County Board explores possibility of downsizing
McHenry County reported that McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks (D-Marengo) is reconvening the Ad-Hoc Committee on Governmental Consolidation to explore reducing the County Board’s size from its current roster of 24 members. County boards have an opportunity after each decennial U.S. Census to adjust their size. The McHenry County Board has remained at 24 members since 1972, when voters were first empowered to directly elect their board members under the 1970 Illinois Constitution. It is the only collar-county board to not reduce its size since then. The DuPage County Board shrunk in 2000, and the county boards of Lake, Kane and Will reduced their sizes after the 2010 U.S. Census. Seventy-seven percent of McHenry County’s voters supported a 2016 advisory referendum asking whether the County Board’s size should be reduced. The original language of the referendum proposed cutting the size in half to 12 members. The Ad-Hoc Committee was scheduled to meet on May 15 to debate the idea. For more information, call 815-334-4000 or visit www.mchenrycountyil.gov.
Village begins work on parking lot addition
The village announced that Chicagoland Paving Contractors has begun construction of the parking lot addition at 18 E. Grand Avenue. The construction area is immediately west of The Sign Shop, 20 E. Grand Ave. Construction is scheduled to be complete by June 15. After the parking lot is complete, the village will install a small rain garden adjacent to Grand Avenue. Access to the village parking lot, behind Thornton’s, will be maintained throughout construction, though there will be times the access road from Grand Avenue will be limited to one lane. In addition, the road will be used as a loading and unloading area. For more information, call Public Works at 847-587-8570 or visit www.foxlake.org.
Village to host special Memorial Day event
The village announced that it will host a special Memorial Day commemoration event, beginning at 2:45 p.m. May 28 at Veterans Park, 432 W. State Road. The program will begin with “Taps,” played by Marcy Night, followed by “The Star-Spangled Banner,” sung by Jesurela Villarreal. The Northern Illinois Pipes and Drums Band will also perform. Special remarks will be made by event chairman Bob Carpenter and Mayor Charles Amrich, both members of Island Lake VFW Post 2486, as well as other guest speakers. In addition, George Muligano will memorialize local World War II veteran Dick Wagner. For more information, call 847-526-8764 or visit www.villageofislandlake.com.
Garden at Heineman nets national recognition
Huntley Community School District 158 announced that the Heineman Middle School Ecology Club Garden has received designation as a National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Certified Wildlife Habitat. The distinction is awarded to gardens that meet the following criteria: provision of food for wildlife; provision of water for wildlife; provision of cover for wildlife; and places to raise young. Heineman’s Ecology Club Garden contains a bird feeding station, a birdbath and a pear tree which allows for birds to roost. The pear tree contains a robin’s nest, and the garden’s mulch provides a nesting ground for Killdeer birds. In addition, the Ecology Club has planted shrubs, allowing toads and salamanders to nest. An official plaque, provided by NWF to signify the garden’s status as a Certified Wildlife Habitat, was recently installed with the help of students. For more information, call 847-659-4300 or visit www.district158.org.
Weight limits placed on Johnsburg Road Bridge
The village reported that the Johnsburg Road Bridge, located above Dutch Creek (approximately 0.6 miles east of Route 31), recently underwent a routine inspection in accordance with the National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS). During the inspection, structural deficiencies were noted, and the details were provided to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). After reviewing the report, IDOT determined a need to place a weight restriction on the bridge. Johnsburg Road is under the jurisdiction of the McHenry County Division of Transportation (MCDOT). In accordance with IDOT’s assessment, MCDOT has placed the following weight restrictions on the Johnsburg Road Bridge: single-unit vehicles will be restricted at 32 tons, and vehicles with three or more axles will be restricted at 37 tons. For more information, call 815-334-4960 or visit www.mchenrycountyil.gov.
Annual INK 5K to benefit Isa Kranz Foundation
The 5th Annual INK 5K will be held from 5-8:30 p.m. May 31 at Horse Fair Park, 8105 Blivin St. The event, hosted by the Isa Kranz Foundation, is annually held to support the communities of Spring Grove, Richmond and beyond through educational, financial and emotional support of those in need. The fee to participate is $20 for adults and children ages 6 and up — or $60 per family (limit of five individuals; $10 per additional child) — and free for ages 5 and under. Check-in begins at 5 p.m.; the race begins at 6:30 p.m. The family-oriented event also includes bounce houses, face painting, music (including the Richmond-Burton Community High School Pep Band), basketball, volleyball, food vendors and raffle baskets. Race and raffle winners will be announced at 8 p.m. To register for the INK 5K, visit www.isakranzfoundation.com. For more information, call 815-675-2121.
–McHenry County News Briefs–