Tag Archives: Sean Michels

Village Board approves new Farmers Market management

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Farmers Market vendors in Sugar Grove will now have to learn how to pronounce “Bensidoun.”

The Village Board on Tuesday voted 5-0 to authorize the company Bensidoun USA, Inc., to take over management of the Farmers Market. Several people, including former Farmers Market lead volunteer Pat Graceffa, expect the market to flourish under the operation of Bensidoun Midwest Manager Leslie Cahill.

“I think Leslie Cahill and Bensidoun are the best next step to keep improving on the Sugar Grove Farmers Market, and I think making it a French Market means we broaden, and in some cases, improve on the goods we present weekly,” Graceffa said. “I hope people come give us a look and support local agriculture and entrepreneurs.”

Village President Sean Michels also had kind words for Cahill.

“It sounds like (Leslie) is really motivated to do a good job and get a lot of local businesses to participate, which is a plus,” Michels said.

Cahill has been with Bensidoun the last 13 years and manages several seasonal markets in the area.

“I am absolutely delighted to move ahead with the Sugar Grove French Market. Applications are available for prospective vendors, and we are ready to go. We look forward to a great season,” she said.

Cahill met with Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger, Graceffa and the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 23 to discuss Bensidoun taking over management of the Farmers Market. Eichelberger said the meeting went very well.

“We made (Leslie) aware that there is a liquor license available for Farmers Market, so we’ll be supplying her with that information,” Village Trustee Mari Johnson said.

The authorization of the village’s market license agreement with Bensidoun is still subject to attorney review, but Michels said the agreement is pretty much done as long as there are no major changes made.

“It’s just good to have the Farmers Market continue (on),” he said.

Preparation helps village handle record snowfall

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove village officials intent on keeping local roads clear and village residents safe during wintertime had their work cut out for them last Tuesday and Wednesday, thanks to over 20 inches of snowfall.

Despite concerns about whether the village had enough personnel to man snowplows to handle the intense snowfall—and whether residents would heed the village’s warning to stay off the roads—the village was able to get through the storm’s aftermath without any serious incidents, which is a testament to how prepared the village was for the dramatic snowfall.

“You have to give Public Works Director Anthony Speciale credit. He wanted to be prepared for the big snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, so he started putting (employees) on 12-hour shifts on Monday,” Village President Sean Michels said. “Those guys were out throughout the whole night (on Tuesday).”

“I thought we were well prepared for the storm. We had snow chains installed on our front-line ambulances and our rescue squadron engine on the Tuesday morning before the storm, and they helped tremendously with what we had to deal with,” Sugar Grove Fire Chief Marty Kunkel said. “We cover 34 square miles, and it’s all wide-open spaces. We were really busy during the heavy period (of the snowstorm) between 7 p.m. (Tuesday) and midnight.”

Kunkel said the department had three ambulance calls during that five-hour span, and then stranded motorists started to arrive at the Fire Department, which served as a warming center during the snowstorm.

“We ended up with 20 people spending the night here,” he said. “We weren’t really prepared to have them spend the night—no cots or anything—but we provided them with blankets, water, pop, a warm place to sit, and then we went and got breakfast for them in the morning. The last person probably left around 4 p.m.”

According to Michels, there were a couple of instances during the storm when plow truck drivers had to deviate from their route and lead police and ambulances out to Route 56 in order to bring in stranded motorists.

“I think they picked up three people on one trip and then picked up two people on another,” Michels said. “A few of the motorists were stranded right by the Galena Boulevard ramp.”

A family from Canada was stranded overnight on Dugan Road, north of Route 30. However, that family was in a camper and wasn’t in any serious danger.

“They were extremely happy to see the plow truck pull up,” Michels said.

There was also a stranded motorist who was rescued by DeKane Sno-Trackers snowmobilers
Michels hopes to meet with Kunkel, Speciale and Police Chief Brad Sauer to talk about the possibility of having snowmobiles on standby for when the village needs to go out during a winter storm and search areas where people could be stranded.

Michels also wants to suggest the addition of light bars onto the Dodge Dakota pickup trucks that serve as vehicles for the Public Works Department. The Sugar Grove Police Department used the trucks during the storm.

“We might want to get some lights on those trucks so that they can be used either as police vehicles or rescue vehicles,” he said. “Right now they don’t have any high lights on them.”

Kunkel said the Fire Department will look into having snowmobiles on standby, but he doesn’t believe they were necessary during the storm.

“I’m not sure (snowmobiles) are the best way to go, but we’ll certainly look at that,” he said.

Kunkel is also asking all Sugar Grove residents with a fire hydrant on their property to shovel out around the hydrant if it is in any way blocked or covered with snow.

Sugar Grove discusses amendments to subdivision agreement

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Jan. 19 held a discussion and public hearing regarding proposed amendments for the Village’s Meadowridge Villas Annexation Agreement with DRH Cambridge Homes, Inc., the new developer of the subdivision.

“Cambridge was just asking for some relief from the (subdivision’s) architectural requirements,” Village President Sean Michels said. “They were mainly looking to use three-tab shingles instead of architectural shingles, but the board was pretty insistent that the developer remain with architectural shingles. This is all to protect the existing homes in the subdivision. It’s important to maintain the integrity of the existing architecture.

Michels said the new developer didn’t want to participate in the Village’s tree consortium, in which they pay the village $400 to plant trees.

“Cambridge wants to use their own nursery stock, but we’re pretty adamant they participate in the program, because we’ve got a better-quality tree,” Michels said. “And once the builder pays for them, we take over the warranty. The developer won’t have to worry about warranties or anything else to do with the tree, which is important because if they plant a tree that doesn’t survive, then we lose about two years of growing time. We want to see the trees get planted properly and grow.

Village Board authorizes grant application

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Jan. 19 voted 6-0 to authorize an application for a federal IKE grant that will fund drainage improvements in the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions that have been plagued by drainage problems since late 2008.

