What follows is Lakewood Village President Erin fall letter:
From the President
I hope your summer was filled with family and friends and the great outdoors. We are fortunate that there are so many local activities in which to participate. The Village of Lakewood is a member of McHenry County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and I encourage you to pull up the website (www.visitmchenrycounty.com) to learn more about all our region has to offer, especially as we enter the beautiful fall season.
As always, I am excited to share updates with you about a number of our strategic initiatives.
Both Chief Rawson and Water/Wastewater Operator Gary Zickhur have asked me to extend a thank you for the warm welcome they have received since joining our staff.
We continue to evaluate our staffing needs to insure that we are providing the best customer service possible in the most cost effective manner possible. Toward this end, we have determined that our building inspection services can most efficiently be provided by a hybrid approach that incorporates a part-time, in house building inspector with more specialized inspection services provided by a neighboring community. As such, we have approved an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Woodstock to provide these services.
We are currently in the midst of recruiting for a part time building inspector. He/she will be primarily responsible for plan reviews, issuance of permits, field inspections and code enforcement. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of three (3) years of experience in building construction, building trades, and/or inspections; two (2) years of related technical or college level courses; ICC Certificates preferred; IL Licensed Plumber preferred. More detail about the part time position is available on the front page our website.
Our first quarter financials have just been completed for Fiscal Year 2014 – 2015, and I am pleased to report that, overall, our revenues and expenditures are generally tracking with projections. Remember, however, how important it is to patronize our local businesses whenever possible so that the Village of Lakewood enjoys the benefits of the sales tax dollars.
Our audit for the Fiscal Year ending April 30, 2014 was recently completed and a presentation was made at our Board Meeting on August 26. A copy of the audit is available on our website. There are several important statements that can be made about our audit:
- It is “unqualified” or, in lay terms, it is clean.
- There is not a management letter, which means there are no concerns about the operations or oversight of our financial operations.
- There is strict budgetary compliance. In other words, we live within our means.
- Fund reserves are sufficient.
Maintenance of the infrastructure that provides critical services to residents is one of the primary functions of a municipality. Even during the economic downturn, the Village of Lakewood has been able to continue to move forward on a number of important projects. Specifically:
Broadway Outfall Storm Sewer – The repairs have been completed. In coming years, we will continue to televise the system to determine future repairs and clean the pipe of tree roots and other impediments.
2014 Roadway Program – Minimal restoration remains but the project has been essentially completed.
Thank you to all of our residents for their patience during this busy construction season.
A public presentation about our 2015 Roadway Program was made at our Board Meeting on August 26.
As a reminder, this project will repave Lakewood Road from Haligus Road to Ackman Road and add bicycle lanes on both sides. Lake Avenue will also be repaved from Huntley Road to our western limits at Village Hall with bicycle lanes added. Please take the time to read the more detailed article included elsewhere in the newsletter or stop by Village Hall to review plans. As a reminder, 80% of this $2.4M project is funded with grant dollars.
East Sewer – The design plans are nearly completed, and we anticipate scheduling a public meeting to present the project within the next month or so. It is our goal to bid the project in December or January and initiate the project in February or March. We are also working to secure a low interest loan of 2.2% from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to pay for the project.
Special Service Area #1 (SSA #1)
A number of meetings have been held to explain the options related to the ongoing maintenance of the Turnberry Lakes. We continue to respond to inquiries from residents and await their direction.
RedTail Golf Club
It has been an especially challenging year at RedTail Golf Club with the sudden passing of our long time Course Superintendent Pat McDonagh. A golf outing has been scheduled for Thursday, September 18 at RedTail Golf Club and all proceeds from the event will be used for an educational fund for the McDonagh children. If you are unable to play but would like to make a donation, please contact any BMO Harris Bank and ask about the Pat McDonagh Children’s Educational Fund.
Special recognition is due to our General Manager of Clubhouse Operations, Chris Neuhart, and the staff at RedTail Golf Club for assuming additional duties during this time of transition and working to maintain the high standards set by Pat McDonagh. We are also grateful to Wintrust Bank and Kemper Sports for allowing the Superintendent at Turnberry Country Club, Jim Evans, and the Assistant Superintendent, Jon Evans, to provide assistance to our staff.
With the staffing changes, the focus of our capital improvement program has shifted this year. Rather than undertake a number of multi year projects, we will complete the repaving of the parking lot this month and defer the bunker renovations until next year. As a part of our continued ownership of RedTail Golf Club, a business plan was created and a commitment made by staff to report about its status. Please call Village Hall or review upcoming Agenda notices on the website to learn the date of this presentation.
This is always my favorite section to write, especially when I can report that a new business is opening!
Confetti Gourmet is the newest addition to the retail center at Lakewood Commons. It specializes in cooking classes but will also offer “gourmet to go.” The grand opening is tentatively scheduled for September 27, and I hope you will join me in welcoming the newest member of our business community.
A national marketing effort is currently underway to find a buyer for Turnberry Country Club. It is being sold in conjunction with Lake Barrington Shores Golf Club. We appreciate that the current owner, Wintrust Bank, has been such a responsible business member of our community and made such an ongoing commitment to the facility during the past several years. Kemper Sports has also done an outstanding job of providing the daily oversight of the operations. Bids are due October 15, and we are hopeful that a successful bid will be submitted.
Orleans Homes is actively engaged in the Architectural Review Committee process and expects to break ground on its model home at Woodland Hills this fall. The developer at The Highlands at RedTail has started construction on eight (8) new units. There are also several new homes in various stages of review and construction.
We are currently exploring options to spur economic development in the Illinois Route 47 and 176 corridors.
Elsewhere in the newsletter is an article about our upcoming municipal election. I encourage everyone to become involved, whether it is as a candidate or simply as a knowledgeable citizen who chooses to vote. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with questions regarding any Village related matters.