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Village board to delay vote on billboards

By Jane Charmelo

The Village of Lombard has announced that the Lombard Village Board of Trustees will delay voting on the construction of two billboards on village-owned property along I-355, after a request from Lamar Companies to do so.
The items are slated to be removed from the agenda for the Thursday, Sept. 21, board meeting, and added to the Thursday, Nov. 2, agenda, according to Village Manager Scott Niehaus.
Niehaus said the company requested the delay in voting because “the village board has additional questions,” adding that this was expressed by board members at the Thursday, Sept. 7, meeting.
“The village board wants to do their due diligence,” the village manager continued, adding that since this is not a time-sensitive matter, “there is no reason to force this vote on the 21st of September.”
The issue involves two proposed billboards to be constructed just south of Crescent Avenue on the west side of I-355, each of which would have a static sign on one side and a digital sign on the other.
Numerous residents have voiced their objections to the proposed signage—by mail, email and/or in person to village staff and the board—concerning the potential for light pollution, environmental changes, property value declines, distracted driving and aesthetics, to name a few.
Niehaus related that a letter is being emailed to 41 individuals, and mailed to 10 others, outlining that any vote on the issues is being postponed from Sept. 21 to Nov. 2.
Niehaus states in the letter that the delay is “by mutual agreement” between the village and Lamar Companies and is “directly related to the items of concern brought up by citizens such as yourself [letter recipient].”
He said that between staff and the board, the decision to delay any vote was purely “common sense.”
The village manager mentioned that one item not on the Sept. 7 agenda, that was to be included on the Sept. 21 agenda, was the actual lease agreement with Lamar, should the village board pass the measure(s) to allow construction of the billboards.
That item was also removed, he continued, explaining that while the proposal to move forward with installing the two billboards needed a minimum of four “aye” votes, there must be six “aye” votes to approve the lease agreement.
If needed, Niehaus added, it would be up to Village President Keith Giagnorio to cast an “aye” vote to pass the measure.
The letter to residents is available for viewing at http://www.villageoflombard.org/5387/Lamar-Companies-Signage-Request.

Kiwanis Peanut Days Sept. 21-23 in Lombard

From Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 21-23, look for members of the Kiwanis Club of Lombard all over town distributing peanuts and accepting donations to support efforts to serve the children in Lombard and around the world.
The community’s support of Kiwanis Peanut Days helps the Kiwanis Club of Lombard fund scholarships for high school seniors and support such community efforts as the Lombard-Villa Park Food Pantry, Lombard Fire Department’s Trauma Teddy program, Helen M. Plum Memorial Library’s summer reading program, First Things First, Lombard YMCA and more.
The Kiwanis Club of Lombard, a 501(c)(3) foundation, invites other community organizations to partner in this fund-raising opportunity. The club needs more volunteers to hand out peanuts and accept donations on prominent street corners around town. If you’re interested, contact Kiwanis Club of Lombard member Annetta Spychalski at aspychalski@sd44.org.
This year, the Kiwanis Club of Lombard is partnering with Operation Support Our Troops to ship cases of Kiwanis peanuts to our troops abroad.
If you’d like to purchase a case of peanuts for $55, contact Spychalski at aspychalski@sd44.org.
Great idea: Kiwanis peanuts make wonderful office snacks and a good Halloween treat. Order a case today.
Members of the Kiwanis Club of Lombard will be at the following locations:
• Jewel-Osco at Roosevelt and Main.
• Schroeder’s Ace Hardware on Westmore Avenue.
• Numerous street corners throughout town.

Parade committee fundraiser Sept. 30

The Lombard Lilac Festival Parade Committee invites you to join its first Fall Wine Walk & Shop in downtown Lombard Saturday, Sept. 30, 1-5 p.m. Come and enjoy a day with friends and neighbors. All participating businesses will be hosting specials and sales throughout the day. Registration/sign-in is at 1 p.m. at Vino Wine Cellar, 141 W. St. Charles Road, Lombard. $40 per person includes one wine glass, shopping bag, map and snacks. All proceeds go to keeping the Lilac Parade alive and thriving. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at Famous Liquors, The Vino Cellar, www.LombardLilacParade.com, or by calling the parade committee directly at 630-330-5409.

