DeKalb County News Briefs

Hall Street Lofts, 431 E. Hall St. in Sandwich, is now open for occupancy. Rent is set by DeKalb County, based on the county’s median income figure of $75,800, and tenants pay according to their income.


Free help offered Nov. 14 for families living on the edge

Area residents who need help to get by day-to-day are encouraged to attend the biannual DeKalb County Resource Fair at 5 p.m. Nov. 14, at DeKalb High School, 501 W. Dresser Road.

There, attendees will receive information about local nonprofits and community support organizations. Free groceries will be given away and a hot meal will be served.

Bus transportation to the fair will be available. DeKalb bus stops include: Taylor Street Plaza, 4:15 p.m. and 5 p.m.; North Seventh Street Fire Station, 4:20 p.m. and 5:05 p.m.; University Village main entrance, 4:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m; and DeKalb High School, 4:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Sycamore bus stops include: Sycamore High Rise, 4:15 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Cornerstone Christian School, 4:20 p.m. and 5:05 p.m.; and Eden’s Garden, 4:35 p.m. and 5:20 p.m.

Return bus trips will be available throughout, with the last pick-up at 7 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the Permanency Action Team, a group that works to keep families intact by providing them with needed resources.

For information, call Lynnea Erickson Laskowski at Safe Passage at (815) 756-5228, ext. 106, or email her at Dariana Lee at Kishwaukee College is also available at (815) 825-9341, and at


Church is close to selecting new site

A 12-year search for a new home might be ending for the First United Methodist Church. Church officials are arranging to purchase a 15-acre site on North Annie Glidden Road.

A plan to find a new site and construct an energy-efficient building accessible to people with certain disabilities was deemed better than trying to repair and maintain the church’s current location at 317 N. Fourth St. The church has been there for more than 100 years.

Church officials have pledged $180,000 for the project and an anonymous donor has pledged to match any donations up to $1 million. There is no construction timeline at this time as a capital campaign is being launched.

NIU employees set date for contract protest

Northern Illinois University employees will stage a protest Nov. 20 to draw attention to the fact that they have been working without a contract.

Northern Illinois University employees represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees will gather at noon outside Altgeld Hall. Members of AFSCME Local 1890, a group of more than 600 administrative and clerical professionals, and AFSCME Local 963, a group of around 275 building service and campus dining employees, will be in the rally, and all unions are welcome.

Local 1890 has been in negotiations for its first collective bargaining agreement since February 2016. After the union filed unfair labor practice charges against the university for not bargaining in good faith, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board ordered NIU to rescind parking fee increases for union members before that matter had been fully negotiated.

NIU has not yet responded to this ruling.

Local 963 has been negotiating for a successor agreement since August.


State money is funding park district improvements

A state grant is providing the necessary funds so the Genoa Township Park District can finish several construction projects. The park district recently received money from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which had been delayed by the budget stalemate in Springfield.

Chamberlain Park will get a new concrete bocce court, a new concrete cornhole area and a sand volleyball pit as new additions to be completed before winter. Renovations and additions to the skate park will be completed in phases, wrapping up in spring. Additional elements also will include concrete benches and tables that can be skated on.

The money is a $70,000 Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant, originally awarded in 2015. It is a matching grant, requiring the district to also pay $70,000 toward the projects. In order to get the money, the park district must complete the work by October 2018.

The cornhole – also called bags, or bag toss – ramps have been made by Doty and Sons in Sycamore. What’s normally a portable pickup game has been made stationary and permanent.

The bocce court has been laid out, and concrete borders poured. Turf still needs to be put in and lines marked before it is ready to go.

This will not be the first time the park had a sand volleyball court. There used to be one near the pool, but the court was moved when the pool was renovated.


Low-income rental building has opened

A new apartment building that charges tenants rent based on their income has opened. Called Hall Street Lofts, the building has one-, two- and three-bedroom units, at 431 East Hall St.

The rent limits are set by DeKalb County, based on the county’s median income figure of $75,800. Eligibility is determined by the total number of people in the unit and total household income to determine eligibility and rental figures. Income range for a family of two is $17,500 to $35,040; for a family of six, total income must range from $32,960 to $50,750 to be eligible to rent an apartment.

The building, equipped with stainless steel appliances in the kitchens, has three one-bedroom apartments at 600 square feet each, 11 two-bedroom apartments at 940 square feet each, and 14 three-bedroom units at 1,150 square feet each.  

All of the apartments have automatic dishwashers, wooden window blinds, and temperature-controlled self-contained furnaces and air-conditioners. There is a laundromat and common gathering room.

All of the lowest rentals have been booked. Limits of occupancy are two people per bedroom.

For information, call (815) 786-0185.


–DeKalb County News Briefs–