U of I Weighs in on Prevailing Wage

An Ovtober, 2013, study from the University of Illinois concludes that repealing the Prevailing Wage Law would not cut the cost of building taxpayerr-funded buildings. (This came to my attention on Capitol Fax Blog.)

You can read the summary below:

Prevailing Wage Study title U of I 10-7-131. Prevailing wages do not lead to increases in costs of public construction projects.

In all likelihood, total construction costs would not be greatly affected by repeal of Illinois’ PWL due to potential changes in workforce, productivity, and management practices associated with the policy change. Indeed, repeal of Illinois’ PWL would likely cost the state money, result in job losses, and reduce construction sector effi ciency.

2. Repeal of Illinois’ PWL would result in job losses throughout the state, decreased GDP, and millions of dollars in lost tax revenue.

This study forecasts that employment in the construction industry would likely increase should the statewide PWL be repealed. However, any new jobs linked to repeal would be significantly offset by job losses experienced throughout the rest of the economy. These indirect effects of repeal would result in about 3,300 net jobs lost, in a total GDP contraction of more than $1 billion annually for Illinois, more than $44 million in lost state and local taxes, and roughly $116 million in lost federal tax revenue. Within the state, the negative results are comparable for each of the eight regions studied.

3. More construction workers would suffer fatal work-related injuries if Illinois’ PWL is repealed and construction workers would lose many of their work-related benefits.

If the prevailing wage were to be repealed in Illinois, it is estimated that an additional seven Illinois construction workers would lose their lives on an annual basis. Extrapolated over the span of a decade, approximately 70 additional Illinois workers would suffer fatal work-related injuries in the construction industry due to the repeal of the state’s PWL. It can also be anticipated that employer contributions to both legally-required and fringe benefi ts for construction workers would dramatically decline.

4. PWLs encourage apprenticeship training in the construction industry.

The data examined in this study strongly affi rms the claim that state PWLs are supportive of construction apprenticeship programs. Study findings suggest that state PWLs support the construction training system, a critical component for an industry continually concerned about the availability of sufficiently skilled workers.

5. PWLs do not reduce participation of African-American workers in construction trades.

Finally, this study finds no substantial evidence that state PWLs are harmful to African-American participation in the construction industry. Claims that states with PWLs have reduced African-American participation in construction are based on simplistic analyses which are, at best, descriptive and unconvincing. More advanced work finds no evidence that PWLs act to the detriment of African-American workers. In summary, prevailing wages for public construction projects in Illinois provide numerous positive economic and social impacts for both construction workers and the state on the whole. This study predicts that repeal of Illinois’ PWL would not result in savings for taxpayers or the state or lead to increased employment of African-American construction workers. Rather, repeal of Illinois’ PWL would result in job losses throughout the state’s economy, increased construction worker fatalities, and declines in valuable social impacts such as construction worker benefi ts and training opportunities.

Sgts. Ellis & Muraski Graduate from Northwestern’s Center for Public Safety

A press release from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office:

Graduation Announcement: Sergeant Eric Ellis and Sergeant Michael Muraski Graduate from Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety

January 27, 2015- Sergeant Eric Ellis and Sergeant Michael Muraski recently graduated from the School of Police Staff and Command (SPSC) at Northwestern University held in Libertyville, IL, from September 15, 2014 to January 16, 2015.

Sergeants Ellis and Muraski were students in SPSC Class #368, totaling 28 students, for a total of ten weeks of formal instruction. This program, which was implemented by the Center for Public Safety in 1983, has produced over 9,000 graduates both nationally and internationally.

The School of Police Staff and Command provides upper-level college coursework on topics such as:

  • Leadership and Management
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Employee Relations
  • Budgeting
  • Resource
  • Allocation
  • Contemporary Policing
  • Traffic

Graduates are given the tools to think globally rather than remain task oriented and empowered to deliver services effectively and efficiently, analyze the environment, and develop systems of accountability.

Upon successful completion, students may be awarded a total of 6 units of undergraduate credit from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

The Center for Public Safety was established at Northwestern University in 1936 with the specific goal of expanding university based education and training for the Law Enforcement Community. Since its inception, the Center has broadened its original objective and now provides a variety of courses and programs in the area of Police Training, Management Training, and Executive Development.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office anticipates a variety of benefits from Sergeants Ellis and Muraski’s attendance in this program. Many of the program’s graduates have gone on to achieve a variety of leadership positions within their respective agencies.