Child safety seat inspections Sept. 23

The Lombard Police Department is recognizing Child Passenger Safety Week by hosting a child safety seat check at the Lombard Police Department on Saturday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lombard officers will check car seats for proper installation and advise parents, grandparents, and caregivers how to choose the right car seats and install them properly in their vehicles.
The event, part of Lombard’s participation in National Child Passenger Safety Week, is free to the public. This event is one of 88 Illinois events sponsored by AAA, the Secretary of State, Illinois Department of Transportation and Village of Lombard.
The updated recommendations emphasize how important it is to keep children in each restraint type for as long as possible before moving them to the next type. For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should visit their local inspection station to ensure their child’s safety seat is used properly:
• Rear-facing seats: In the back seat from birth to the height and weight limit of the seat. Recommended up to 2 years old, but at a minimum age of 1 year old and 20 pounds.
• Forward-facing seats: In the back seat when the child has reached the height or weight limit of the rear-facing seat to about age 4 and 40-65 pounds.
• Booster seats: In the back seat from about age 4 to at least age 8 years old.
• Safety belts: At 8 years old and older and taller than 4 feet 9 inches.
• All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.
• As of Jan. 1, 2012, safety belt use is required in all seating positions.
For more information on Child Passenger Safety, go to http://www.nhtsa.gov or www.buckleupillinois.org.

Rail Safety Week Sept. 24-30

The Lombard Police Department wants to promote safety for both motorists and pedestrians around railroad tracks, in part with Illinois Rail Safety Week, Sept. 24-30.
In Illinois during 2016, there were 120 crossing collisions involving motor vehicles, which resulted in 43 injuries and 22 fatalities. In addition, there were 39 trespasser incidents that resulted in 17 injuries and 22 fatalities when people trespassed onto railroad property. During 2016, Illinois ranked third in the nation in vehicle collision fatalities and sixth in the nation in trespasser fatalities.
Residents are reminded to make safety a priority where railroad tracks and trains exist, and to please pass this information on to children.
• Trains cannot stop quickly. Even if a locomotive engineer sees you, It will take the average train more than 1 mile to stop. That is about 20 football fields.
• The average train weighs 200 tons, and the average automobile weighs less than two tons.
• A motorist is 40 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than in a crash involving another motor vehicle.
• The majority of highway/railroad collisions occur when the train is traveling less than 30 miles per hour.
• Pay careful attention at crossings at night and in bad weather.
• Because of its size, trains look like they are moving slower than they actually are. It is nearly impossible to predict the speed of an approaching train.
• If you are using headphones, please remove them when crossing or walking near railroad tracks.
• Once the warning signals begin, it can take as little as 20 seconds for the train to reach the crossing.
• Get off your bike and walk it across the tracks.
• It against the law to stop your vehicle on railroad tracks; it is also against the law to stop your vehicle anywhere within the highway-rail grade crossing.
If you would like more information about Illinois Rail Safety Week, visit www.illinoisrailsafetyweek.org or contact the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

Challenger looking to unseat Deb Conroy

Roger Orozco, police officer, Marine and former school board member, released the following statement on Tuesday, Sept. 12, announcing his intention to run for the 46th State House District, as a Republican, challenging incumbent, Deb Conroy:
“I am running for state representative because career politicians like Deb Conroy have taken for granted her constituents. We need politicians willing to stand up to both parties and work for solutions.
“Deb Conroy has supported partisan gridlock, which has created the mess Illinois finds itself in today. I can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch my state representative vote for Madigan budgets, tax hikes and Chicago bailouts.
“As an independent voice, I will work to bring true property tax reform, term limits and equitable school funding.”
Orozco said he understands that running for office raises its challenges with entrenched incumbents, who are beholden to Speaker Madigan, but his life experiences have prepared him to challenge the status quo:
“Without hesitation, Deb casts her vote for Speaker Madigan to continue his iron fist rule over Illinois,” he said. “By giving that vote to Speaker Madigan, it allows them to take funding away from our school children, raise taxes on the hard working people of the 46th, and drive families out of state. These failed policies have crippled the American Dream in Illinois.
“We must restore opportunities for Illinois residents. I want my children to have the same opportunities I once had in this state decades ago.”
Orozco grew up in Schiller Park. He attended East Leyden High School and is currently employed as a police officer. He previously served in the United States Marine Corps and served on the District 93 School Board in the Carol Stream area in 2015.
Orozco and his family have called Carol Stream home for the past 15 years. He is married and has two younger children.

