The Village of Schiller Park is convening a meeting for information on the environmental conditions and development of Schiller Park Sexton Landfill. This meeting is for the members of the Village Board as well as the members of the Schiller Park Zoning and Planning Commission to hear a presentation from the Sexton Company. The public has a right to attend and hear what is being presented. This meeting is on Tuesday, July 29, 2014, at 7:30 pm in the Schiller Park Board Room, 2nd floor at 9526 West Irving Park Road. Everyone concerned resident should attend.
Schiller Park Is Scheduling An Information Meeting on Schiller Park Sexton Landfill for Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 7:30 pm at the Village of Schiller Park Village Hall
Start the Weekend Out in Schiller Park on Friday Night, July 25th, 2014 with the “Scraps of Brass” at The Clock Tower/Gazebo
Start the weekend out in Schiller Park on Friday Night, July 25th, 2014.
FREE! FREE! FREE! Outdoor concert with Scraps of Brass! The Village’s well received series of free concerts at Clocktower Park is returning for another season of good music and family fun this coming summer. These family friendly events are always fun and you can’t beat the price – they’re free! Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or a blanket for seating, oh and don’t forget to bring bug spray
Don’t let the rain ruin a great weekend, join a beer brewing club or head to a comedy show with our picks of the top ten things to do around Schiller Park this weekend. For a complete list of events happening in the suburbs, visit Pioneer Local’s event calendar.
1. Street Dance, 11 a.m. Friday
Join the community to celebrate the summer tradition the includes a car show, children’s entertainment, inflatables, a variety of food, two bands, a beer garden and more. Downtown Franklin Park, Scott Street and Grand Avenue, Franklin Park. Free.
2. Jeff Fest, 6 p.m. Friday
The three-day festival features drum circles, barbecue, food trucks, live music and beer vendors. A bags tournament is also scheduled. Jefferson Memorial Park, 4822 N. Long Ave., Chicago. $5-$7; free for children under 12.
3. Guided Bicycle Tour, 9:30 a.m. Friday
Explore the historic Oak Park neighborhoods on a guided bicycle tour of 22 structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Sites include Wright’s Home and Studio, Unity Temple, Frank Thomas House, Heurtley House, Cheney House, Furbeck House and more. Greenline Wheels, 105 S. Marion St., Oak Park. $30-$35.
4. The Oak Park Conservatory Uncorked, 6 p.m. Friday
Stop by on the fourth Friday of the month through September for this event. Tickets include two drink tickets, a food token, showcase tours, music, art and more. You must be 21 or over to participate. For more information, visit http://www.fopcon.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 708-725-2400. Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St., Oak Park. $15.
5. Superior Ambulance Elmhurst Cycling Classic, 11 a.m. Friday
There are both amateur and professional bike races throughout the day. The course is a 1.2 mile criterium course around Elmhurst College. Amateur racing begins at 10:50 a.m., professional women and men begin at 4:40 p.m. and 6:30p.m. Families are invited to casually ride on the professional course during the Olympia Chiropractic Family Fun Ride at 5:50pm. All proceeds exceeding the event’s cost support local area charities. Volunteer opportunities are available. Elmhurst College, 190 S. Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. Free.
6. Jay Pharoah, 8 p.m. Friday
A performance by comedian Jay Pharoah best-known for his wide array of celebrity impressions, his roles on “Saturday Night Live” and his role alongside Kevin Hart and Ice Cube in “Ride Along.” Performances at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on July 25 and 26. For ages 21 and older. Zanies Comedy Night Club Rosemont, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont. $30.
7. Young Choreographers Showcase: ‘Dreams and Fantasies,’ 8 p.m. Friday
This year’s showcase features an original piece by high school student Maddy Tyma that has been funded by the Illinois Arts Council Agency as part of their youth employment in the arts project. The new piece is a physically integrated duet between Tyma and co-collaborator Jessica Martin who is a dancer/choreographer with a disability. The concert also features new works by Merril Doty, Max Gorgol and Drew Lewis. The Academy of Movement and Music, 605 Lake St., Oak Park. $5.