Lakewood Approves TIF 5-1

After a zoning hearing on 245 acres of of land being proposed for development by the Chicagoland SportsPlex and a hearing on whether to create a Business District in which sales taxes can be increased, the Lakewood Village Board had a meeting to consider its proposed TIF and Business District.

The crowd was about two-thirds the size of last week’s and there were fewer but more persistent questioners.

The crowd at the Lakewood Village Board meeting.

The crowd at the Lakewood Village Board meeting.

First a presentation was made to the Board’s Zoning Committee, consisting of Carl Davis, Gene Furey and Village President Erin Smith (participating by phone).

Jack Porter

Jack Porter

Jack Porter made the presentation for the $80 million proposal.

He started out by stating the not-for-profit corporation would waive its sales and real estate tax exemption.

Pointing out that the 2011 financing had failed, Porter said, “Our bonds are very attractive to all of us.”

Construction jobs are expected to number 500, while permanent employment will be 75-100.

Porter promoted the project as an “economic engine for the village.”

He promised “no light spillage outside the property.”

Lots of folks questioned the SportsPlex proposed for the property, but, in the end, the committee voted 3-0 to recommend that the Business Planned Unit Development be recommended for approval.

Grafton Township Road Commissioner Tom Poznanski spoke against any access from Hamilton Road.

He pointed out that the hilly nature of the road, which has double yellow lines throughout, which were applied after a study by the County Highway Department.

Privately, he wondered why a bridge could not be built over the Kishwaukee to carry whatever traffic needed to get to and from the fields on the western part of the property.

The committee recommended zoning approval and board consideration will come at a future regular meeting which has yet to be determined.

As the last time around, if the SportsPlex proposal falls through, the zoning would not be granted.

The project sponsors will have twenty-four months after the property is zoning to get things moving.

They expect to open by late summer of 2017.

“Is this for us or is it for other people?” a neighbor asked.

“So, it’s all business,” she summarized after hearing that the SportsPlex would seek local, regional and national tournaments.

Neighbors probed about what type of retail might end up on the 80 acres so designated.

No answer was given.

Epitomizing the attitude of the Lakewood neighbors were comments by Steve Camper:

“Does the Board understand the reason we live here in an agricultural community?

“All we hear is, ‘We don’t give a damn about the neighborhood.’

“You’re bringing this abortion to where we live.”

This neighbor used a visual, plus her voice to be heard.

This neighbor used a visual, plus her voice to be heard.  Her sign says, “I’m mad about the SportsPlex AND low income housing.  I’m seeing RED!!!

A woman who had taped a sign to her shirt asked,

“Why don’t you bring it to RedTail (the village-owned golf course)?

“Give it five years at RedTail before you have another failure.

“You guys have had a lot of failures.”

In the next part of the meeting, a woman asked, “Are you going to require a much more solid business plan?”

The Village Board meeting was relatively short.

There was considerable discussion of the “but for” aspect of the Tax Increment Financing justification.

That part argues that without the TIF District growth would not come to the intersection of Routes 47 and 176.

Pleasant Valley Road resident Al Stenstrom brought a poster on that part of the consultant’s analysis.

Al Stenstrom attacked the logic of the "but for" justification for the TIF.

Al Stenstrom attacked the logic of the “but for” justification for the TIF.

“There was no TIF on Randall Road,” he pointed out.

“What if the money doesn’t come in,” Attorney and Grafton Township Trustee Bob Wagner asked.

Carl Davis

Carl Davis pointed out that all the $66 million authorized does not have to be spent.

Trustee Carl Davis, who acted as President Pro-Tem in Smith’s physical absence, pointed out that the proposed expenditures in the TIF justification were flexible ones.

Charles Russell presented a petition opposed to the TIF and SportsPlex which he said was signed by all families in the Andover Acres subdivision

When a woman brought up the potential negative affects on Grafton Township, Davis pointed out that all overlapping tax districts “consented to the TIF District.”

Grafton Township Supervisor Jim Kearns said that he had not been notified of the meeting where consent was given.

Davis further replied to comments about the amounts in the cost section of the TIF support document as not being a mandate, not a budget.

“It’s not our intent to spend or not spend that money,” he said.

Trustee Gene Furey explained the rationale behind the TIF District.

Trustee Gene Furey explained the rationale behind the TIF District.