Maple Street Chapel viewing, dinner Sept. 23

The Maple Street Chapel will host a special event Saturday, Sept. 23, from 5-9 p.m., with guest speaker Emily Bastedo, chief of staff to Illinois first lady Diana Rauner, who will talk about raising $15 million for the Illinois governor’s mansion through donated money and at no expense to Illinoisans.
The non-profit, 501(c)(3) Maple Street Chapel Society fundraiser dollars are what the society depends on for the continued upkeep of the chapel — for needed repairs not unlike the governor’s mansion, which has been neglected since 1975 and is somewhat unlivable.
Bastedo will show surprising slides of how bad the mansion has gotten over the last 43 years.
All are invited to this special presentation to see how the chapel’s upkeep compares to the governor’s mansion. Tickets are $35 and are tax-deductible.
For more information, contact Joann at 630-495-1717.

Highland Hills subdivision to get Lake Michigan water

DuPage County signed an intergovernmental agreement that will provide Lake Michigan water to residents of the Highland Hills subdivision in unincorporated Lombard.
Under the agreement, DuPage County will extend Lake Michigan water service to residents of Highland Hills Sanitary District. Flagg Creek Water Reclamation District will provide sewer collection and treatment services.
“This agreement will provide Highland Hills residents higher-quality water and improved levels of service, all at a lower cost. This is truly a win-win for everyone involved,” said DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin. “The goal of our DuPage ACT Initiative is to provide services in the most effective and cost-efficient manner possible, and this agreement accomplishes that. I’d like to thank Highland Hills president Jim Worden and the board for listening to the concerns and wishes of the district.”
Highland Hills Sanitary District customers were facing significant rate increases after a recent study estimated $1.1 million in sewer system repairs were needed. In November 2016 residents heard a series of proposals to address water and sewer service needs.
These included a proposal from DuPage County, which would switch residents from well water to Lake Michigan water, provide 24/7 maintenance of the water system and quality, while providing capital improvements to the sewer system and turn the operation and maintenance of the system over to the Flagg Creek district.
After analyzing costs, residents chose the DuPage County option to receive Lake Michigan water service by a margin of more than 5-to-1.
Trustees of the Highland Hills Sanitary District approved the intergovernmental agreement on Aug. 22, and trustees of the Flagg Creek Water Reclamation District approved the agreement on Aug. 25. If all goes as planned, water should begin flowing from Lake Michigan to Highland Hills residents by the end of 2017.
After DuPage County has fully assumed the duties and responsibilities of the Highland Hills Sanitary District, the county board will consider an ordinance dissolving the entity

Rep. Conroy appointed to mental health committee

State Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, has been appointed to serve on the newly formed Advisory Council on Early Identification and Treatment of Mental Health Conditions. This committee was created through legislation passed by Conroy in August.
“I am honored to have been appointed to serve on the new Advisory Council on Early Identification and Treatment of Mental Health Conditions,” said Conroy, who chairs the House Mental Health Committee. “Identifying and starting treatment as soon as possible is the key to leading a full life for all people struggling with mental health issues. The creation of this council is one step of many Illinois must take in order to ensure that our children and young adults with mental illnesses have access to the best care so that they can lead happy and productive lives.”
This advisory council is responsible for reviewing evidence-based practices and initiatives on regular screenings and identification of mental health conditions in young people. Members of the committee, who will serve without compensation or reimbursement, will also be responsible for identifying barriers to access of services such as insurance coverage issues and lack of adequate resources. The General Assembly voted unanimously to create this committee.
“The creation of this committee signifies how seriously we are going to address mental health issues here in Illinois,” said Conroy. “Mental health issues cross party lines and face every community regardless of geography or economic standing. Now more than ever, we need to get rid of the antiquated idea that we can’t talk about it. Mental health is about our brains and brain health. If a child was diabetic, we would make sure that child received the insulin they needed. This council will bring us closer to real solutions to mental health issues.”