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Lombard, Westin amend agreements

By Jane Charmelo

The Lombard Public Facilities Corporation,
or LPFC, will no longer be requesting that the
village of Lombard provide funds for its debt
service, after a move to file for Chapter 11 restructuring
of debt was approved in court on
Tuesday, March 6.
According to Village Manager Scott Niehaus,
prior to the March 6 confirmation of debt
restructuring by the court, a judge in December
2017 ruled that the LPFC is separate from the
village and was eligible to file for the Chapter
11 restructuring.
Additionally, the village in July 2017 approved
the restructuring support agreement,
according to a village timeline.

Special meeting held
The Lombard Village Board held a special
meeting on Thursday, March 8, approving
measures to re-designate the LPFC as a public
facilities corporation, amend certain bylaws
and provide consent to the LPFC debt restructuring.
The board also voted on an amendment that
would eliminate the LPFC’s twice-yearly request
for funding, with Tom Bayer, village attorney,
describing that it has been “carved out
of the tax rebate agreement.”
Niehaus said that since the Westin Hotel and
Conference Center opened in 2007, the LPFC
was required to come before the village twice a
year to request funds to help pay the debt service.
Going back, in 2003, after it was determined
by a “third party” that this location in central
DuPage County would “make an ideal location”
for such a hotel and conference center,
the separate, non-profit LPFC was formed to
own the Westin, according to village documents.
In 2005, the LPFC sold bonds to pay for construction,
and the hotel and conference center
opened in 2007.
Tim Sexton, the village’s finance director,
said back in June that despite economic projections,
around 2008-09 earnings proved not to
match those projections, leading to a shortfall.
Each time the LPFC requested funds to pay
its debt, the village board voted against the
measure because it was not obligated to do so.
However, declining the requests resulted in the
village’s credit rating being lowered, with the
village manager saying the apparent thinking
was the village had a “moral obligation” to provide
the funds.

Finance director: LPFC debt roughly
around $240 million

He said the requests amounted to roughly $2
million every six months, and Sexton said the
LPFC debt is now roughly $240 million.
However, according to Niehaus, the village
does have an agreement with the LPFC to rebate
hotel/motel, places for eating and sales
taxes “generated by the property.” That revenue
can be used by the LPFC to repay the debt.
In addition, the village board on March 1
voted to return $3 million to the LPFC that had
been provided to the village for water main and
water system improvements that Niehaus said
would have been done anyway, relative to the
location and proximity to Yorktown Center.
He said the agreement to return that $3 million
was contingent on the LPFC using that
money for “bricks and mortar” improvements,
and not for debt repayments.
“It’s very important [to the village] to dictate
where the money is going,” the village manager
The village board also passed a contingent
TIF payment agreement for $3.7 million between
now and 2027, that would be earmarked
for the LPFC. That money can only be used for
TIF-eligible expenses, Niehaus said, such as
long-term maintenance and improvements to
the property.
A TIF district was approved previously by
the board that includes areas around the former
Northern Baptist Theological Seminary property,
the Westin property and a portion of Yorktown

Agreements don’t impact service
levels or property taxes

The village and LPFC have 18 months to
negotiate the TIF payments and “in the event
the village and LPFC cannot come to terms, the
village will pay $1.5 million to the LPFC for
TIF-elibigle expenses,” Niehaus emphasized.
The bottom line for taxpayers, say village
officials, is that these agreements do not impact
service levels or property taxes within the
The $3 million is coming from the village’s
water fund reserves, said Niehaus, and will not
affect water rates.
“This money has already been collected,”
Sexton pointed out.
The $3.7 million would be “set aside” for the
eligible expenses, and will come from the TIF
funds, Niehaus related, and also cannot be used
for debt repayment.
Village officials stressed that they are trying
to aid the Westin to preserve a thriving area of
commerce and as such, draw in visitors.
“Why is the village investing so much time
and effort and money?” Niehaus posed, then
answered the question by stating that it’s about
the local economy.
The average visitor in the area spends $134 a
day; those attending meetings spend more than
twice that. The hotel remains busy, with more
than 130,000 overnight stays in 2016, which
translates into $17.4 million spent in Lombard
and nearby.
Other area hotels also benefit from the conference
The village wants the hotel and conference
center to continue operations, especially in
light of its proximity to the mall and new housing
being built nearby.
And, the village manager said, it is hopeful
the agreement for the LPFC to discontinue requesting
funds for debt service will improve
Lombard’s bond rating.
The restructuring plan is slated to go into effect
on Thursday, March 15.