The Disaster Recovery Public Infrastructure grant funds any projects, including sewer and storm drainage systems, created to help alleviate flooding and any additional water-related issues brought on by Hurricane Ike, a Category 4 hurricane that formed and lasted just under two weeks in September 2008.

According to village documentation, the grant will help fund a subsurface system designed to effectively collect and transport the groundwater, storm water and agricultural tile flow that have led to severe drainage problems in the two subdivisions.

“Hurricane Ike pushed up a lot of gulf moisture, which resulted in severe rain and flooding in the area,” Village President Sean Michels said. “That was really the start of the wet season which brought on a lot of ground water, and we think that’s what triggered some of the flooding in the basements of Mallard Point residents. I think it was about two months after Ike first hit that we started getting complaints about the flooding.”

Michels said the grant will help offset the cost to install a drain tile that will relieve flooding in the two subdivisions and prevent future flooding. According to village documentation, the estimated cost of the total project is $1,453, 970.

“I don’t think we applied for a particular dollar amount, but we submitted an (application) with our total cost, and the grant administrator will determine how much money will be allocated to our project,” Michels said. “Kane County’s getting up to, I think, $750,000 (in grant money), so they have the right to allocate those funds over all projects like this.”

Village pays off municipal mortgage

Sugar Grove—The village of Sugar Grove announced that it has paid off a municipal bond.

Municipal bonds are issued to fund projects from highways to buildings and are typically referred to as GO Bonds.

The “GO” stands for general obligation bonds that are unsecured and are paid with funds from taxes or other fees.

In 1991, the village of Sugar Grove issued $925,000 in bonds to build the Municipal Center, located at 10 S. Municipal Drive. At that time, the Village Hall and Police Station were housed in the former Sugar Grove Elementary School building on Main Street. Prior to being located in the former school building, village offices were located in the Sugar Grove Community House. The Sugar Grove Community House remains today, although the former school was demolished, and the current John Shields Elementary building opened in 1998. In 1991, the village’s population was 2,005. Current population numbers, due out later this year, project an estimated population of 9,000.

President P. Sean Michels said, “I am proud to announce that the last bond (mortgage) payment was made in January 2011, and the bonds have been retired. Sugar Grove taxpayers will no longer be taxed to cover the bonds, and they will realize a total savings of approximately $96,000 per year, which is $27 per year for an average homeowner. The building has served the village well since its opening in 1992 and should serve us well for many years to come. On behalf of past, current, and future boards, I would like to thank everyone who supported the construction of the Municipal Center and for having faith that the bonds would indeed be retired. The village is in the enviable position of not only having effectively burned the mortgage but is also not operating at a deficit. For this, thanks go to the village staff, for their commitment to following the policies set by the board, insuring that the finances of the village remain fiscally sound”.

Village Board authorizes electricity referendum

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove residents living within the city limits could soon have an electricity supplier other than ComEd.

The Village Board on Tuesday voted 4-0 to authorize an ordinance for an electricity program referendum that would provide the village with the option to move its residents’ accounts from ComEd to an alternative, lower-cost electricity supplier.

The referendum will be placed on the April 5 ballot.

According to a document issued by Village Finance Director Justin Vanvooren, the opportunity for residents to go with an alternate, lower-cost electric supplier is the result of the state of Illinois’ deregulation of the electric market. But while over 75 percent of the commercial market has elected to go with alternate suppliers, not many residential households have made the switch. Therefore, an amendment was made to the initial deregulation, giving a municipality the option to move the entire community over to an alternate electricity supplier.

“A lot of people haven’t picked up on (the option go with an alternate electricity supplier), probably because the savings per individual haven’t been significant enough,” Village President Sean Michels said. “But when you take it for 4,000 homes, it turns into substantial savings.”

If the referendum passes, the village will consider bids from alternate electricity suppliers. However, the village will only go with an alternate supplier if their service is offered at a cost lower than ComEd’s rate. And even if the village chooses to use a lower-cost supplier, any resident who wishes to return to using ComEd service can do so.

“I hate to use the term, but (this referendum) really seems like a no-brainer, because it’s an opportunity for residents to save some money,” Michels said. “Saving every resident $10 a month could turn into $500,000 for the community. I am hoping residents support it, and if they have questions, I hope they’ll ask them ahead of time instead of just voting this down.”

Michels said Elburn is also considering the electricity program referendum.

“This is an opportunity where we can really help the residents out, and it’s something both Elburn and Sugar Grove should be promoting,” he said.

A minimum of two public hearings is required to properly inform the voting public prior to the April 5 ballot.

Sugar Grove sets its sights on 2011

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The party horns used to celebrate the beginning of 2011 might still be ringing in the air, but the village of Sugar Grove has already identified its main goals for the new year.

Areas such as retail and residential growth and improved economic stability are high on the village’s 2011 wish list, even though the village is still slowly removing the financial shackles brought on by the current recession. Nevertheless, Village President Sean Michels believes residential growth could potentially be jumpstarted by the same entity that helped make 2010 a success for the village: McDonald’s.

“With McDonald’s coming in, I really hope other retailers take notice. We’ve been in touch with Walgreens, and hope they break ground in late 2011 and open up in 2012, which is what we’ve been told (will happen),” he said.

In terms of residential growth, Michels said he wants to see developers come in and take over the Meadow Ridge Villas and Settlers Ridge subdivisions, since neither has seen any improvements made during the recession.

“I hope some of those projects take off with some houses being built,” he said. “I think that’s good for the people (in those subdivisions) to see that their homes are going to start to appreciate in value once building starts.”

The village also is working with the Aurora Airport to bring in HondaJet Aircraft, which Michels said will help the airport continue to grow while also adding to the village’s daytime population, a factor that will help bring restaurants and service-type organizations to Sugar Grove.

“I’d like to see the airport continue to grow, because I think it’s a unique feature to our area,” he said.

To bring in HondaJet Aircraft will require an extension of Galena Boulevard west to the airport, though that responsibility actually falls on Aurora and the airport rather than the village, Michels said.

