Village of North Aurora | Crossroads on the Fox

Committee of the Whole Minutes

OCTOBER 21, 2013

Mayor Berman called the meeting to order.

In attendance: Mayor Dale Berman, Trustees Mike Lowery, Chris Faber, Ryan Lambert, Mark Gaffino, Mark Guethle and Laura Curtis and Village Clerk Lori Murray.

Staff in attendance: Village Administrator Steven Bosco, Finance Director Bill Hannah, Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth, Water Superintendent Paul Young, Public Works Superintendent Mike Glock, Police Chief David Summer, Village Attorney Kevin Drendel.


1. Discussion on Water Tower Painting
Water Superintendent Paul Young provided the Village Board with additional designs for the water tower painting project. Bid specs will go out in January or early February. Trustee Curtis suggested allowing residents to vote on the Village website for their favorite design. Trustee Faber said if this will go to a vote, to remove #3 (white tower with comic sans print type). The Board agreed to open this up to the community for thirty days to vote on 4 designs: 1. original design, 2. Option #1 all white with blue lettering and the added verbiage “Village of”, 3. Design #2 from the meeting document, 4. Design #4 from the meeting document. Curtis suggested to Steve Bosco that the schools also get involved in voting.

2. Discussion on Strategic Plan Proposal
Village Administrator Steven Bosco said that the Village has not had a new strategic plan since 2008. The plan allows the Village Board to set future goals and objectives which provides Staff with guidance on how to coordinate daily activities to meet the goals. Bosco interviewed several facilitators and attached a proposal from Greg Kuhn of Sikich. Total cost is estimated to be between $7,000 and $9,000 and would take 8 to 11 weeks to complete.

Optional add-ons: public input sessions, action plan created after the goals and objectives are set, team building workshop. There is a combination of $15,000 for the plan and $10,000 for public input sessions. Trustee Lambert said that public input should be included in the strategic plan. Trustee Faber said he was not sure the strategic plan should include the public sessions. Bosco said that there are other ways to do this rather than having public sessions. The Village can initiate a survey to be done through an organization. The Village can also solicit information and post questions via the website.

Mayor Berman said that the Board members have been elected to represent the residents of North Aurora and we can also get input from those residents individually. Bosco said he would bring a base proposal to the next Board meeting for approval. To be placed under New Business at the next Board meeting.

3. Discussion on 2014 Annual Meeting Schedules
Steven Bosco noted that the third Monday in February falls on Presidents Day and the first Monday in September falls on Labor Day. The Board can change the meetings or cancel them outright. Currently the Village has bi-monthly meetings with the Public Facilities Committee. Bosco asked that the public facilities meeting be held once a month at 6:00 pm on the second Monday following the Finance Committee meetings. Trustee Faber suggested making both meetings at 5:30 since one or both meetings are often cancelled. Bosco said that could be done.

The Board was in favor of cancelling the meetings for Presidents Day and Labor Day.

To be placed on the Consent Agenda for the next meeting.

4. Discussion on 2014 Annual Holiday Schedules
To be placed on the Consent Agenda for the next meeting.

Motion made by Trustee Guethle and seconded by Trustee Gaffino to adjourn to executive session for the purpose of discussing imminent litigation. All in favor. Motion approved.

1. Imminent Litigation

(Reconvene to the Committee of the Whole meeting)

In attendance: Mayor Dale Berman ,Trustee Mark Guethle, Trustee Mark Gaffino, Trustee Ryan Lambert, Trustee Chris Faber, Trustee Mike Lowery, Trustee Curtis and Village Clerk Lori Murray.

Atty. Drendel said that he and Staff received the letter from the attorney for the Chesterfield HOA and reviewed the notices that went out and the history of the consideration of the annexation and the zoning. Atty. Drendel laid out the history and the facts.

The last application was in 2011.

Lafarge and Comed approached the Village with a new plan to annex. This plan was different from the plan that they had presented in 2011. The ComEd property is a dog leg. There is northern leg that is north of the existing ComEd mine, which is south of the Chesterfield property and there is an east leg of the ComEd property that is east of the mine. This new plan proposed that the northern leg which is closest to Chesterfield would be restricted and there would be no mining in that area. Mining would be restricted to the eastern area, which is further away from the Chesterfield property than the current mining operation. This was a different plan than was proposed in 2011. The Board officially voted down the 2011 plan because of the fact that it allowed mining on the northern leg of ComEd which was under the gas line (which was the chief concern of the Village Board at that time).