In the March 1 village board story, the passage
of an amendment to the village ordinance
regarding peddlers and solicitors was on first
reading. The board will revisit the issue for final
passage at the Thursday, March 15, village
board meeting.

Holiday ‘Drive Sober’ campaign for St. Patrick’s Day

As one of the country’s most popular
holidays, St. Patrick’s Day has
long celebrated the roots of millions
of Americans with Irish ancestry. But
all too often, the celebration can turn
deadly because of impaired driving.
This year, if you’ll be drinking alcohol,
the Lombard Police Department
has some advice for you: “Drive Sober
or Get Pulled Over!”
“Our Lombard officers will be on
patrol this St. Patrick’s Day, so make
sure you obey the law,” said Traffic
Unit Officer Lt. Joe Grage. “Don’t
drink and drive, and don’t let your
friends do it, either. Help us make
Zero Fatalities a Reality in Illinois.”
In addition to looking for alcohol-
and drug-impaired drivers, the
Lombard Police Department will be
stepping up seat belt enforcement, particularly
at night when seat belt usage
rates are lowest.
“Before celebrating St. Patrick’s
Day this year, decide whether you’ll
drink or you’ll drive,” said Lt. Grage.
“If you choose to drink, designate a
sober, reliable driver to get you home
safely from the party. If you’re planning
on driving, don’t drink. The last
thing you want is to ride home with a
Lt. Grage said always designating
a sober driver and not letting friends
drive drunk are just two simple steps
to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest
for Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
of drugs and/or alcohol.
If you are hosting a St. Patrick’s
Day party:
• Remember, you can be held liable
and prosecuted if someone you serve
is involved in an impaired driving
• Make sure all guests designate a
sober driver in advance or help arrange
ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
• Serve lots of food and include lots
of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
• Keep the phone numbers for local
cab companies handy, and take the
keys away from anyone who is thinking
of driving drunk.
If you are attending a St. Patrick’s
Day party:
• Designate a sober driver before the
party begins and give that person your
• If you do not have a designated
driver, ask a sober friend for a ride
home, call a cab, sober friend or family
member to pick you up or just stay
where you are and sleep it off until you
are sober.
• Never let a friend leave your sight
if you think they are about to drive
• Always buckle up.
• Pedestrians are at risk, too. If
you are walking, keep an eye out for
cars. Designated drivers: Be alert for
impaired walkers who may not obey
street signs.
The St. Patrick’s Day “Drive Sober
or Get Pulled Over” Crackdown is
funded by federal traffic safety funds
from the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration and is administered
through the Illinois Department
of Transportation. Contact the Lombard
Police Department at 630-873-
4400 with any questions.

Lombard Public Works seeking
resident participants for first
Public Works Citizens Academy

The Lombard Public Works Department
is seeking residents to participate
in its first ever Public Works Citizens
Academy (PWCA), beginning April
The free Academy is open to residents
18-and-older and will offer
hands-on training activities, tours of
Village facilities and presentations by
Public Works staff.
Lombard’s PWCA will be conducted
on Monday evenings, 6-8:30 p.m.,
from April 16-May 7, with a graduation
event scheduled on Thursday,
May 17, in conjunction with a regularly
scheduled Village Board of Trustees
Topics covered will include streets,
electrical and forestry divisions as well
as underground utilities. Participants
will also see demonstrations, learn
about Lombard’s utility systems and
tour the Glenbard Wastewater Authority.
“It takes every division of our Public
Works Department to keep Lombard
running smoothly,” said Public Works
Director Carl Goldsmith. “We’re happy
to open this program up to residents
so people in the community can learn
about our processes and techniques for
maintaining our beautiful village.”
For additional information or to
register, visit the Village of Lombard’s
website at www.villageoflombard.org/
The registration deadline is Friday,
March 30 and class size is limited.
Contact Public Works at (630) 620-
5740 with any questions.