The village could also see the start of construction for a 200-bed head trauma rehabilitation center located near the corner of Route 47 and Wheeler Road. Michels said the rehabilitation facility project would create over 200 construction jobs, as well as 200 permanent jobs for doctors, nurses, therapists and other professionals once the center is completed.

A certificate of need must be awarded to the facility’s developer, Molloy Bolz Properties, LLC, before construction can begin.

“We’ll find out in January or February if the facility is coming, and we think the likelihood is very good,” Michels said.

Despite the ambitious plan for a high-upside project such as a head trauma center, however, Village Trustee Mari Johnson maintains that the village’s goals for 2011 are based around its ability to work within a confined budget and provide as much service to the community as possible.

“There isn’t going to be a lot of outstanding projects on the village side of things,” she said. “I just want to see the village move forward and continue to bring in the additional commercial development that is going to help offset everyone’s taxes.”

SG village members reflect on 2010

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—When Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels looks back on the village’s achievements in 2010, images of completed roads and golden arches will easily come to mind.

“We got a lot more accomplished (in 2010) than I think people realize, getting road projects like Esker Drive and Division Drive done, which obviously helps traffic patterns and helps move people around the community,” he said. “And the fact that McDonald’s is coming here says a lot about the village. We’re being recognized by retailers (who see) that Sugar Grove is a good community to be in, and we have some growth that they want to be a part of.”

The completion of Esker Drive means drivers will have a second access point to Harter Middle School. And Division Drive now connects with Galena Boulevard, which will give some people the option to completely avoid Route 47 if they desire.

And a McDonald’s in Sugar Grove has been on the wish list of several board trustees for over a decade, including Mari Johnson, who hopes the franchise will be open by its estimated date of June 2011.

“I’m hoping McDonald’s really sticks with their timetable. They say to build from the ground up only takes 10 to 12 weeks,” she said. “McDonald’s said they were hoping to approve everything in their budget in January, then they would go out to bid and then break ground at the end of March or beginning of April, and then be open in the beginning of June. It seemed like a pretty aggressive timetable.”

The Sugar Grove McDonald’s will be built on the southeast corner of Park Avenue and Route 47.

2010 in Sugar Grove wasn’t just about completed roads and a fast food franchise that has served billions of people, though, as Michels also praised former trustees Melisa Taylor and Mary Heineman for their work with the Between Friends Food Pantry and the village’s comprehensive bike trail plan, respectively.

“Mary has taken a myriad of ideas and put it into a written document that we can use to work off of towards the future,” he said. “(She) and her staff have done excellent work.”

Johnson said she was pleased with the completion of several punch-list items in the Prairie Glen and Walnut Woods subdivisions, and the agreement to gradually improve Mallard Point’s drainage problem.

“We have the agreement signed with the county, and they’re going to run a huge drain pipe from Mallard Point all the way down to the creek in Jericho Grove,” she said.

Despite the numerous successes of 2010, however, Michels sees the final approval for a McDonald’s franchise as the most important event of this year.

“We finally got McDonald’s to see the prospect of Sugar Grove, and really worked hard to get them here,” he said. “I think this McDonald’s will have a huge ripple effect and will bring other retailers to Sugar Grove.”

Trading company comes to town

by David Maas
Sugar Grove—Peacock Trading, a futures and commodity trading company, recently opened an office in Sugar Grove.

“The opening of Peacock Trading is a welcome addition to the ever growing variety of personal services offered in Sugar Grove,” said Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels.

Deana Lanham, a resident of Sugar Grove for over 10 years, will manage the new Sugar Grove branch.

“It is our belief that with offices in Sugar Grove and Chicago we will be able to provide exceptional service for futures and commodity trading investment to the Chicagoland area,” said Lanham.

Since 1987, Peacock Trading has specialized in assisting investors seeking alternative investments to enhance portfolios.

“I have been with the company for over 10 years, and am happy to be opening an office here in Sugar Grove,” she said.

Peacock Trading is located at 80 Main St., Sugar Grove. For more information, visit www.peacocktrading.com.

Sugar Grove approves IGA with Kaneland

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday night voted 4-3 in favor of a one-year Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Kaneland School District. Sean Michels’ vote broke a 3-3 deadlock between board trustees.

As a result, developers in Sugar Grove will pay only 60 percent of the capital-impact and transition fees issued by the School District—a compromise that was struck after the Village Board tabled the IGA vote at its Nov. 16 meeting in order to have further discussions with the district.

“We need to protect the School District by imposing some impact fees, because that’s how they get money to (develop) their schools and fund bricks and mortar,” Michels said. “(The village) has expenses, and if we get more development, then maybe we’ll get more retail stores that will bring in more tax dollars. We’re trying to generate development in the community and still take care of the School District, and it’s a fine line.”

Several board trustees touched upon that fine line during the meeting, as Mari Johnson and Rick Montalto both stated they would move forward with the IGA despite still having some reservations with the numbers proposed by the School District.

“In the spirit of cooperation, and the fact that our agreement is expiring in a few short weeks, I think it’s probably better to go forward on the faith that what we’ve been told by the School District is actually true,” Montalto said.

Michels said the board is looking out for village residents and the future of the village.

“We need to work with the School District, and they need to appreciate what we’re doing at the same time. Even developers have acknowledged that a good school system is what sells lots,” he said.

Trustees voting in favor of the IGA extension were Michels, Johnson, Montalto and Melisa Taylor; against were Tom Renk, Kevin Geary, and Bob Bohler.

SG holds off on agreement with Kaneland

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday delayed a vote that would renew the village’s Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Kaneland School District.

The village’s revised draft of the IGA featured several proposed changes to the agreement, including a reduction of capital-impact fees to 50 percent and a reduction of transition fees to 0 percent—a far cry from the proposed figures included in the IGA with other local municipalities.