8. Homebrewing Club: Brew Day, 10 a.m. Saturday
The Homebrewing Club brews and bottles beer at the library. July’s beer is hefeweizen, a sweet and fruity German wheat beer. An original recipe is used. Bottling occurs in late August and only attendees of this event are allowed to participate. 21 and up. Elmwood Park Public Library, 1 W. Conti Parkway, Elmwood Park. Free.
9. Pancake Breakfast, 8:30 a.m. Sunday
An all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast including sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, milk and coffee. American Legion Post 974, 9757 Pacific Ave., Franklin Park. $6.
10. Sugar Beet Edible Garden Walk, 10 a.m. Saturday
Get a peek at the Sugar Beet’s edible gardens at the peak of the growing season. Attendees can learn about this garden as well as community gardens and urban agriculture at large. To purchase tickets online, visit sugarbeetegt.bpt.me. The Sugar Beet Co-op, 812 Madison St., Oak Park. $10 for members; $12 for general admission; free for kids and new members
For a number of months now the community has been offered a glimpse at a “vision” by Schiller Park of a proposed development plan for the Schiller Park Sexton Landfill. For now, for the purpose of my examining the actual vision of the Village and Sexton for economic development and resident amenities I will ignore but not forget the serious concerns over the environmental and health concerns, increased flooding, and lack of access regarding the Schiller Park Sexton landfill.
That vision is to approve a land use plan that would include a 450 car parking lot to be utilized by O’Hare Airport travelers; the elimination of a moratorium on billboards on the east side of the TriState Tollroad, and the construction of 3 billboards; and a bit confusing concept regarding a golf driving range which has been proposed in a bit of a mixed message with Mayor Piltaver talking about an open air driving range, then a domed driving range and at one point telling a chamber meeting a golf course. At the latest Board meeting, Mayor Piltaver clarified that it would be a domed driving range. So all of this has been pitched by Mayor Barbara Piltaver and the Sexton Company jointly as economic development for Schiller and enhanced amenities for the residents of the area.
So first what will actually the 450 car parking lot do for the community ?
If we assume that the parking lot is 100 % full 365 days a year; the tax revenue for Schiller Park would be $82,000 (current tax ordinance is $1.00 per car per day, but Schiller Park has already 20 year agreement with the new parking garage on Mannheim to keep the tax at .50 per day which they would extend to Sexton as well so they could be competitive). The operator at the same time with the same assumptions charging $10.00 per day per car would realize a revenue of $1,642,500 annually.
What do the local residents face for at maximum revenues of $82,000 per year for the next 20 years ? Increased traffic with the accompanying additional noise, potential crime increase, lighting pollution from a 24 hour operation, and additional water runoff from a paved parking lot.
So let’s look at the billboard aspect of the development. The proposal is fuzzy, but we can make some assumptions from the other billboard construction in the area as well as the developing technology in the business. This approval will most likely result in the construction of three pylons with two sided signs with electronic displays. Those in the advertising industry that I talked to in the last week have projected that such an installation in the O’Hare tollroad corridor could result in annual revenues as much as $360,000 per sign face or over $2,000,000 a year in annual revenue.
The Sexton Company is proposing a one time impact payment to the Village of Schiller Park of $175,000.
So what impact will this part of the development have on the local resident ?
There will be increased light pollution and those living in the area will have additional visual clutter. This will also expose the residents on the east side of the Tristate to the installation of additional billboards once the Village Board has removed the billboard moratorium.
If we take Mayor Barbara Piltaver at her word. Then we can consider the third concept in the development proposal as she noted at the July 17, 2014, Village Board meeting. This concept would be the construction of a golf dome. Repeatedly, the Village has emphasized that this would be at no cost to the taxpayers of Schiller Park. Because the one time impact fee of $175,000 would be used to develop the venue, Sexton would only for the first 10 years charge a rent of $1.00 per year and the management fees for Kemper Sports would come out of the revenues.
This truly sounds like the fantasy part of this development. Mayor Barbara Piltaver wants the Village Board to enter into a lease of the property on the contaminated dump for such a venture with no agreement for the Board of Trustees to review with Kemper Sports.
There has been no feasibility study, no site study for suitability of construction, or recommendations that the Board of Trustees has to consider. Yet Mayor Barbara Piltaver and the Village administration wants the Board of Trustees to enter into a lease and approve such a project.
