Mayor Ruben Pineda gave the State of the City Address Monday, April 17, 2017. He highlighted the City’s fiscal health, infrastructure and business growth, plus recognition and/or partnerships with various taxing bodies, organizations, first responders, WeGo Wildcats Special Olympics basketball team and veterans.
“Whether you are serving in an official or unofficial capacity, on a Board or Commission, as a volunteer or in an elected position, another inter-governmental entity, a service club or not-for-profit, the media; a business owner, entrepreneur, or employee; you need to know how much your partnership with the City means to the success of our community and the lives of everyone enriched by your involvement.”
He covered the 2017 Annual Budget, which totals “$45,118,600 and is a decrease of 8.29 percent as compared to the 2016 Budget, as amended; specifically the General Fund reflects an increase of 1.48 percent as compared to the 2016 Budget, as amended… West Chicago is able to maintain the proud tradition of being in the black since the turn of the century.” Mayor Pineda said the City is “holding the line on tax, fee and rate increases with no reduction in services. The property tax levy will remain the same for the sixth year in a row.”
Regarding the West Chicago Police Department and the West Chicago Fire Protection District, the “standard of living, first and foremost, means safe neighborhoods. Our first responders are a brave group of men and women who run into burning buildings or potentially deadly altercations rather than away from them.”
Through various responsibilities and tasks, “the health, safety and comfort of this community are also impacted by the year round services provided by the City’s Public Works Department employees. Our commitment to maintaining our infrastructure and providing quality services at a reasonable cost to our customers remains a priority.”
With business development an asset to the community, the “Community Development Department staff has been involved with the administration of a number of major studies to fulfill the economic development objectives outlined in the 2016 Strategic Plan.” The City is doing “a market feasibility study for the North Avenue and Route 59 district and has invested in an updated study of the 2007 Central Main Street Redevelopment Area.” In 2016 there were 51 new businesses in the community “and since January through March 2017 another 21, bringing a total of 421 jobs with them.” He mentioned the construction of two new businesses, Speedway Gas Station at the corner of Roosevelt Road and Washington Street, and Burrito Parrilllo Mexicana at 100 West Roosevelt Road. “Business development projects that have taken place or have been initiated in 2016 include DS Container…and Simpson Strong-Tie…and Thornton’s Gas Station. We are grateful for the investment of existing businesses in our City, and we will continually strive to provide value in our services and formal recognition for their efforts on behalf of their objectives and those of greater benefit to the community. ”
One project that is ongoing is the construction of The Shell, “planned as a collaborative venture with the West Chicago Park District for the enjoyment of the entire community…The new structure will be programmed with many free summer events including a concert series, movies in the park, youth entertainment, early morning and evening fitness classes.”
In the marketing and communications arena, “We launched a new City website… brought back the print newsletter, Windows to West Chicago… hired a marketing consultant to assist with more effectively positioning West Chicago’s unique attributes regionally.”
“Our education partners continue to “bring it on” with quality services, programs and facilities which further the academic, athletic and social advancement of our children and the image and reputation of our entire community.”
With the health partners, “we are changing the way our residents view the benefits of active lifestyles and healthy beverage choices.”
Advancing the arts, social, educational and cultural needs of the community are the West Chicago Cultural Arts commission and People Made Visible. “Plus, the Mexican Cultural Center DuPage has done wonderful work to promote our cultural heritage through special events like the Mexican Independence Day Festival and Las Fiestas Patrias.”
And finally, last but by no means least; West Chicago has a proud tradition of honoring those that make the ultimate sacrifice for us, our military veterans. Thanks to two organizations in town, the VFW and the American Legion, we have a direct connection to them and take every opportunity to acknowledge our gratitude to veterans past and present.”
The full context of the Mayor’s speech can be viewed on the City’s website, www.westchicago.org.