“The authorization of such an agreement without (Kaneland’s) endorsement would potentially harm the spirit of cooperation within the local municipalities,” Kaneland School Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “We’re committed to keeping the process that we’ve utilized to get our municipalities to adjoin in agreement regarding impact fees intact. And what the (Sugar Grove) Board is considering is not anything we’ve talked about with the municipal officials.”

Schuler and Board Secretary Lisa Wiet were among those in attendance at the meeting, and spoke briefly in front of the Village Board.

“It’s critical to note that under the (Intergovernmental Agreement), any reduction or elimination of fees (is) not temporary in nature; they follow the life of any annexation agreement and can never be recovered, placing a greater burden on existing residents throughout the district, including Sugar Grove,” Wiet said.

The IGA offered to Sugar Grove and other municipalities is a three-year contract requiring municipalities to collect land-cash and school impact fees from developers to ease the cost of educating the children of residents who are new to the district. The IGA calls for a gradual increase in payments based on home value. As of 2011, a $200,000 home will incur an impact fee of $3,560. In 2013, that same home will incur an impact fee of $5,934.

Village President Sean Michels declined to comment on the IGA, but did say during the meeting that it’s not Sugar Grove’s desire to have uncontrolled growth, but to bring in more commercial developers.

“In the essence of getting a consensus among the other municipalities, I think it’s best we hold off (on a vote),” he said.

Several Sugar Grove trustees agreed with the decision to table the IGA vote, including Kevin Geary, who expressed his wish to see more growth in the village while working to compromise with the School District.

“As proposed, I am not in favor of (the IGA), but I’d be willing to go back to the table and see if we can’t crunch these numbers and make it more reasonable,” he said.

The other municipalities in the Kaneland School District, Elburn, Kaneville, Maple Park, Virgil, Cortland and Montgomery, have already signed the IGA as originally proposed by Kaneland.

The current IGA expires Jan. 1, 2011.

Village approves supplemental for 2009 MFT Program budget

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday voted 5-0 to approve a supplemental to the 2009 motor fuel tax (MFT) program budget for a street repair plan that exceeded its expected cost.

The MFT Program allowed for repairs of several streets on the east side of the village, including Neil Road, Stanley Road and Monna Street. Edge mill and patch work was also done to the streets, while curb and gutter sections were installed to alleviate drainage issues.

The original contract for the work was awarded in August 2009 to Aurora Blacktop Inc. at a cost of $118,220.50. However, the amount of additional work, including sidewalk replacement and patching to ensure proper drainage, pushed the final cost of the program to $136,070.55—nearly $18,000 over the original cost of the project.

“We were looking to just get some road repairs done, and the scope of the (MFT Program) work expanded while workers were out there,” Village President Sean Michels said. “More work had to be done in order to make sure everything was done properly.”

Despite the additional cost to the 2009 MFT Program, the approved supplemental will only take $7,234.28 from the village’s motor fuel tax funds. MFT funds left over from a June 2009 resolution will pay the remaining $10, 615.77.

“We really just want to improve our roads,” Michels said.

Open house will focus on Route 47

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Local residents can learn more about the Route 47 improvement study during an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) open house on Wednesday, Nov. 3, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Sugar Grove Community House.

Attendees will have the opportunity to comment and ask questions regarding the study, which will research the need to improve and widen portion of Route 47 stretching from Cross Street in Sugar Grove to Kennedy Road in Yorkville. The study will also consider improvements for a portion of Route 30.

“A lot of times during these (public forums), people will bring up property line issues or right-of-way issues that they’ve had, and they can ask questions about what exactly will be done,” Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels said. “This open house is meant to pass out information and let people know what’s being worked on, but it’s also an opportunity (for IDOT) to collect information that local residents might have.”

Michels said preliminary design of the Route 47 improvements is under way. IDOT District 3 will fund the second phase —final design, project bidding and acquisition of right-of-way—for the Kendall County section of the project. Sugar Grove officials hope IDOT District 1 will fund the project’s second phase for the Kane County section of Route 47.

“If we don’t get the funding for a phase two or a commitment from (IDOT) District 1 to do the second phase of the project, then phase one will be done for naught,” Michels said.

Michels believes the Route 47 improvement is both necessary and overdue.

“Anyone who’s had to go south on Route 47 during a weekday can attest that the road needs to be widened,” he said.

If IDOT District 1 does fund the Kane portion of the project, the village faces the issue of the road improvements interfering with the two railroad bridges located on the stretch of Route 47 between Cross Street and Kennedy Road. Village officials said train traffic may be affected.

The Route 47 improvements will take a minimum of five years for IDOT to complete, including at least two years of preliminary design, two years of actual design and then at least a year for construction.

Village and Prairie Glen developer compromise

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Oct. 5 amended the agreement between the village and the Prairie Glen developer, The Windham Group Inc.

Under the amendment, which village officials called a compromise, the developer will be required to apply the final surface to Prairie Glen subdivision streets. In turn, the village will extend the development agreement to a new 20-year period, dependent upon the completion of the street improvements in 2010.

“We wanted to get some critical infrastructure in on a final lift on Municipal Drive, and we’ll take over the (subdivision’s) streets once the developer finishes it,” Village President Sean Michels said. “(The developer) is asking for some concessions from the village, and we’re asking for some things from them.”

The developer’s requests, which the amended agreement accommodates, include requiring future lot owners and homebuilders to make right-of-way improvements to sidewalks and parkway landscaping, and removing the south/southwest bike path loop (with installation in a future unit).

The amended agreement also vacated the 13-lot Unit 2 area from the Prairie Glen development plat; Windham currently has no plans to develop Unit 2 and has not installed any improvements in it.

“All in all, it’s just a big compromise to get Municipal Drive fixed up,” Michels said.

The developer already has completed underground improvements to the subdivision.

School acre annexed on Harter Road

Village also changes the parcel’s zoning
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday annexed an additional acre of Kaneland School District property along Harter Road.

The School District did not own the one-acre parcel along Harter Road when the Village Board originally annexed the Harter Road Middle School site in February 2007.