In response to those complaining about the encroachment of retail development on their homes, Trustee Gene Furey noted that “little by little, it will creep up [Route 47].”

He explained that Lakewood could not pay for the cost of fire protection which Crystal Lake had proposed half a decade ago, that in three years paying for such fire protection would be the “only reason for Lakewood.”

That led to Lakewood privatizing fire protection, then signing a contract with the Woodstock Fire Protection District.

“We cannot afford to pay for police and fire out of the General Fund.”

He defended the village-owned golf course, saying, “RedTail is a very viable business.”

He said it is an asset to the village worth millions, which “the bank owns this golf course [Turnberry].”

He predicted “one way or another there’s going to be [retail development at the intersection].”

A man from Woodstock School District 200 said the TIF “will raise the taxes on the people.”

“[Routes] 176 and 47 will be developed without a TIF.

“You’re going to put it on us because you want it.”

Lakewood Bd TIF Vote night

Ken Santowski, Trustee to the far right with his hand on his head, was the only one to vote against the TIF District.

Previously, I pointed out that the TIF would raise taxes on all who live in McHenry County because most tax districts are not at their maximum rates and they have taken every dollar the Property Tax Cap will allow (that is, the rate of inflation). If future assessed value is withheld, then the remaining taxpayers will pick up the burden.

The Village Board voted 5-1 to create the Tax Increment Financing District. Ken Santowski was the only negative vote.

“Just because you have a big hammer doesn’t mean you’re always going to hit the nail,” he said after the meeting.

Sinaloa Cartel Sentences, Indictments Reach Elgin

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

CHICAGO TWINS’ COOPERATION AGAINST SINALOA CARTEL YIELDS 14-YEAR PRISON TERMS; NEW CHARGES TARGET CARTEL’S TOP ECHELON

CHICAGO — Twin brothers PEDRO and MARGARITO FLORES, regarded as Chicago’s most significant drug traffickers who rose from street level dealers to the highest echelons of the Mexico-based Sinaloa Cartel and a rival cartel before they began providing unparalleled cooperation to the Drug Enforcement Administration, were each sentenced today to 14 years in federal prison.

The sentencing marked the Flores brothers’ first public court appearance since they entered protective federal custody in 2008. Their August 2012 guilty pleas to a narcotics distribution conspiracy were unsealed in November 2014.

Also today, federal law enforcement officials announced the unsealing of an expanded eighth superseding indictment in the case in which the Flores brothers and leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel were initially indicted here in 2009.

The eighth superseding indictment and three separate new indictments announced today, add significant new defendants, including two alleged cartel money laundering associates who were arrested in the United States, and extend the government’s efforts in Chicago and elsewhere to dismantle the Sinaloa Cartel under JOAQUIN GUZMAN LOERA, 60, also known as “Chapo,” and ISMAEL ZAMBADA GARCIA, 67, aka “Mayo.”

Zachary Fardon

Zachary Fardon

“The persistent determination of DEA special agents and leadership in Chicago, coupled with the efforts of those in DEA offices worldwide, is having a significant impact on the global operations of the Sinaloa Cartel,” said Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

“This case put an end to the Flores brothers’ Chicago hub for transshipment of cartel narcotics nationwide. Our investigation and prosecution of cartel members is continuing,” Mr. Fardon said.

“The extraordinary work in this investigation continues,” said Dennis A. Wichern, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Agents, investigators, prosecutors and our worldwide law enforcement partners continue to expand this investigation against members of the Sinaloa Cartel ― working to bring them to justice and in doing so ― helping to make the great city of Chicago a safer place.”

James C. Lee, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago, said, “IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to working together with the DEA and the United States Attorney’s Office to fight the war on drugs. IRS CI brings, and will continue to bring, its financial expertise to disrupt and dismantle the Sinaloa Cartel’s drug trafficking organization.”

Flores Brothers Sentencing

In sentencing the 33-year-old Flores brothers, U.S. District Chief Judge Ruben Castillo said that but for the Flores brothers’ cooperation, he would have imposed a life sentence, and noted that because of the peril their ongoing cooperation poses to them and their families, they effectively “are going to leave here with a life sentence.”

If the City of Chicago had walls, Judge Castillo said, the brothers’ operation “devastated the walls of this city,” adding that their operation “became just a highway of drugs into this city.”

But, Judge Castillo added, “It is never too late to cooperate,” which is what earned the Flores brothers a significant discount in their sentences.