AROUND AND ABOUT
“Get Out of Debt in 9 Years or Less” is the program at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, 2017 in the meeting room at the West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West Washington Street. Financial expert Rocky Greene from Community Outreach for Financial Education discusses the best ways to relieve debt and achieve financial independence. To make a reservation, call the adult services department at 9630) 231-1552, extension 4.
The Garden Club meeting is Thursday, April 27, 2017 at Faith Community Church, 910 Main Street. Social time is 6:45 p.m., short business meeting at 7:00 p.m. and the program, “Exciting Annuals: Getting Ready for Spring,” at 7:15 p.m.
Presenting the program is Tim Pollak, Outdoor Floriculturist at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. He is the buyer and grower of all the seasonal display annuals, containers, hanging baskets and specialty plant displays seen throughout the Garden each year. Pollack has written and contributed to articles for newspapers, magazines and other publications relating to various gardening topics such as garden trends, design elements, and home decorating with plants. He appears regularly on local television programs, including a regular spot on CBS WBBM Channel 2 morning news. He discusses gardening topics such as container gardening and seasonal gardening methods. Also he is an instructor for the Joseph Regenstein Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Horticulture with a concentration in Nursery and Greenhouse Management from Colorado State University in Ft. Collins.
West Chicago Elementary School District 33 holds its ninth annual Wellness Walk Friday, April 28, 2017. Students in all classes walk one mile during designated hours. Joining in the walk are city officials, school staff and parents and other persons in the community. Times at the schools are 9:00 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. at Early Learning Center, Trinity School and Winfield School; 10:20 a.m. at Indian Knoll School; 12:45 p.m. at Pioneer School; 1:00 p.m. at Turner School; 1:25 p.m. at Currier School; and 1:45 p.m. at Wegner School. Persons wishing to participate must register in advance by calling WeGo Together for Kids Director for Wellness, Safety and Achievement Marjory Lewe-Brady at (630) 293-6000, extension 225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Art Night is from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday, April 28, 2017 in Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street. Late Night at the Museum takes place during the same hours at the West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street.” The featured article in the “Drawing on History” program is the iconic statue from the John Hughes’ film, “Reach the Rock.” The movie was filmed in 1995 in West Chicago. Guests can draw the statue or any of the other artifacts on display.
Gallery Theater of West Chicago presents “The Kitchen Witches” by Caroline Smith at 129 Main Street, a new location. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 28 and 29, and May 5 and 6, 2017. Sunday shows are at 3:00 p.m. April 30 and May 7. The ticket price is $14 and $12 for senior citizens. To make reservations, email GalleryTickets@aol.com, call (630) 234-5919 or go to the website www.Gallerytheaterstudio.org. This is the last show of the season.
The comedy is about two cooking divas, Dolly and Isobel, who have different approaches to cooking. They have hated each other for 30 years, ever since Larry Biddle dated one and married the other. Each of their own individual cooking shows failed. However circumstances arise that puts them together on a cooking show called The Kitchen Witches. Insults between the two are flung far and wide. Dolly’s son Steve, a television producer, tries to keep them on track, but as long as Dolly’s dressing room is one inch closer to the set than Isobel’s, it is a losing battle. The show becomes a rating smash as Dolly and Isobel top both Martha Stewart and Jerry Springer.
Members of the cast are Nancy Braus, Carolyn Larsen, Bobby Dunn, Jr., and Anne Budzinski. Gail Cannata is the director. (www.merleburl.com)
New Life Bilingual Church sponsors Mulch Fest 2017, spearheaded by high school and college students. Sales are from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays, April 29, May 13 and June10, in the church parking lot, 468 Ann Street. They will have a booth at Blooming Fest from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, May 20 in the historic downtown district. The mulches, provided by a local landscaper, are premium and standard. The price for standard is $4 a bag and for premium is $5 a bag. The bulk price for standard is $34 a cubic yard and for premium $46 a cubic yard. Mushroom compost also is available at $4 a bag, $10 for three bags and $30 for ten bags.
Coffee with the Mayor is from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 29, 2017 at City Hall, 475 Main Street.
