By Jenny Quill, GazeboNews correspondent
Aside from two standing ovations in honor of Fire Department Assistant Chief Gregg Marsh’s 25 years of public service, the Oct. 22 Village of Lake Bluff Board of Trustees Meeting was a quick and quiet affair. Here’s what you missed that’s worth noting:
•Andy Duran, the executive director of LEAD and the SpeakUP! Prevention Coalition, promoted the 27th annual National Red Ribbon Week, an alcohol, drug and violence prevention campaign taking place Oct. 29 to Nov. 4, with the fifth-annual Red Ribbon Race held at Elawa Farm on Nov. 3.
But trustees’ ears really perked up when Duran urged them to pass an ordinance that would prevent medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation sites from opening in Lake Bluff, as could be allowed per pending state legislation. “The state legislation has been defeated twice, the last time very narrowly and it could come up for vote again anytime,” said Duran. “The legislation in Illinois is very aggressive for two main reasons: Number one, if it passes at the state level, local ordinances cannot then be created to stop a dispensary from coming into town. Number two, it calls for a dispensary and a cultivation unit in every single place where it’s legalized … so we could have a dispensary and cultivation unit here in the Village without an ordinance in place.” According to Duran, states and local communities that have dispensaries have seen increased crime rates and youth access to marijuana and decreased property values.
•Director of Finance Susan Griffin presented the Sept. 2012 financial report, which showed that while May 2012 sales tax revenue was 42 percent higher than May of the previous year, June 2012 sales tax revenue was down $66,734 compared to June 2011. “We had an outstanding month in May for sales tax,” said Griffin. “But, unfortunately, June came along and took all of that $60,000 gain that we had and more. I have read that July and August were better as far as auto sales, but we’ll see how that plays out in the next few months. We knew it was going to be a roller coaster, and everyone keeps saying that we’re not going to see major improvement. Now we’re hearing the housing market is picking up a little bit, but, again, I think cautious optimism is the way to go.”
•The Board passed two resolutions expanding the scope of the Phase I Engineering study of the U.S. Highway 41/Illinois Rte. 176 interchange to include all four legs of the Rte. 176 intersection at Illinois Rte. 43 (aka Waukegan Rd.). The expanded scope is the result of an engineering analysis that determined that any traffic flow changes made at the Rte. 176/Hwy. 41 interchange (e.g., proposed roundabouts) would impact the intersection at Rtes. 43/176, particularly as traffic is projected to increase through that corridor over the next several years.
Marty Worman from Christopher Burke Engineering, the Village’s consultant, shared that the firm received “positive feedback” about the proposed roundabouts following the Sept. 20 public meeting. “In all, we got 15 comments back, 11 of those were pro roundabouts,” said Worman. When asked about the project time frame, Worman stated that the firm hopes to secure design approval in the summer or fall of 2013.
For additional information regarding the interchange project, click here.