The Village Board also rezoned parcel from E-1 Estate Residential District (E1) to Business Park District (BP), a change the School District requested.

The School District developed the Harter Road site in 2008 with a middle school building, parking lot and athletic fields. The village amended the annexation agreement in April 21 to allow the School District to make landscaping modifications.

An annexation agreement amendment the Village Board also approved on Tuesday allows the School District to make minor improvements to the property without seeking other annexation amendments from the village.

“There (are) simpler ways now to make minor modifications now that they’ve developed the Harter Road site, and that’s what we’re trying to help them with,” Village President Sean Michels said.

“We’re just trying to streamline the (School District’s) approval process,” Michels said.

Village gives parking access to health clubs

by Keith Beebe
Sugar Grove—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday voted 5-0 to approve a planned unit development amendment that would grant the health club Division One a permitted-use access to parking.

Village Trustee Mari Johnson abstained from the vote because she is a member of the health club.

The amendment added health clubs to the list of businesses approved for permitted use of parking lots 1-7 in the Landings subdivision. Health clubs were previously granted only a special-use access to parking.

“We’re excited to have a new business opening up in the Landings, and it’s great to see a retail space get taken up,” Village President Sean Michels said. “(The health club) is a great addition to the village.”

The Landings parking area is divided into eight lots, with the eighth lot serving the Landings Office Park.

The village enacted its Landings subdivision amendment after the Plan Commission on Aug. 25 voted 5-0 in favor of recommending the Village Board approve the amendment to the Landings PUD ordinance.

“It’s great for the community to have places to go, and I think we’ve got a lot to be proud of with the businesses coming to town,” Michels said.

Outdoor vendor stands, boxes could be regulated

by Martha Quetsch
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Village officials are considering adopting regulations for temporary vendors, such as food stands and movie rental machines, on private property in parking lots and outside of businesses.

The village’s existing Mobile Vendor Ordinance only addresses uses on public rights of way.

During a Village Board discussion on the issue on Tuesday, Trustee Thomas Renk said he was concerned about the village’s lack of regulations for temporary vendors on private property.

“Before you know it, we could have an assortment of businesses that are out of our control,” Renk said.

Renk said he did not want the village to become like Japan, where street vendors may sell almost anything, including beer.

“I’m not suggesting that would be a problem here, but it could get out of hand,” Renk said. “I would like to have some level of control.”

Village staff presented several regulations to the Village Board on Tuesday. Among those are requiring written permission from the property owner for the vendor; time limits for the vending structures; and proof of a health license if the vendor sells food. Other proposed regulations would establish the type of equipment the village would allow vendors to have and where they may locate, for example, within a certain number of feet from a business, on the pavement or on green areas.

Village officials do not want to amend the ordinance to prohibit short-term, nonprofit vendors. Renk suggested that if the village requires fees in the future, it could reimburse the fees to nonprofit vendors.

In addition to the proposed regulations, the board talked about requiring permit fees for temporary vendors, which some area towns impose. Oswego, for example, charges a $34.23 background-check fee and a $100 per-year fee, village staff said.

Regarding vending machines including movie rental boxes, Trustee Kevin Geary said the village should require a permit for every machine that is visible from the street.

Geary said he does not want the rules to be so restrictive that they may deter stores wanting vendor machines outside their businesses from locating in the village.

Another issue the board discussed was the need to regulate the appearance of vendor sites, which Trustee Melisa Taylor said was important.

Trustee Robert Bohler wants the village to prohibit collection boxes, such as one that was located in a commercial area in Sugar Grove in the past, because some people leave items outside the boxes.

“Sofas and chairs sat there for months.” Bohler said. “It was just an eyesore.”

Trustee Rick Montalto proposed that the village require vendors to post their contact numbers on the machines. Taylor also wants the village to keep a record of who owns each vendor business.

Trustee Mari Johnson instructed village staff to prepare permit and license options for the board’s future consideration. She also directed staff to determine how many temporary vendor structures currently exist in the village. Johnson served as village president pro tem Tuesday in Sean Michels’ absence.

Economic development remains top village goal

SG officials see county impact fee as deterrent
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—At the top of the Village of Sugar Grove’s strategic goals list are enhancing economic development and restoring the village’s reputation with both residential and commercial developers.

“Our biggest goal is to promote the village and be developer-friendly, because we’ve been fighting that a bit over the years,” Village President Sean Michels said. “And by doing that, we hope to attract new residential developments, as well as new business developments, too.”

The Sugar Grove Village Board on July 20 reviewed its short-term and long-term strategic goals that it put into place in early 2009.

The Village Board focused a great part of its discussion on attracting business developments to the Village; several trustees expressed their desire to see more businesses relocate to Sugar Grove. However, the Kane County Transportation Impact Fee currently is a deterrent for anyone interested in making their business a part of the community, village officials said.

“That fee can be quite substantial because it’s based on the square footage of the facility, so we’re trying to minimize that (fee) and work with the county to earn credits,” Michels said.

“And in some cases, if it’s a good-size business that means enough to the development of community, we’ll even pay for that County Transportation Impact tax,” Michels said.

Board trustee Kevin Geary supported the idea of business relocating to the Village because it could create more jobs for the community.

“It has to be related to creating jobs,” Geary said. “I would like to see a multi-governmental board put together to explore through the county, school district, township and village and see if there is some way we can find some dollars to encourage businesses to relocate out here.”

Among the village’s other strategic goals are improving relationships at the state and federal level; networking with neighboring communities; establishing a transportation bike plan; reviewing current zoning ordinances for adjustment; and achieving an AA bond rating.

Village officials have postponed pursuing several other goals because of budget concerns, such as updating the village’s comprehensive plan, evaluating the current Route 47 corridor development plan, finalizing a street maintenance and transportation plan and purchasing a future Public Works Department facility site.

SG board authorizes Bliss project

by Keith Beebe
Sugar Grove—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to authorize an intergovernmental agreement with Kane County for a Bliss Road improvement project.