West Chicago Park District celebrates Arbor Day from 10:00 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Reed-Keppler Park, Arbor Avenue and National Street. Persons attending learn about the progress of the trees planted after the storm in 2012. Children can meet and take pictures with Lorax.
St. Michael’s United Church of Christ, 400 West Washington Street, hold its Third Annual Holy Humor Sunday at its 9:30 a.m. worship service April 30, 2017. The children and youth assist Pastor Sue Ebersold. Fun/silly attire is encouraged.
St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 North Prince Crossing Road, host a Chili Experience at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 30, 2017. There will be several different chilies to eat. Some will be from the Learn to Make Chili session at 1:15 and others from church members. To make a reservation, call the church office at (630) 231-3787.
Amity Lodge 472 hosts a Spaghetti and Meatball Dinner fundraiser from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, April 29, 2017 in the lodge, 181 West Washington Street. On the menu are spaghetti, meatballs, salad and bread. The charge is $8 in advance, $10 at the door. To reserve tickets visit the website, www.amity472.org. Also persons attending have the opportunity to do some shopping with Mary Ann Schulze, individual fashion consultant for LuLa Roe, https://www.facebook.com/groups/LuLaRoeMaryannSchulze/. Some of the proceeds from sales benefit the Lodge.
This Earth Month, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is collaborating with The Walt Disney Company, including Disney Citizenship, Disney|ABC Television Group and ESPN, to revitalize parks across the U.S. for a third year. The city that receives the most nominations will receive a $20,000 grant to improve a local park. The “Meet Me at the Park” campaign runs now through Sunday, April 30, 2017. Residents can nominate West Chicago at the voting site http://www.nrpa.org/beinspired.
Monthly brush pick up begins Monday, May 1, 2017.
West Chicago’s 14th annual Citywide Collection takes place on regularly scheduled garbage pickup days beginning Monday, May 1, and ending Friday, May 5, 2017. Using eight “refuse” stickers, residents can dispose of an unlimited amount of acceptable items. These include barbeque grills, bicycles, furniture, box springs and mattresses and household fixtures excluding electronics. Carpeting and household construction materials both have certain requirements. Some unacceptable items are hazardous waste, tires, automobile parts, fluids and batteries, oil-based paint pesticides, propane tanks and large household appliances. Helpful hint-attach your eight stickers to your garbage container, as your junk may be someone else’s treasure. For a list of acceptable items or for more information, visit the City’s website www.westchicago.org, under residents, click on Citywide Collection.
Roosevelt Road will be closed at the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway crossing from Monday, May 1, through Monday, May 8, 2017. Detour routes are Kirk Road, North Avenue, and Route 59 and Roosevelt Road.
The annual Screen-Free Week, hosted by West Chicago Park District and Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, takes place Monday, May 1 through Sunday May 8, 2017. Participants turning in completed score cards, have the opportunity to receive prizes. For a copy of the rules view the Park District website www.we-go parks.org or at the ARC, 102, West National Street.
Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services offers hour-long computer classes for senior citizens at
Wayne Township, 27W031 North Avenue. Not only do seniors learn basic skills, but also have the opportunity to socialize. The fee is $2. Reservations are required and may be made by calling (630) 231-7166.
“Texting On Smart Phones” class is at 1:00 p.m. Monday, May 1, 2017. For classes that involve a technology device, persons need to bring their personal items with them.
WeGo Drama at West Chicago Community High School presents the comedy musical, “The Addams Family.” The story is based on the cartoons of Charles Addams and the 1960s television series. The music and lyrics are by Andrew Lippa. The book is by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Performances are at 7:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, May 4, 5 and 6, 2017. The ticket price is $5 for students and $8 for adults. Tickets are available on-line at www.wegotheatre.com or at the door.