Lafarge filed its application for annexation and the application for zoning. The zoning portion of it which was to rezone the property to allow for industrial use with mining, as well as a special use for mining, and the annexation required public hearings. The law for municipalities with under 500,000 people only requires publication notice in the paper for the zoning and for annexation. The North Aurora village code goes beyond what the Illinois Municipal Code requires and required mailing to all properties within 250 feet. Lafarge mailed the notices. The only properties within 250 feet area 3 parcels of common area that are owned by the HOA including Feltes Lane. The notices were sent by Lafarge based upon the tax assessors records. Two of the HOA properties reflected tax bills that were sent to a p.o. box in Aurora for Baum Properties and one reflected a tax bill that was sent to an address in Libertyville. According to Lafarge, these were the same addresses that they found when they sent the notices in 2011. The notices went out to both addresses. The Libertyville address came back undeliverable. The Aurora notices never came back and were therefore assumed to be delivered. Lafarge’s office called Kelly Henry who is the representative for Baum Properties responsible for the HOA because the notice came back from Libertyville. Kelly Baum confirmed that the p.o. box is the proper address where notices are to be sent and that they receive notices there on a regular basis. She acknowledged receiving the notices that were sent for the zoning hearing. There was a follow up email with Kelly Henry that also included Patti Graw, the HOA president, on August 26th. The email confirmed the notices sent to the Aurora p.o. box and then focused on the Libertyville address with the final communication being that Patti Graw would follow up and determine why the 1 parcel of property had a Libertyville address.

Atty. Drendel said that there is no provision in the Illinois Municipal Code or the North Aurora Village code which goes beyond the state statute that requires notice to be sent to the registered agent. The requirement is for notices to be sent to the property owners of record, which is what was done in this case.

North Aurora Village code as well as the Illinois Municipal Code requires the posting of a sign. The village code requires the sign be posted on property that fronts on a public street. The ComEd property does not front on any public streets. Feltes Lane is the only roadway that it fronts on and it is private property. The Community Development Director discussed the matter with Lafarge and directed them to place a sign at the entrance of the mine which was the only public frontage that touched any property that related to the annexation. He was not aware until someone at the Chesterfield HOA mentioned that in 2011 a sign was placed at the entrance of the Chesterfield subdivision. Atty. Drendel added that Lafarge put up two signs on Route 25 even though they were only directed to place 1. The mine entrance on Route 25 is the most conspicuous place to put a sign. The 2011 code did not require a sign to be placed at the entrance of the Chesterfield subdivision. The Community Development Director at that time did that on his own accord.

A hearing took place in front of the Plan Commission on September 3rd. There were people in the audience who could not be identified. After the presentation, which focused almost primarily on the fact that the mining was going to be banned on the property closest to Chesterfield and mining would only be allowed on the property that is further away from the current mining operation, there were no comments. At that point the Plan Commission unanimously recommended the request for approval. A public hearing was held in front of the Village Board on September 23rd and notice for that hearing was published in the paper on September 5th. The public hearing focused on the fact that there would be no mining on property that was closer to Chesterfiefld than the current mining. There would also be no mining under the Nicor gas line.

Mayor Berman said the reason the Board voted against the annexation agreement in 2011 was because the Chesterfield residents came to the Board and said that from a safety issue, they did not want mining under the gas line. The actual blasting itself goes on only once a day and has been happening for years before the subdivision was there and would be impossible to stop. The Board this time around felt that since there would be no mining under the gas line and would not be any closer to the subdivision, it satisfied the requirements of the Chesterfield HOA. Mayor Berman reiterated that there would be no mining under the gas line.

Patti Graw said that she would be emailing the Village Board an email she received from Mike Toth and that there is nothing in that email about a notice that was being sent from Lafarge, only about the tax bill. Graw said that the Chesterfield HOA would move forward.

Motion to adjourn made by Trustee Faber and seconded by Trustee Gaffino. All in favor. Motion approved.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lori J. Murray
Village Clerk

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