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The following is a Guest Post from Billita Jacobsen.

Speak up now or forever hold your complaining about the proposed four lane toll way through Carpentersville. Artfully named the “Longmeadow Parkway Corridor” this monstrosity will create more traffic in our village, decrease property values, and steal more businesses while destroying the most scenic view along the Fox River. The plan has always been intended to create a corridor to Algonquin’s Randall Road shopping centers and, at the same time, solve Algonquin’s traffic problems.

If officials in Carpentersville, West Dundee, and East Dundee would have a forward-looking brain among them, they would see that this project will only hurt our area. We’ve already lost a lot of business to Algonquin’s Randall Road 1,000 acres shopping corridor. This toll way will be the final nail in the coffin.

So, taxpayers, you are funding a public hearing March 26th at the Randall Oaks Golf Club (4101 Binnie Road, off Randall) from 4-8 p.m. If you are against a toll way plowing through Carpentersville, please attend and speak out about it. The Kane County Dept. of Transportation is providing a court reporter to take down comments about the “proposed” project. Of course, this is what’s known as a “done deal.” The problem is, residents of Carpentersville are the ones being done in.

The toll way will carry four lanes of traffic from Route 62, cross Route 25, go along Bolz Road, cross the river and continue to Huntley Road. Has anyone taken a look at Bolz Road and noticed how close this toll way will be to homes? Is anyone aware of where they will be able to get on and off this toll way? What will happen if the tolls collected don’t pay for the building of this Carpentersville bypass? Are any efforts being made to minimize the noise residents will suffer from as cars and trucks whiz by their homes? Is anyone concerned that property values will plummet (even more than they already have)?

Maps will be on display March 26th, as well as propaganda about the “purpose and need” for this toll system. Educate yourself and start telling officials you don’t want a toll way through Carpentersville. A simple, local, two-lane bridge (from Route 25 to Route 31) will suffice. This is an especially good time to speak out, with local elections coming up. I know Bill Sarto supports the toll way. He believes it will bring business to Carpentersville but in reality, it will do the opposite.  [ed. This was stricken as Bill Sarto provided a comment that clarified that he opposes this tollway and supports a local bridge option.]  I don’t know where the other candidates stand on the issue. I would love to hear one of them oppose this ridiculous plan–so I’d know who to vote for.

Billita Jacobsen
Foxpathorg@aol.com

It seems that the Longmeadow Parkway/Bolz Rd bridge project hit a bit of a snag on Thursday (Aug 14) after presentations showed that it might not relieve as much congestion as originally thought …  which could be good or bad, depending on who you ask.

Some have expressed concern that there will be “40,000 vehicles” crossing the bridge daily and “raining down pollution” on the surrounding neighborhoods.  However, 2 proposals show that if this were a local toll bridge, traffic would approach nothing close to that mark.

One proposal said that 16,000 vehicles daily would cross the bridge at 50-cents per toll, and only 4,000 would at a proposed $2.50 (Who the hell is thinking $2.50 for this thing?!  And who thinks that even 4,000 people will pay $5 a day — $25 per week; $1,250 year– for it?!)

What is unknown is how long tolls at those levels would need to be in place to pay for the construction, etc.

Perhaps it would be better for the mayors in the 10 towns that signed on to this, along with all the members of the Task Force, to put pressure on the state and federal officials to obtain the necessary funding to get this crossing built … instead of making it a toll bridge.

The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for October 16 … when they are expected to get construction cost estimates (which are as of yet unknown).

The next meeting of the Longmeadow Parkway Task Force will take place on Thursday, November 15th, at 7:00pm at Public Safety Center II, 100 Carrington Drive, West Dundee. (The same day as “$1.00 Butterburger Day” at Culver’s! :-) )

The agenda includes:

  • Legal Opinion(s)
  • Scope of Services for Preliminary Traffic Projections and Financial Feasibility Study
  • Establish Working Groups

Time is available for public comments, however comments must be limited to agenda items only.

The Longmeadow Parkway Bridge Corridor Task Force is scheduled to meet for the first time on Thursday, October 25th at 7:00 p.m. at the Public Safety Center II, 100 Carrington Drive, West Dundee, IL.

In order to adequately prepare for the Task Force proceedings, KDOT staff and Jan Carlson, Chair, Kane County Transportation Committee, decided that the team should first host one or more staff level coordination meeting(s) with all participating municipalities and McHenry County. The agenda for this meeting(s) will focus on shaping a Task Force process that 1) maximizes participation and coordination of all local government stakeholders, 2) explore financial options and logistical project elements in a methodical, comprehensive fashion, and 3) produce findings and recommendations for the Kane County board in a timely manner.

The meeting is open to the public and the media.

Task Force members are as listed below (those representing Carpentersville are bolded).

Somewhat coinciding with this, it was reported in the Daily Herald yesterday that the Village will begin planning for areas along the Longmeadow corridor. One important parcel of land for Carpentersville is the Brunner property on the West side, between Rt 31 and the Fox River. A letter was received by the Village from the Kane County Forest Preserve District, declaring that they are interested in purchasing the entire parcel of land. Carpentersville’s Comprehensive Plan calls for that land to be developed with estate style homes, light industrial/commercial and retail along the corridor. In fact, the Comprehensive Plan envisions that some businesses operating along Main Street in the Old Town district would move to this area, so that the Main Street area could be redeveloped to become a quaint restaurant and entertainment district. The Brunner family has long said that they desired the area to be open space, yet numerous times in the past Carpentersville officials have expressed it to be a key component in an economic development plan for the Village.