To even consider such a project to develop such a venue it would be prudent for Mayor Piltaver and the administration to recommend such studies prior to any decisions or committments.
The feasibility study should be divided into two phases, a financial study and a site study. The site study phase would not begin until the financial study is completed.
The purpose of this study should have objectives such as considering:
First, to assist in developing a preliminary architectural program defining the facility’s necessary components, length of season, as well as an operations model with sufficient definition, clarity and reality upon which monetization can be determined
Second, to recommend fees and charges
Third, to define an expected pro forma of total income and expense for the facility in order to determine the immediate and long term financial viability
Fourth, to forecast estimated construction costs of a facility
Fifth, to present the collected data with the clarity, depth and understanding that theVillage’s decision makers can be confident in determining the feasibility of the project
Such a process could create a sound foundation for review and consideration by the Village Board prior to any decisions.
Without such a study it is inconceivable that a sound decision in the taxpayers’ best interest can be made. It is impossible to believe even without a study that $175,000 would cover the construction of the golf venue parking lot, the customer service center building, the equipment storage building, the dome itself (and in lieu of the dome an open driving range with the accompanying netting and possible lighting) . Companies that I consulted prior to writing this article put the number more at $3,000,000 to $6,000,000. Ground conditions on the dump could seriously drive up the costs for foundations and the supporting of the structures.
There is no clear data that even indicates that such a venture by Schiller Park could be financially successful.
The only clear winner in this proposal would be anyone associated with the billboard installation. In that part of the venture there is plenty of money for everyone but the taxpayers. The next potentially successful portion of the development is likely the parking lot with the taxpayers’ seeing a very small revenue stream. Finally, the biggest exposure and downside in this development is the golf venture with the taxpayers of Schiller Park bearing the greatest exposure financially with little likely return.
Furthermore there has been no development agreement made available for public inspection. So any other taxpayer funded incentives have not been disclosed yet if any are proposed. In Sexton’s presentation before the Village Zoning Board they alluded to seeking a Class 7B Tax incentive. Such an incentive would result in a reduced real estate assessment level of 10% of fairmarket value for the first 10 years, fifteen percent (15%) for the eleventh year and twenty percent (20%) for the twelfth year. Without this incentive, commercial property would normally be assessed at twenty five percent (25%) of it market value.
This proposal would place the greatest portion of the land under the lease under the control of the Village of Schiller Park. Would this take the land off of the tax rolls ? Would the Village of Schiller Park have to underwrite the dump maintenance costs ? What liability does the taxpayer assume with the environmental issues unresolved ?
Clearly, that $82,000 in parking lot tax revenue is shrinking in light of other potential taxpayer funded potential incentives such as a 7B.
The Village of Schiller Park Administration and Mayor Barbara Piltaver need to step back and recognize that is not a good deal for Schiller Park taxpayers. Let’s not have the taxpayers get stuck with the bills while Sexton reaps the millions of dollars in financial returns.
This proposal is fraught with “smoke and mirrors”.
Everyone needs to take a closer look before leaping into this cauldron.
Is Mayor Barbara Piltaver Making “Revenue” More Important Than “The Health and Safety” of the Residents of the Community ?
That is the question that the Village of Schiller Park trustees must ask of themselves when the cast their votes on the pending zoning matter and other agreements with the Sexton Company when they meet on Thursday, July 17, 2014.
At the July 3, 2014, Village of Schiller Park Board Meeting, the trustees discussed the pending matters including the zoning recommendation by the Village of Schiller Park Zoning and Planning Board to deny the zoning that has been requested to allow for a parking lot for vehicles left when their owners fly in and our of O’Hare, as well as the entering into a lease with the Sexton Company by Schiller Park for a golf facility and an agreement with Kemper Sports to manage the golf facility for Schiller Park.
At the July 3rd meeting three trustees (Fritz, Desecki, and Gorzynski) expressed their reservations regarding moving forward on any of these decisions until environmental and health issues that have been raised by Village resident, Stan Baran have been properly addressed as well as a resolution with recent citations that have been issued to the Sexton Company by the Illinois EPA. The other three trustees (Diaz, Tole, and Clementi) followed the thinking of Mayor Barbara Piltaver showing support for the proposals because of revenue generation for the Village of Schiller Park treasury by their implementation .