Members of the company are Abby Carr, Holly Clark, Kenneth Correa, Dylan Davidson, Andres Espinoza, Ricky Geiser, Federica Interllici, Luke Madden, Jay Ratphimpha, Yori Alarcon, Grecia Bahena, Jeremy Belingon, Lauren Bey, Josh Bowen, Nathan Bradley, Andrew Brady and Emily Carroso.
Others are Ryan Castiglia, Eric Coss, Ambur Dotson, Sydney Evans, Alexia Goutanis, Brandon Gove, Megan Graal, Ben Hueber, Megan Kordik, Noemi Lara, Todd Lustig, Eli Manspeaker, Jenny Manspeaker, Garrett Martin, Winter Massie, Megan McDonald and Evy McLean.
Also included are Kirsten Miller, Rachel O’Donnell, Gavin O’Keefe, Jenna Palka, Viry Perez, Alexis Perezchica, Juan Perezchica, Emily Pietura, Sean Renwick, Jeri Rethford, Delaney Ringe, Emily Roldan, Neve Ryan, Kury Schramer, Noah Schuning, Nicholas Sole and Joe Valliquette.
Others in the cast and crew are Alex Weaver, Madelyn Wesling, Nora Zamora, Timothy Brewer Jr., Krissi Braun, David Brown, Erin Gauss, Grace Giambrone, Jack Gillespie, Jerod Goodale, Evander Lopez, Abbie Lundblad, Madysen Simanonis, Natalie Thompson, Joy Vogt, and Daniel Weber.
Mark Begovich is the director. Music Direction is by Brandon Fantozzi. The Orchestra is under the direction of Stephen Govertsen. Choreography is by Nancy Bocek. Technical Direction is by Chris Jensen. Costume Design is by Lauren Roarke. Make-Up and Hair is by Jaime Elza, Samantha Rebmann, and TCD Cosmo Club. (www.merleburl.com)
“Nature in Fiber” is the exhibit during the month of May at Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street. On display is the fiber artwork of Sharon Malec, well known for her pieced quilts and art quilts. She has quilts in the permanent collections of the Museum of the American Quilt’s Society in Paducah, Kentucky, the Lincoln Memorial Library in Redlands California, and the Norris Gallery in St Charles. The artist’s reception is from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday, May 5, 2017. (www.merleburl.com)
The DuPage Veterans Foundation hosts the Sixth Annual Honor Flight fundraiser to honor World War II and Korean War veterans and raise funds for one flight for WWII and Korean veterans to fly to Washington D.C. It takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, May 6, 2017 in the Calamos Hanger at DuPage Airport, 2700 International Drive. The program begins at noon. The event includes lunch, patriotic music, bagpipers, historic war vehicles and airplanes, vintage military uniforms and other memorabilia and a silent auction.
The price is $30 in advance, $40 at the door and $20 for children under 12. All WWII and Korean War veterans, and active duty military are free. To order tickets or make a donation by mail, make the check payable to DuPage Veterans Foundation, and mail to the foundation, P.O. Box 299, Wheaton, IL 60187. If ordering tickets, indicate how many and include your address. To order on line, visit the website http://dupageveteransfoundation.org.
Persons, organizations or businesses wanting to donate an item for the silent auction should call (630) 668-2959.
For information, call (630) 614-4533 or email email@example.com. As a side note, in the past five years, the event has raised more than $200,000 to support many Honor Flights.
American Legion Post 300, 123 Main Street hosts Kentucky Derby Day from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6, 2017. Women are encouraged to wear a hat, as there are prizes for the most “fashionable” hats. Attendees bring a dish to share.
Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar and Grill, 1200 West Hawthorne Lane, hosts Darling’s Warriors Avon 39.3 Breast Cancer Bags Tournament and Fun-Raiser at noon Sunday, May 7, 2017.The charge is $40 per two-person team. There are cash prizes for first three place winners. Other activities are a 50/50 raffle and a live auction, which includes a Scott Darling jersey signed by all the 2017 Blackhawks team. To register, talk with the bar manager.