Judge Castillo ordered the Flores brothers to forfeit more than $3.66 million that was seized from them and a sport utility vehicle. In addition, more than $400,000 worth of assorted jewelry, several luxury automobiles, smaller amounts of cash, and electronics equipment were seized and forfeited in administrative proceedings by the DEA. The brothers left behind millions of dollars in additional assets in Mexico after they began cooperating.

The judge also placed each of the brothers on court supervision for five years when they are released from prison after serving at least 85 percent of their sentences.

Between 2005 and 2008, the Flores brothers and their crew operated a Chicago-based wholesale distribution cell for the Sinaloa Cartel and a rival drug trafficking organization controlled by Arturo Beltran Leyva, receiving on average 1,500 to 2,000 kilograms of cocaine per month.

Approximately half of this cocaine was distributed to the Flores’ customers in the Chicago area, while the other half was distributed to customers in Columbus, Cincinnati, Detroit, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Vancouver, among other cities.

In total, the brothers admitted to facilitating the transfer of approximately $1.8 billion of drug proceeds from the United States to Mexico, primarily through bulk cash smuggling.

At great personal risk to themselves and their families, the Flores brothers began cooperating with the government in October 2008 and recorded conversations, including two directly with Chapo Guzman.

Their cooperation resulted in indictments against leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel and the Beltran Leyva organization, as well as the complete dismantling of the brothers’ own Chicago-based criminal enterprise.

In late 2008 alone, their cooperation facilitated approximately a dozen seizures in the Chicago area totaling hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and heroin and more than $15 million in cash, as well as the seizure of more than 1,600 kilograms of cocaine in the Los Angeles area that was bound for Chicago.

Further cooperation by the Flores brothers and members of their dismantled crew resulted in the convictions of more than a dozen of their high-level customers who received on average 50 to 100 kilos of cocaine per month.

“While not as high-profile as the cartel figures, the successful prosecution of these defendants made a very real difference in combating the scourge of drug trafficking that fuels so much violence and the destruction of communities in Chicago,” prosecutors said in recommending a sentence at or near the low end of the agreed 10- to 16-year sentencing range.

“The Flores brothers (and their families) will live the rest of their lives in danger of being killed in retribution,” prosecutors stated in a sentencing memo.

“The barbarism of the cartels is legend, with a special place reserved for those who cooperate.”

In 2009, the brothers’ father was kidnapped and presumed killed when he reentered Mexico despite the U.S. government warning him not to do so.

The Primary ― Eighth Superseding ― Indictment

The eighth superseding indictment unsealed today charges a total of nine defendants, including Chapo Guzman, Mayo Zambada, and Guzman’s son, JESUS ALFREDO GUZMAN SALAZAR, 31, aka “Alfredillo” and “JAGS,” each of whom was among the initial group of co-defendants in the original indictment in 2009. Mayo Zambada and Guzman Salazar are fugitives, while Chapo Guzman remains in Mexican custody following his arrest last February.

Co-defendant, JESUS RAUL BELTRAN LEON, 31, aka “Trevol” and “Chuy Raul,” was arrested in Mexico this past November and remains in Mexican custody. The remaining co-defendants, all fugitives, are: HERIBERTO ZAZUETA GODOY, 54, aka “Capi Beto;” VICTOR MANUEL FELIX BELTRAN, 27, aka, “Lic Vicc;” HECTOR MIGUEL VALENCIA ORTEGA, 33, aka “MV;” JORGE MARIO VALENZUELA VERDUGO, 32, aka “Choclos;” and GUADALUPE FERNANDEZ VALENCIA, 54, aka “Don Julio” and “Julia.”

This indictment alleges that all nine defendants conspired between May 2005 and December 2014, when the indictment was returned under seal, to import and distribute narcotics and to commit money laundering.

They allegedly conspired to smuggle large quantities of cocaine from Central and South America, as well as heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana from Mexico to the United States and through Chicago for distribution nationwide. The indictment seeks forfeiture of $2 billion.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control today announced the designation of Felix Beltran, who is Guzman Salazar’s brother-in-law, pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, freezing all of his assets in the U.S. or in the control of U.S. persons, and generally prohibiting any U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with him.

A second designation was announced today against Alfonso Limon Sanchez, an alleged Sinaloa Cartel associate under federal indictment with Mayo Zambada and others in San Diego.