The July 3rd discussion by the Schiller Park trustees sets up a potentially dramatic meeting on July 17, 2014, especially after the July 16, 2014, Franklin Park zoning hearing the night before.
At issue here also is whether it is wise for the Village of Schiller Park to end the moratorium on the placement of billboards on the east side of the TriState Tollroad and allow three electronic billboards on the Sexton Property, which is east of the TriState Tollroad. That is what a “yes” vote on this zoning issue would also do, in addition to allowing the parking lot and golf facility.
This has turned into a “tidy” package for Sexton Company. Sexton Company in many people’s opinion has shown little concern for the residents of the area surrounding the Sexton landfill.
The Village of Schiller Park is eyeing a one time impact fee of $175,000.00 to allow the locating of the signs on the Sexton property. But the question will then will rear its “ugly head” whether other billboards will be allowed in Schiller Park on the east side of the TriState Tollroad. Petitioners will cite this change in the zoning ordinance for Sexton as a precedent to ask for the signage up and down the TriState Tollroad impacting numerous residential areas of the Village. This same discussion arose when one gas station was given a liquor license on Mannheim Road and then other gas stations were given the same opportunity after the Mayor pointed out the discrepancy and as the Liquor Commissioner, Mayor Piltaver supported the liquor license proliferation to the other gas stations as being fair.
A question that will have to be answered by the attorneys is whether a 3 to 3 deadlock by the Village of Schiller Park trustees can be merely broken by a vote of Mayor Barbara Piltaver who appears to be supporting all of the pending propositions. The question for the attorneys is “whether a recommendation denying the zoning by the Schiller Park Planning and Zoning Board can be overturned by a simple majority vote of the Village Board or whether it would take a “super majority” vote by the corporate authorities”.
Furthermore, the negative actions (limiting access to the property by the use of one way designations of roads serving the site) taken thus toward the Sexton property development by the Village of Franklin Park signal a focused pursuit by the Village of Franklin Park to obstruct the development of the site. This conduct would lead one to believe that the pending zoning matter before the Franklin Park Zoning Board and ultimately the Franklin Park Village Board will lead to a denial.
All of this conduct is clearly portraying a likelihood of a protracted and costly legal battle ahead for the area taxpayers; depending on the village board actions either Sexton will be filing a lawsuit or the area residents will be filing a lawsuit to block the development.
The stances so noted by the Village of Schiller Park trustees may in fact change by July 17th. But why would Trustee Moses Diaz vote for something that has so many unanswered questions regarding the health and welfare of the residents, especially when it impacts his own neighborhood where he lives ?
Mr. Stan Baran eloquently outlines the environmental and health concerns associated with the Sexton Landfill as noted in my earlier article SextonLandfillSite&SchillerPark MayorPiltaverVsTheResidentsOfSc . The Illinois EPA has recently cited Sexton Company for violations on the landfill site.
Ken McNeill has cited regional experiences with environmentally contaminated sites on his Facebook page, “Schiller Park Town Talk”. The articles he cites are Cancer_and_Other_Serious_Illnesses_Near_dumps and http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/dangerous-games/Content?oid=900086 .
The local government elected officials need to weigh the “revenue” versus the “quality of life for their residents” and cast their votes in the best interests of their constituents. Politics should not be an issue in this decision; neither should petty bickering or “who likes who” should jade this decision.
The health and safety of the residents of Schiller Park and Franklin Park should be of paramount importance.
Originally posted on Fred Klonsky:
This morning NPR reports, “Under the new guidelines, Duncan says he’ll require proof that these (Special Needs) kids aren’t just being served but are actually making academic progress.”
During the 2011-2012 school year – my final year of teaching – I was on evaluation. In our district tenured teachers were formally evaluated by the principal every two years.
The process would usually involve several meetings and a classroom observation.
For many years my school had a large number of Special Needs students – particularly students with autism – and we struggled to successfully apply best practices, including inclusive classroom settings for every student.
It was always my belief that even those students who were identified on the far end of the autism spectrum should be included with typical students in the art room. With the help and support of great paraprofessionals, that is what we did.
The idea of being…
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