The Village hopes, by putting together a plan, that it can be used in the planning for the Longmeadow Bridge itself, to ensure that access is available to the areas that may benefit from the bridge and parkway use.

TASK FORCE MEMBERS

Kane County

Jan Carlson, Task Force Chair

John Noverini, Kane County Board

Hollie Kissane, Kane County Board

John Fahy, Kane County Board

Phil Bus, Executive Director, Development & Transportation Group

Carl Schoedel, Kane County Engineer/Director of Transportation

McHenry County

Dan Shea, McHenry County Board (Trans. Comm. Chair)

Joe Korpalski, County Engineer/Director of Transportation

Ed Dvorak (Alternate for Mr. Shea)

Jeff Young (Alternate for Mr. Korpalski)

Municipalities

President Bill Sarto, Village of Carpentersville

Craig Anderson, Village Manager of Carpentersville

President John Schmidt, Village of Algonquin

Bill Ganek, Village Manager of Algonquin

President Dan O’Leary, Village of East Dundee

Frank Koehler, Village Administrator of East Dundee

President Larry Keller, Village of West Dundee

Joe Cavallaro, Village Manager of West Dundee

Court date set for Village Trustee

A December 2007 trial date was set Wednesday in the criminal case against [Trustee Paul] Humpfer, 43, of the 6100 block of Coventry Court, Carpentersville. On Aug. 3, Humpfer was charged with four counts of misdemeanor domestic battery based on a complaint made by his wife. Humpfer opted not to waive his right to a jury trial, which could slow the court proceedings somewhat.

In December 2005, Humpfer was also accused by his wife of domestic battery, but she later dropped the charges. One count, which alleges that the Trustee hit his wife in the legs with a baseball bat, is punishable by up to 364 days in jail.

A conviction on these counts would likely put Humpfer’s trustee seat in jeopardy.

Pre-trial motions begin December 13, with trial set to begin on December 17th.

[Read the Courier-News article]

Residents in 6 counties will get federal disaster aid

The federal government will provide assistance for people and businesses in Kane, DeKalb, Grundy, LaSalle, Lake and Will counties who were affected by severe storms and flooding in late August.

This means that residents affected by storms and flooding may apply for funds to reimburse their losses.

FEMA, which administers the federal assistance program, planned to open the toll-free (800) 621-FEMA (3362) — or (800) 462-7585 for hearing- and speech-impaired people — this week for people to apply for assistance. Registration may be completed online at http://www.fema.gov.

[Read the Courier-News article]

County must provide bi-lingual voter support

Kane County must adhere to the stipulations until Dec. 31, 2010.

They include providing Hispanic voters with Spanish translations of all election-related information and providing a number of trained bilingual election judges proportionate to precinct populations. The county also must provide trained bilingual interpreters at polling places, invite eligible bilingual voters to become election judges and educate and train them.

A civil suit had been filed by the U.S. Department of Justice when they noted failure to comply with requirements of the Voting Rights Acts in Carpentersville in November 2006. See the announcement from the US Department of Justice.

In the November election, the number of Hispanic voters was the lowest ever, said Hollie Kissane, a County Board member who represents Carpentersville.

“We’ve been very disappointed in the turnout,” Kissane said. “We thought that for sure, with what’s going on in Carpentersville with the illegal-immigration act that they’re trying to pass, we thought [Hispanic residents] would really get out and vote, and they didn’t.”

She conceded, though, that some residents were probably frustrated with the process, not because of the lack of bilingual information but because of delays in opening polling places.

“Three of our precincts did not open until almost 10 o’clock,” she said. “So a lot of people came to vote but couldn’t.”

CTA-Roads deal could create fast-track to gridlock
While State Rep Mike Tryon works for McHenry County, the issues he’s speaking of affect the Northern end of Kane County … specifically the Longmeadow/Bolz Rd bridge and the Western Bypass in Algonquin.

The only specific road improvement mentioned is the Western Bypass (to ease the traffic flow at Routes 62 and 31 in Algonquin). There is no mention of the Bolz Road bridge, in southern Algonquin and Carpentersville, without which the Western Bypass will not work. Local municipal and county officials seem intent on making people pay a toll to use the Bolz Road bridge … which means, of course, that those who don’t want to pay a toll will continue to cross the Fox River at Route 62.

Yep!

[Read the story from Cal Skinner on the Illinoize blog]

Kane County Board Chairwoman Karen McConnaughay has drafted county board members and village leaders from four northern Fox Valley communities to join a task force studying whether the county should create a toll authority — and if so, how to create it — in order to pay for a proposed bridge spanning the Fox River between Carpentersville and Algonquin.

County board member Jan Carlson, R-Elburn, will chair the committee. It also will include county board members John Fahy, R-West Dundee, and John Noverini and Hollie Kissane, both Carpentersville Democrats; and village presidents John Schmitt of Algonquin, Bill Sarto of Carpentersville, Dan O’Leary of East Dundee and Larry Keller of West Dundee. One McHenry County Board member also will participate.

I haven’t been a fan of the fact that this will be a toll bridge, but trying to get around the area has made me reconsider the need for another bridge crossing.  It would be nice, though, if the task force would also consider putting more pressure on the state to contribute a significant amount of funds for the bridge — like they do for bridges downstate.

As are other area mayors, President Bill Sarto is also part of the task force.

Sarto said he thinks the committee will take the lofty bridge idea and start addressing the nuts-and-bolt issues.

“We’re trying to put together some ideas of how we’re actually going to work out all the details of this bridge,” Sarto said. “Where the toll booths would be placed, how much would we charge for cars going across, those kinds of things.”

[Read the entire Courier-News article]

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