Kane County officials plan to widen Bliss Road at both the KeDeKa and Hankes road intersections, to install turn lanes designed to ease the amount of regional traffic on Bliss.

“We want to make it safer for people who (are) turning at those intersections,” Village President Sean Michels said.

After the county awards the construction contracts, it will provide the village at least five days notice before starting the project work. The county will pay all costs for the project, except the estimated $19,202 for a necessary water main relocation, which will be a village expense under the intergovernmental agreement.

The road improvement project is slated to be finished sometime next year.

Homeowners must finance flooding improvements

Board approves SSA for subdivisions
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board decided on June 15 that the village will establish a special service area (SSA) in the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions, which have been plagued by drainage problems.

The board voted 4-3 for the the SSA, which will allow the village to levy a special tax to subdivision property owners to finance drainage improvements.

The SSA vote was deadlocked at 3-3 before Village President Sean Michels broke the tie with a vote in favor creating an SSA similar to those the village established for other developments.

“All our subdivisions in Sugar Grove have a special service area to take care of maintenance and common areas, in case the homeowners association can’t take care of them,” he said. “In this case, Mallard Point doesn’t have a homeowner’s association, so this is a good way to distribute the cost amongst all the homeowners in that subdivision.”

Michels said the village has not yet determined costs or fees that will be associated with the SSA, which the owners of the 350 homes that fall within the area will pay.

To evaluate the drainage issue and assess initial costs for cleaning up the pond and wetlands, the Village employed a management company. The company also will perform annual maintenance to prevent further drainage issues.

Several residents adamantly expressed their displeasure Tuesday about having to bear the cost of drainage improvements.

Trustee Kevin Geary, who opposed the SSA, said he sympathized with them and asked the Village Board to reconsider its stance on the Mallard Point drainage issue.

“This issue is no different than a street that crumbles and we have to search through the budget to find an extra $200,000 to emergency patch (the) road.”

Drainage project requires soil boring

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on June 1 voted unanimously to approve a contract with Testing Service Corporation, allowing the company to begin boring soil in the Mallard Point subdivision.

The soil boring is needed to help determine competitive fits to trench in a 30-inch pipe, which will help relieve the subdivision’s drainage issues.

“We’re working toward the ultimate goal of correcting the drainage problems in Mallard Point,” Village President Sean Michels said.

Mallard Point drainage issue closer to resolution

The Sugar Grove Village Board on June 1 voted unanimously to approve a contract with Testing Service Corporation, allowing the company to begin boring soil in the Mallard Point subdivision.

The soil boring is needed to help determine competitive fits to trench in a 30-inch pipe, which will help relieve the subdivision’s drainage issues.

“We’re working towards the ultimate goal of correcting the drainage problems in Mallard Point,” Village President Sean Michels said.

Letter: Sugar Grove donors response

Your blood donations were so needed and so important, and on March 1 you responded.

Our blood drive was a huge success, due in part to the Sugar Grove Firefighters Auxiliary, the Sugar Grove Fire Department, the Heartland Blood Center staff, and all of our extra helpers.

We send a special thank you to our donors for sharing the gift of life: Carolyn Abruzzo, Jeff Babich, Shawn Beyer, Kate Boehmer, Steve Boehmer, James Budzyn, Jennifer Calabrese, Perry Clark, Clara Cooper, Pat Davis, Lee Drendel, Jick Eckert, Tara Evers, Steve Good, Denise Goress, Mark Goress, George Hannemann, Susan Hayden, Jack Holleran, Mike Janco, John Jandovitz, Jane Johnson, Laura Keske, Ted Koch, Kim Kriceri, Sally McClellan, Suzanne McCracken, Sean Michels, Brandon J. Mires, Lisa Molitor, Russell Molitor, Jennifer Mourousias, Clarance Nolan, Crystal Quiroga, Jan Ray, Andrew Reynolds, Judy Rios, Brian Schiber, Erin Schiber, Damon Schultz, Christy Seawall, Don Sommerville, Christine Steenwyk, Jeff Steenwyk, Andrea Strobert, Marisa Tenorio, Renee Tonioni, Rachel Warren, Dana Weber, Molly Wolf, Annettee Wood, Dan Wurtz, James Zablocki, Scott Zaeske, Steve Zick.

We also deeply appreciate those who attempted but were unable to donate blood. The next Sugar Grove blood drive is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 13.

Joy Rubo
Blood Drive coordinator
Sugar Grove

Letter: Thank you for supporting my campaign

I want to take this opportunity to thank the many individuals who supported my campaign, especially those that dedicated their time and energy on my behalf.

I also want to thank the voters who voted for me and all of the voters who went to the polls. It is an honor and a privilege to be on the ballot and to ask for your consideration. This is what makes America great.

I am proud of the issue-oriented campaign that I ran and, despite the loss, I can hold my head up high in the knowledge that I stepped up to the plate and voiced issues that needed to be raised. I look forward to continuing to serve as Village President of Sugar Grove and working with the great people that I have met through this process.

Thank you again.

Sean Michels
25th Senate Candidate
Sugar Grove Village President

Letter: Win or lose—Here are the facts

I take exception to Mr. Dennis Ryan’s comments in a letter to the editor in last week’s Elburn Herald.

He should research his points thoroughly before he puts things in writing. I am sure people read his letter and took his misinformation as fact.

Unfortunately, Mr. Ryan has not taken the time to research his points and blames Sugar Grove or myself for many of the issues that we have no control over.

The Mallard Point issue is preying on the misfortune of the homeowners, which should never happen. Sugar Grove, the Rob Roy Drainage District and Kane County are working to develop a long-term solution to a sump pump problem that, for the past 15 years, had not been an issue. This problem started when the area experienced heavy rains in the fall of 2008. Until then, the subdivision was not experiencing storm water issues.