The Lombardian-Villa Park Review’s election guide: Candidates

This is the Lombardian-Villa Park
Review’s guide to the candidates
in the upcoming General Primary
Election to be held Tuesday, March
20. The candidates who win in the
March 20 election will be on the ballot
in the general election in November.
Due to space limitations, only
the primary races that are contested
for each office below are listed.

Governor, Republicans
Those seeking to be the Republican
nominee in the general election
in the race for governor are Jeannie
Ives and Bruce Rauner. Rauner is the
incumbent. (Vote for one).

Governor, Democrats
Those seeking to be the Democratic
nominee in the general election
in the race for governor are JB
Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, Daniel Biss,
Bob Daiber, Tio Hardiman and Robert
Marshall. (Vote for one)

Attorney general, Republicans
Those seeking to be the Republican
nominee in the general election
in the race for attorney general are
Erika Harold and Gary Grasso. (Vote
for one)

Attorney general, Democrats
Those seeking to be the Democratic
nominee in the general election in
the race for attorney general are Pat
Quinn, Renato Mariotti, Scott Drury,
Nancy Rotering, Kwame Raoul, Jessie
Ruiz, Sharon Fairley and Aaron
Goldstein. (Vote for one)

U.S. Congress, 6th
Congressional District,

Those seeking to be the Democratic
nominee in the general election
in the race for U.S. Congress,
6th Congressional District, are Kelly
Mazeski, Amanda Howland, Sean
Casten, Jennifer Zordani, Becky Anderson
Wilkins, Ryan Huffman and
Carole Cheney. (Vote for one). The
winner will face incumbent Republican
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam.

State representative, 46th
District, Republicans

Those seeking to be the Republican
nominee in the general election
in the race for the 46th District
state representative are Gordon (Jay)
Kinzler and Roger Orozco. (Vote for
one) The winner will face incumbent
Democrat State Rep. Deb Conroy.

DuPage County Sheriff,

Two persons are seeking the Republican
nomination to run for DuPage
County Sheriff. They are Frank
Bibbiano and James Mendrick. (Vote
for one)

DuPage County Board
District 1, Republicans

There are three persons seeking
one of two seats available on the Republican
ballot to represent District 1
on the DuPage County Board. They
are: Sam Tornatore, Dino Gavanes and Paul A. DeMichele.
Tornatore is an incumbent.

DuPage County Board
District 2, Democrats

Three persons are seeking one of two seats available
on the Democrat ballot to represent District 2 on the
DuPage County Board. They are: Elizabeth (Liz) Chaplin,
Arlene Kendorski and Claire Goldenberg. Chaplin is
an incumbent.

DuPage County Board
District 4, Republicans

Six persons are seeking one of two seats available
on the Republican ballot to represent District 4 on the
DuPage County Board. They are: Grant Eckhoff, Ron
Almiron, Paula, McGowen, Christopher J. Zaruba, Craig
R. Chinchilla and Elizabeth “Beth” Tatro. Grant Eckhoff
is the incumbent.

DuPage County Board
District 4, Democrats

Three persons are seeking one of two seats available
on the Democratic ballot to represent District 4 on the
DuPage County Board. They are: Trevor J. Orsinger,
Hadiya Afzal and Mary FitzGerald Ozog.

Judge of the
Circuit Court,
18th Judicial Circuit, Democrats

Three persons are seeking to fill the vacancy on the
Democratic ballot of the Honorable Blanche Hill Fawell.
They are: David Stevens, Jeffrey M. Jacobson and Raleigh
D. Kalbfleisch. (Vote for one)

The Lombardian-Villa
Park Review’s election
guide: Referenda

This is the Lombardian and Villa Park Review’s guide to the
upcoming General Primary Election which will be held Tuesday,
March 20.

