said Wednesday that he will not run for re-election this spring.

“I just decided it was time to let someone else step forward,” Swan said.

Prospective candidates have until Jan. 26 to file nominating petitions and papers. Humm said so far he has collected about one fourth of the 60 resident signatures he hopes to obtain his election petition.

Dave Anderson recently announced that he will run for village president. Three-term Village President Jim Willey is not seeking re-election.

Dave Anderson formerly owned The Grocery Store in Elburn. He will complete a four-year term as Blackberry Township Supervisor in April.

An election is held every two years for three of the six trustee positions on the Village Board.

The other Elburn trustee seats, currently held by Bill Grabarek, Patricia Romke and Gordon Dierschow, will be up for election in 2011.

Village clerk will accept nomination papers

Any Elburn residents interested in running for village board must file nominating petitions and papers by Monday, Jan. 26, with Village Clerk Diane McQuilkin at Village Hall, 301 E. North St.

McQuilkin will be available to accept nomination papers from 8 to 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20; noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22; 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 24; and 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26.

Nominating papers include a statement of candidacy, a nominating petition sheet and a receipt for filing of a statement of economic interests. A Candidates Guide and forms are available online at www.elections.il.gov/default.aspx.

For more info, call (630) 365-5060.