Look at the history of the Big Rock boundary dispute. Sugar Grove has been in Big Rock Township for over 20 years with various businesses that the village supplies water to. Certain people in Big Rock feel that Sugar Grove should de-annex this property and move out of Big Rock Township, which would be a disservice to the existing businesses that rely on village services. These same people wanted to annex over 7,000 acres to prevent Sugar Grove from annexing further into Big Rock.

Do you realize the tax dollars that would have been lost for the School District, Fire District and so forth if this would have occurred? Sugar Grove would much rather have entered into a boundary agreement like it has with all its neighbors to the east.

Unfortunately, you need two sides to talk, and Big Rock did not want to talk. Due to Sugar Grove’s efforts, much of the property has not been annexed so that annexation agreements can still be negotiated.

Look at Sugar Grove’s planning map, and you will see that Sugar Grove does not show any plans for development into Kaneville Township. The update to Sugar Grove’s Land Use Plan was done prior to the incorporation of Kaneville. Sugar Grove met with Kaneville Township officials to preserve an area for the village of Kaneville. It was with the help of Sugar Grove that Kaneville incorporated a smaller area so they could focus on their immediate needs.

To those living in the areas between Interstate 88 and Main Street, don’t listen to Mr. Ryan, he only wants to instill fear in you. The village has no interest in annexing any property in this area unless asked to do so by a developer. Only then would the village annex the property if it benefits the area. One such plan is to improve the interchange at Interstate 88 and Route 47 and to provide commercial development to diversify our tax base. Having a complete interchange would not only benefit Sugar Grove, but the entire region.

Please explain to the two children that almost lost their lives in a horrible traffic accident on Route 56 why our police should not ticket motorists speeding through the village. Nearly 90 percent of the tickets issued in Sugar Grove are to people speeding 15 mph or more over the posted speed limit.

Sugar Grove does not have sole control over the housing market. The Kaneland School Board made a decision to construct a new middle school based on the number of developments that were planned throughout the entire School District, not just the developments in Sugar Grove. It is comical to me that last March, Sugar Grove was faulted for not growing fast enough. Nevertheless, Sugar Grove worked with the School District and the other communities to implement higher fees on new homes to avoid referendums to pay for new schools due to growth.

Builders and Realtors fought these fees, but it was known that taxpayers would not support another referendum to pay for growth.

You cannot have it both ways Mr. Ryan. In the last paragraph you blame Sugar Grove for its failed developments and now you say we are too extravagant. Which is it? Sugar Grove’s business parks are 90 percent built out. The village recently extended roads and infrastructure to attract additional retail and commercial businesses. A new commercial building is under construction, and plans are being reviewed by the village for a new retail center. Sugar Grove has a mixture of housing, from starter homes to high value homes. This mix of commercial, retail, housing and open space make Sugar Grove one of the premier communities in northern Illinois.

Win or lose on Tuesday, I am very proud of the campaign that I have run and very proud of Sugar Grove. I have stuck to the facts and not trashed anyone’s family or made false statements. If my opponent, or his sympathizers, would have shown what projects he was personally involved in or what significant legislation he was able to pass, I would not have run. Since he could not, I only felt it was my patriotic duty to bring his record to the attention of the public, and run a race based on fact, not personal attacks.

Sean Michels
Sugar Grove
Village President
25th Legislative District Candidate

Hannaford Farm LLC in default

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday declared Hannaford Farm LLC in default on its obligations for public improvements within the Hannaford Farm development.

The improvements that were the developer’s responsibility include the final grading of streets and completion of sidewalks, among others, and will cost $2.2 million to complete.

The board granted authority to the village clerk to contact Benchmark Bank, the developer’s insurer, demanding that the money be released. Once Benchmark Bank receives the letter, it has seven days to respond, Village President Sean Michels said. However, bank representatives have told village officials it would likely fight the action in court.

“Unfortunately, it’s just a sign of the times,” Michels said.

He said the Hannaford Farm developers took out a $2 million loan in 2004 to develop the subdivision, for which they are paying $100,000 a year in interest. Without the sale of homes due to the failing economy, Michels said they have no income with which to pay the interest, property taxes or to maintain the property.

The development was originally proposed for 142 single-family homes on 122 acres of land off of Merrill Road, west of the Lakes of Bliss Woods subdivision. As of the end of last year, there were 24 lots owned by individual owners.

Michels said the village had hoped to avoid going to court.

“The only people who get rich are the attorneys and no work gets done,” he said.

A group of Hannaford homeowners got together last weekend to mow, weed and plant flowers in some of the common areas.

“My compliments to the Hannaford Farm residents for getting some things done over the weekend,” Michels said.

“We’re just saddened by it all,” Hannaford Farm resident Rachel Rockwell said.

Municipal Drive done in time for Solheim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local vendors hope to capture additional business during Solheim Cup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Progress continues on Mallard Point drainage issues

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—To come up with a plan to resolve recurring groundwater and drainage issues in the Mallard Point Subdivision and surround properties, and Village officials, members of the Rob Roy Drainage District Board, Mallard Point residents and Kane County Water Resources Department Director Paul Schuch have been working together.

Several months ago, the village hired engineering firm Trotter & Associates to study the wetlands and retention pond to determine the reason for elevated water levels and flooding in the area. Although Mark Bushnell, a project engineer with the firm, found mud and overgrown vegetation blocking the water flow from the subdivision, removal of these blockages has not solved the problem.

According to Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger, four separate projects will need to be implemented to fix the problems completely.

The first would involve laying a large drain tile from the Mallard Point Subdivision south to Jericho Road take the excess water to a place open enough to absorb it. The second step would be to study the drain tiles on the northern end of the property to determine if some are broken or if some need to be rerouted.

Funding for these two projects would likely end up being the responsibility of property owners throughout the Rob Roy Drainage District, as the improvements would benefit all involved, explained Eichelberger.

Rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance of the wetland and the retention pond within the Mallard Point Subdivision would likely be paid for through a Special Services Assessment (SSA) on the residents of Mallard Point, as these projects are more specific to the subdivision.

Village President Sean Michels said he and other officials met with representatives of the various agencies on Monday to discuss what needs to be done and how to determine what it will cost.