York Center Fire Protection District referendum
One of the items on the ballot in DuPage County will be a
proposition to create a new tax rate for emergency and rescue fund
purposes for the York Center Fire Protection District, which serves
unincorporated areas of Lombard, Villa Park, Oak Brook and
Oakbrook Terrace.
Shall the York Center Fire Protection District , DuPage County,
Illinois, be authorized to levy a new tax for emergency and rescue
crews and equipment purchases, and have an additional tax of 10
percent of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property therein
extended for such purposes?
1.) The approximate amount of taxes extendable at the most
recently extended limiting rate is $2,114,317, and the approximate
amount of taxes extendable if the proposition is approved is
2.) For the 2018 levy year, the approximate amount of the
additional tax extendable against property containing a single-family
residence and having a fair market value at the time of the referendum
of $100,000 is estimated to be $33.33.

Advisory referendum
Another item on the ballot in DuPage County will be an advisory
referendum on the Election Commission Consolidation. An advisory
referendum, versus a binding referendum, serves to gain the
electorate’s opinion on a certain issue. If the issue garners a majority
of votes, it does NOT mean it automatically becomes law. It is only a
way for officials to gauge the voters’ feelings on a certain matter, in
this case, the DuPage Election Commission.
An explanation follows:

About the Election Commission Consolidation referendum
DuPage County is proposing the consolidation of the DuPage
County Election Commission, a separate governmental agency, with
the County Clerk’s Office.
Placing the responsibility for the Election Commission under a
countywide elected official, versus an appointed body, will improve
accountability and result in many operational efficiency, saving
taxpayers significant resources. Prior to 1974, the County Clerk
assumed the responsibility for the administration of local elections, as
does every other County Clerk in the state except for seven municipal
election commissions (Aurora, Bloomington, Chicago, Danville,
East St. Louis, Galesburg and Rockford) and one county election
commission (Peoria).
On the March 2018 primary ballot, the DuPage County Board has
placed an advisory referendum question asking voters the following:
“Shall the DuPage County Election Commission be dissolved and
its functions consolidated with the Office of the County Clerk?”

DuPage County lacks the authority to place a binding referendum
question on the ballot unless citizens gather more than 61,000
signatures to formally place the initiative on the ballot. (State statute
requires the signatures of 10 percent of the registered voters in the

The background for this information was provided by the League
of Women Voters, which received it from the offices of the DuPage
County Board.

Conroy looks to pass gun ownership reform

State Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa
Park, recently voted to pass a series
of gun safety measures out of the
“I applaud my colleagues for
putting the safety and well-being
of our families and children first by
voting for responsible gun reform,”
Conroy said. “As a state, we can
and should do better to protect our
communities from gun violence.
“I urge the Senate and the governor
to join the House in standing
up to the powerful gun lobby and
do the right thing before another
tragedy occurs. These are very reasonable
commonsense measures
that represent significant steps towards
improving gun safety while
not infringing on law-abiding gun
owners’ rights.”
Conroy supported a package of
bills that would require gun dealers
to be licensed by the state, raise
the age to purchase assault-style
weapons from 18 to 21, extend the
“cooling off” waiting period for
assault weapon purchases from 24
to 72 hours, and ban bump stock
trigger modification devices. Bump
stocks were used by the Las Vegas
shooter to turn a semiautomatic rifle
into an automatic weapon capa-
ble of shooting hundreds of rounds
a minute.
Conroy also introduced House
Bill 1664 to strengthen mental
health provisions for obtaining a
Firearm Owners’ Identification
(FOID) card and create a statewide
hotline to report potentially dangerous
“Our work is far from over and
I will continue to work with my
colleagues to pass legislation to
prevent gun violence in Illinois,”
Conroy added.
“Today we took a step forward
by showing our constituents that
we are willing to put aside our political
differences and prioritize our
commitment to keeping our children
safe from the senseless gun
violence in communities across the