The 40th Annual 80 & Over party, sponsored by the West Chicago Park District, is at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, May 7, 2017 at the ARC Center, 201 West National Street. In addition to the camaraderie of the event desserts and beverages are served. Families and friends of the honored guests are welcome to attend the event. This year staff members from “Words of Wisdom” will be present to video tape with persons willing to share some of their experiences, wisdom and life lessons. The anonymous interview videos are shared with the world via YouTube, Facebook and the WOW website. There is no charge, but pre-registration is required and may be made by calling (630) 231-9474.
“The Little Mermaid” is the We-Go Community Theater 2017 Summer Production. Performances are Thursday, July 13 through Saturday, July 15. There are three ways to audition. Send in a video audition to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, May 8, 2017; drop in between 6:30 and 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at the ARC; or make an appointment with the producer from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Thursday, May 11, 2017 by emailing email@example.com. Persons auditioning must fill out an audition packet, which are available online at we-goparks.org. Everyone auditioning will sing and dance. All questions should be sent via email to Samantha Van Meter.
The West Chicago Park District monthly outing for senior citizens is at noon May 11, 2017 at the ARC, 201 West National Street. The main course is a variety of sandwiches. Guests bring chips, salad or dessert to share and a complete place setting. As part of the “Spring Into Health” theme, a representative from Healthy West Chicago talks about Community Walks taking place in the spring and summer. There is no charge, but registration is required and may be made in person at the ARC or on line at www.we-goparks.org.
West Chicago City Museum continues its Histiography program, a non-fiction book reading group. The discussion group meets at noon, Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the museum, 132 Main Street. Guests can bring a sack lunch; dessert and drinks are provided. The book under discussion is “Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” by Erik Larson. Copies of the book are available at the museum and library. Call the museum at (630) 231-3376 for further information.
Artéculture, under the auspices of West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, takes place throughout the Blooming Fest activities from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, May 20, 2017 at Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street. Inspired by the Fine Arts Fiesta, Artéculture features work of local artists and those in the Chicagoland area. The artists’ reception is from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, May 19, 2017 with entertainment by visual artist Lewis Achenbach and guest jazz musician Juan Pastor and his band Chinchano, provided by People Made Visible and CAC.
The two-dimensional work such as paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, mixed medias, computer art, stained glass and fiber must be ready to hang. Preferred are framing with wire and eyehooks. Also sculpture and crafts are eligible for entry.
The registration fee is $5 for each piece of work with a limit of two per artist. Work must be delivered from noon to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, May 11, or Friday, May 12, and picked up from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at the Fox Community Center. Persons interested in exhibiting their artwork should visit www.westchicago.org/Residents/Forms and Applications/Artéculture. To arrange for different drop off and pick up times email firstname.lastname@example.org. Proceeds benefit the Artist in-Residency program of People Made Visible.
2017 Railroad Days Parade is Sunday, July 9. The theme is “What Defines Your Art?” Grand Marshals are Fredericka Howard and Ron Benner. Businesses, groups, organizations or individuals wanting to participate can call the chamber at (630) 231-3003. The deadline is Monday, June 12.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Abundio E. Balba, who recently passed away at the age of 87.
Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Heleen Higgins, who passed away Friday, March 17, 2017.
Theresa Carriveau, a senior at West Chicago Community High School, won a superior rating for photography at the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association’s Spring National High School Conference and Competition in Seattle, Washington. She took the award-winning photo during the WCCHS Dance Production in January 2017. Out of 46 competitors from around the nation, only three students earned the highest rating of superior. (www.merleburl.com)
West Chicago Community High School students earned awards in Children’s Literature Presentation at the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America state competition held April 6 through 8, 2017 in Springfield, Illinois. Sponsors are WCCHS teachers Brittney Bauer and Angela Gentile.
Placing first in the Individual category was Grace Gregory, a sophomore. Ana Sanchez, a junior, won first place in the Occupational category. Placing second in the Team category were seniors, Naara Rodriguez and Lizeth Romero.