Other alleged cartel leaders, including Chicago defendants Chapo Guzman, Mayo Zambada, Guzman Salazar, and Zazueta Godoy, were previously designated drug kingpins.

Charges brought in earlier versions of this primary indictment remain pending against three additional co-defendants: FELIPE CABRERA SARABIA, 44, who is in custody in Mexico; GERMAN OLIVARES, age unknown and a fugitive; and EDGAR MANUEL VALENCIA ORTEGA, 27, aka “Fox,” and Hector Miguel Valencia Ortega’s brother, who was arrested last year in the United States and is in federal custody in Chicago. His next court date is Feb. 19 for a status hearing.

In addition to the Flores brothers, ALFREDO VASQUEZ HERNANDEZ, 59, pleaded guilty and was sentenced last November to 22 years in prison. Two other co-defendants, Mayo Zambada’s son, VICENTE ZAMBADA NIEBLA, 39, and TOMAS AREVALO RENTERIA, 45, have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing in Chicago. Altogether, 18 defendants have been charged in the primary case in Chicago.

Three New Indictments

Those 18 are among a total of 62 defendants, most of whom have been convicted and sentenced, who were indicted in nearly two dozen related cases in Chicago since 2009. Two new defendants, ALVARO ANGUIANO HERNANDEZ, 38, aka “Panda,” and JORGE MARTIN TORRES, 38, were arrested separately in the U.S. in November and are facing separate indictments here alleging they were high-level money laundering associates of the Sinaloa Cartel and participated in money laundering conspiracies. Anguiano Hernandez’s indictment seeks forfeiture of $950,000.

Torres allegedly conspired to launder in excess of $300,000 of drug proceeds from Mexico to the United States to purchase, refurbish, and transfer from Ohio to Mexico, a 1982 Cessna Turbo 210 to promote the cartel’s alleged narcotics conspiracy. His indictment seeks forfeiture of $1 million.

A third separate indictment announced today charges VENANCIO COVARRUBIAS, 26, aka “Benny,” of Elgin, who was arrested last October, with being a high-level cartel customer in the Chicago area.

In September 2013, law enforcement, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Laredo, Tex., seized 159 kilograms of cocaine that was allegedly destined for a warehouse in Elgin leased by Covarrubias. The cocaine, wrapped in 118 brick-shaped packages, was hidden in a tractor-trailer containing a shipment of fresh tomatoes from a fictitious Mexican business called Tadeo Produce. The charges allege that during the prior year, Covarrubias wire transferred drug proceeds to Tadeo Produce while receiving narcotics disguised as tomato shipments. His indictment seeks forfeiture of $2.89 million.

The money laundering conspiracy charges against Anguiano Hernandez, Torres and Covarrubias carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, or an alternate fine totaling twice the amount of the funds involved in illegal activity. The narcotics importation and distribution conspiracy charges against Covarrubias and each defendant in the primary indictment carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines. The defendants against whom charges are pending are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Total Seizures Since 2008

Overall, the Chicago-based investigation of the Sinaloa Cartel has resulted in seizures of approximately $30.8 million, approximately 11 tons of cocaine, 265 kilograms of methamphetamine, and 78 kilograms of heroin. Law Enforcement in Chicago has worked closely with federal agents and prosecutors in San Diego to target the senior leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel. This partnership yielded the prosecutions here as well as 14 indictments announced this month in San Diego against 60 alleged Sinaloa leaders, lieutenants, and associates, including Mayo Zambada, two of his four sons, and another of Chapo Guzman’s sons.

The investigation in Chicago has been led by the DEA, joined by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division and the Chicago Police Department. Also assisting were DEA offices worldwide, including in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Mexico City, and its El Paso Intelligence Center; the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF); the Chicago High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force, the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in San Diego, Springfield, Ill., and Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Police Department; the Chicago and Peoria offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Chicago office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Marshals Service; the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service; the Cook County Sheriff’s Department; suburban police departments in Calumet City, Evergreen Park, Oak Park, and Palos Heights; and the Beverly Hills, Calif., Police Department. The investigation was assisted by agents and analysts of the Justice Department Criminal Division’s Special Operations Division (SOD), and attorneys from the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, and Office of International Affairs.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael J. Ferrara, Erika Csicsila, Naana Frimpong, Georgia Alexakis, Kathryn Malizia, and Thomas D. Shakeshaft.