“I’m sure it has a number of the residents nervous about what the costs could be,” Michels said.

Eichelberger said funding for the projects would probably be raised through bonds. Money to pay back the bonds would then likely be collected through a tax bill to the Rob Roy Drainage Ditch residents over a period of 10 years or more.

An SSA spread out over time and assessed on the Mallard Point residents would potentially be the vehicle for the pond and wetland rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance.

Eichelberger said that although there were more questions than answers at this point, the village plans to continue to move forward with the projects. However, he said that even if money was no object, Schuch has told the village that because approvals are needed from four different agencies, next summer would be the earliest that something could be done.

Mallard Point resident and trustee Kevin Geary said the situation in Mallard Point was an emergency similar to a water main breaking, and that residents could not wait that long for it to be fixed. He said the village has a financial responsibility to fix the problem.

“The storm water management system is not working,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with the houses; it’s a storm water system problem.”

After the meeting, Eichelberger said he thought there was consensus building among the Mallard Point residents to move forward with the projects.

Many of the residents are already paying $200 to $250 a month to run their sump pumps, he said. If that’s the case, they might be willing to consider an additional tax or assessment to fix the problem for good.

Attorney: SG, Elburn boundaries agreement not possible now

by Martha Quetsch
Two new Elburn trustees want the village and Sugar Grove to establish a boundary agreement. But according to one of the village’s attorneys, that is not possible now because the villages are too far apart.

The Illinois Muncipal Code states that municipalities may not establish a legally binding boundary agreement unless the distance between the two towns is three miles or less, attorney Brian O’Connor said.

The two villages’ limits currently are approximately seven miles apart.

Trustees Jeff Walter and Ken Anderson recently said they want a boundary agreement to ensure that Sugar Grove does not annex close to Elburn’s limits in the future. Walter said he is concerned about rapid development, and Anderson said he would like a green buffer zone between the villages.

Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels said he wants a boundary agreement with Elburn, too; he said would be willing to enter into a gentleman’s agreement with Elburn officials regarding boundaries, if a legal agreement was not possible.

O’Connor said a “handshake” agreement would not prevent future village officials from voiding it.

“It’s unenforceable,” O’Connor said. “Every two years, who’s in (trustees’ offices) changes. “If a future board does not want to abide by the agreement, it’s out.”

Even a written agreement signed by officials from both villages would not be legally binding.

“It wouldn’t even be worth the paper it’s written on,” O’Connor said.

If Sugar Grove annexed property extending its limits to within three miles of Elburn’s, the two villages could enter into a legally binding boundary agreement, O’Connor said.

SG seeks Elburn’s support for I-88 interchange expansion

by Martha Quetsch
Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels wants a letter of support from the Elburn Village Board for the proposed full-access interchange at I-88 and Route 47. However, two Elburn trustees said the village should seek something in return.

“I’d like to see some quid pro quo,” trustee Jeff Walter said.

Elburn’s approval will help Sugar Grove obtain government funding for the $25 million project, which will bring development to Sugar Grove, Michels said.

“We’d be in a much better position to get federal money, whether stimulus or transportation bill funds, if we have regional support,” Michels said Tuesday.

Elburn trustees reviewed Michels’ request during the Committee of the Whole meeting Monday.

Walter is concerned that if the interchange is expanded, it will attract so much development that Sugar Grove quickly might start annexing property northward along Route 47 toward Elburn. Before that happens, Walter wants the two villages to agree on annexation boundaries.

Trustee Ken Anderson wants boundaries established, too, with a buffer zone between the two villages.

Michels said Tuesday that he is in favor of creating boundaries, but that the Elburn and Sugar Grove village boards in the past could not agree what those should be. He hopes that with three new trustees, the Elburn board will be able to come to an agreement with Sugar Grove.

Village President Dave Anderson told trustees he will discuss trustees’ concerns with Michels before bringing the interchange project letter-of-support request to the Village Board for a vote.

Currrently, no eastbound off-ramp or westbound on-ramp exists at I-88 and Route 47.

Elburn trustee Ken Anderson also suggested Sugar Grove could use its developer funds to help pay for the Anderson Road extension and railway overpass to alleviate traffic congestion expected in Elburn after the interchange is built.

Designs created
Sugar Grove has design options for the proposed expansion of the I-88 interchange at Route 47 it will present to the Illinois Department of Transportation for review. The designs are part of a $200,000 study conducted by a consultant during the past few months. The Elburn Village Board last year declined to support the study.

Senior living, care facility proposed for SG

by Susan O’Neill
Village Board members reacted favorably to a plan for a senior living facility Prism Health Care Management Group would like to build in Sugar Grove.

The one-story facility would be built on a 19-acre site on the west side of Route 47 north of Wheeler Road, with separate wings for a physical and occupational rehabilitation facility, an assisted living facility and a skilled nursing facility.

Acreage with frontage on Route 47 will be set aside for a possible urgent care center and medical offices, retail and restaurant space.

“There’s a tremendous need for something like this out here,” trustee Mary Heineman said. “This is the first one west of Randall Road.”

Prism Health-Care Management Group Chief Executive Officer Lewis Borsellino said that the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board has determined the need for 339 skilled nursing beds in the Kane County Planning Area.

The facility would be for private pay patients, which he said is supported by Sugar Grove’s median income level.

“You’ve done a great job here,” Village President Sean Michels said. “It seems like a good fit.”

Among its other projects, the developer of senior long-term care facilities recently completed a 58-unit senior living facility in Morris, Ill., with a 152-bed skilled nursing facility scheduled for completion in March 2010.

Sugar Grove Community Development Director Rich Young this week said the nursing home approval process is lengthy, and he does not know yet when the project would move forward.

The proposal
92,000-square-foot facility to include:
• 60-bed assisted living facility
• 120-bed skilled nursing facility
• Wing for physical and
occupation rehabilitation
• Located on 19 acres on west side
of Route 47 north of
Wheeler Road