The Children’s Literature Presentation recognizes participants who demonstrate currently acceptable and creative early childhood techniques while presenting a piece of children’s literature to an imaginary group of three to five year old children. Participants are also judged on their ability to prepare and execute an organized lesson plan using the required lesson plan format. The primary focus of FCCLA is personal growth and leadership development. (www.merleburlcom)
Northwestern Medicine/Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield was one of the 11 hospitals that have scored straight A’s for the past five years by the Leapfrog Group. The Leapfrog Group is an independent, national not-for-profit organization founded more than a decade ago by the nation’s leading employers and private health care experts. It is a safety group that grades hospitals on how well they handle accidents, infections and patient injuries.
The ARC was hopping with fun as 124 individuals enjoyed the events at Breakfast with the Bunny sponsored by the West Chicago Park District. Catering Made Simple in Elgin catered the breakfast. Children colored Easter photo frames, listened to an Easter storybook, did some Easter dancing and took pictures and received an egg shaped coloring book from the Easter Bunny. (www.merleburl.com)
During the Lenten season, St. Andrew Lutheran Church suggested parishioners put one non-perishable food item in a bag each of the 40 days of Lent. The church received approximately 20 bags, making a total of 800 items, which were donated to the local Neighborhood panty on the Real Life Church campus.
Persons shopping at Jewel this last weekend had their groceries packed in special bags decorated by preschool students in the Early Learning Center, Trinity and Winfield preschools of West Chicago Elementary School District 33. This was done acknowledge Week of the Young Recognition form Monday, April 24 through Friday, April 28, 2017.
At the Council meeting Monday, April 17, 2017, Mayor Ruben Pineda read and presented proclamations commending their services to the council and the community to Ward 3 Alderman Laura Grodoski and Ward 7 alderman John Banas. Their terms are over and neither sought re-election. Grodoski was an alderman for four years, serving on the Development and Finance Committees. Banas was an alderman for four sears, serving on the Public Affairs, Infrastructure and Development Committees.
At the meeting Monday, April 17, 2017, City Council approved an ordinance for a special use amendment to the car wash at the Shell Gas Station, 1307 South Neltnor Boulevard. The owner wants to expand the existing car wash facility with the addition of 1,000 square feet on the south side of the building and redesign the entire south and east sides to add vehicle staging for the car wash as well as new vacuum and parking spaces.
Council also approved the request of a special use permit to revert the residential structure at 441 Main Street from a commercial use back to a single-family residential use. The City is the owner of the 1882 building.
Also approved was an eligibility study for a proposed Tax Increment Finance District for the property generally to the southeast of the Roosevelt Road/Fabyan Parkway intersection. Per the item summary, “The study will evaluate the area utilizing those factors established by the State of Illinois for local communities to establish TIF districts, including blight, obsolete platting and decreasing property values. The primary interest for the establishment of a TIF district in this area is the development of a new full service hotel and restaurant/banquet facility. Local government assistance, in the form of a TIF district, is likely needed to make the project work.”
Council approved a contract for the purchase and delivery of unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel from Buchannan Energy, LLC for the amount of $192,940, through the use of the pricing obtained through the DuPage County Joint Purchasing Contract. The item summery states, “Fuel costs will vary, but the City’s annual usage for 2017 is estimated to be approximately 76.000 gallons, unleaded and diesel combined, or approximately $152,100. In addition the Fire District and the School District use the City fueling station and account for $40,000 annually. The City is reimbursed by each district for the portion of the fuel they use.”
Also approved was the a contract for the purchase of asphalt materials from Polte Construction, Inc. for an amount not to exceed $$46,000, through the use of the pricing obtained through the DuPage County Joint Purchasing Contract.
Approved was a contract for 2017 Curb Rehabilitation Program for the amount of $60,000 to Areatha Construction Company, Inc. in Streamwood. The priority locations include Willow Creek Subdivision, Cornerstone Lakes Subdivision and Meadow Wood Subdivision.
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