Valley Hi Looking for New Needed Services

With over $39.3 million sitting in the bank at the end of November, the folks who run McHenry County’s nursing home, called Valley Hi, are looking for ways to spent the money.

Here is a part of the minutes from December 10th’s Operating Board meeting:

Market Demand Anaysis Discussion

Mr. [Peter] Austin lead a discussion about creating an RFP for a market demand analysis including a community gap analysis.

The purpose f the review would be to determine what, if any, services were lacking in McHenry County and what if any, program changes could be made at Valley Hi to expand health care options to fill the gaps or provide different services.

It was noted that Valley Hi was not looking to compete with the private industry and Mr. Austin indicated that the review would consider public / private partnerships as potential options rather than simply adding to the size of the County staff.

After discussion among the Board Chairman [Peter] Michling stated that he felt the time was right for a study and indicated that he thought development of an RFP should be initiated. It was determined that the bid specs would be developed and shared with the Board at their meeting in January for their thoughts

Cost of Lakewood TIF District, Including Interest

Don’t know why I didn’t think to figure out how much the Lakewood TIF project will cost before, but I didn’t until bond analyst Steve Willson ran the numbers.

Most have been thinking that the figures provided in the SB Friedman feasibility report sum up the total cost.

That’s $66 million.

Possible ways to spend the Lakewood TIF bond money.

Possible ways to spend the Lakewood TIF bond money.

But just looking at how the bond money could be spent does not factor in the interest that will have to be paid to borrow the money.

That probably doubles the cost.

Estimated interest to be paid by Lakewood to borrow $66 million.

Estimated interest to be paid by Lakewood to borrow $66 million.

So we are looking at property taxes amounting to about $132 million that will be diverted from

  • McHenry County Community College
  • Crystal Lake Park District
  • Dorr Township
  • Dorr Township Road & Bridge
  • Grafton Township
  • Grafton Township Road & Bridge
  • Huntley Area Library District
  • McHenry County
  • McHenry County Conservation District
  • Rural Woodstock Library District
  • School District 47
  • School District 155
  • School District 158
  • School District 200

Instead the $132 million in real estate taxes will go to benefit the Village of Lakewood.

The meeting at which the Lakewood Village Board is expected to approve the Tax Increment Financing District will be held at the Turnberry Country Club at 7 PM.

Lakewood Has New Web Site

A press release from the Village of Lakewood on the date that its village board is scheduled to approve a Tax Increment Financing District at a 7 PM meeting at Turnberry Country Club:

New Website Launch January 27, 2015

The Village of Lakewood is very proud and excited to announce the launch of our new website on January 27, 2015. This new website is devoted to providing in-depth and easily accessible information about our community to our residents and anyone who visits.

The new website will have a completely updated look and simple to use navigation panes.

These will enable individuals to move effortlessly throughout the website and easily obtain the specific information they are seeking. The enhanced site is complete with new functions including a News section, Calendar of Events, and Interactive Forms.

Be sure to visit us at http://village.lakewood.il.us

Extra Superbowl Enforcement in CL

A press release from the Crystal Lake Police Department:

Crystal Lake Police says celebrate safely this Super Bowl Weekend

Police and safety officials in Crystal Lake announced today it will conduct special patrols this Super Bowl weekend cracking down on drunk drivers and seat belt law violators.

Crystal Lake Police car.

Crystal Lake Police car.

The Crystal Lake Police Department is joining the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and law enforcement agencies across the State to save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt and impaired driving laws both day and night.

The Crystal Lake Police Department requests designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk are just two of several simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest due to drunk driving. Other important tips include:

• Call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely;

• Report drunk drivers to law enforcement;

• Spend the night where the activity is being held and sleep it off;

• Always buckle up – it’s your best defense against a drunk driver.

Crystal Lake Police are also encouraging the public to dial 911 to report suspected drunk or otherwise impaired or dangerous drivers. To encourage drivers with cellular phones to call, the Crystal Lake Police Department has partnered with the Alliance against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) in promoting their “Drunkbusters” program.

AAIM gives $100 to tipsters whose calls lead to DUI arrests. For more information on the “Drunkbusters” program, including tips on how to recognize a possibly intoxicated driver, visit the AAIM website at www.aaim1.org or call the Crystal Lake Police Department at 815-356-3620.

The Crystal Lake Police Departments Super Bowl enforcement effort is funded with federal traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

For more information about the Click It or Ticket and the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over statewide campaigns, please visit www.buckleupillinois.org.