Stay cool ... and don't park there
Channahon trustees remind of cooling centers, move to stop semi parking on lot
CHANNAHON — With the scorching weather of the summer, cooling centers are open in Channahon, ready to accommodate those who do not have adequate air conditioning in their homes.
Village trustee Judie Nash reminded the public that the Three Rivers Library (25207 West Channon Drive) and the Channahon Park District (24856 West Eames Street) are the cooling centers in Channahon.
Other cooling centers in Will County can be found by logging onto www.willcountyillinois.com.
Channahon Village President Joe Cook asked residents to be sure to check in on the elderly and those who are home-bound during the heat.
He also encouraged those who want to watch fireworks displays during the holiday to view them at area events, rather than in their neighborhoods.
“Let’s try to keep the fireworks in the neighborhoods down to a minimum,” he said.
In official action Monday evening, the village board approved entering into an agreement with Mark Wunderlich, owner of a vacant lot on the northwest side of the U.S. 6 and Interstate 55 interchange. According to Trustee Scott Slocum, semi-trucks have been parking overnight in the lot. Slocum asked staff to look into the matter, and Channahon police staff reported that the situation could pose the potential for criminal activity.
The Wunderlich family, according to village staff, was willing to allow the village to post “no trespassing” signs at the site and to enforce those signs with police action. Staff said erecting Jersey barriers to protect entrances to that property is also a possibility.
Trustee Scott McMillin reminded staff to be sure to make sure the fire hydrant at the site is protected and kept available for access.
In another matter, the board split 3-3 on a decision regarding creating an ordinance to amend the R-1 and R-2 zoning districts to allow private construction of structures over interior lot lines. The measure passed with Cook breaking the tie by voting for it.
Also voting for the measure were Trustees Debbie Militello, Jerry Papesh, and Scott Slocum. Voting against were Trustees Scott McMillin, Sam Greco, and Judie Nash.
During the meeting, Papesh said the ordinance would save some residents money when they developed their property. Afterward, Greco and Nash explained they voted against it based on Planning and Zoning and village staff input.
“My concern was that we wouldn’t still have control,” Greco said.
“Our Planning and Zoning Commission researched that pretty carefully,” Nash said, “and I feel like I need to respect their decision.”
McMillin said he felt like there were too many loose ends on the matter and that the questions he had posed regarding the issue had not been answered definitively.
The village board also approved hiring Kane McKenna Associates at a fee not to exceed $43,000 to establish a Tax Increment Financing district and a business district for Channahon’s U.S.6/Interstate 55 corridor.
The firm has already done a phase one study of the land in the area around the interchange, and it will now perform a full TIF study, updating the previous data and preparing a plan of redevelopment.
The village currently has a TIF district at Aux Sable Liquid Products plant. Village Administrator Joe Pena explained during a break in the meeting that creating a TIF district can attract businesses.
“We need to begin to plan for development there,” he said.
The site has had many developers coming to inquire, but Pena said the congestion and limited access around the interchange has always caused them to pull their consideration.
“A TIF offers incentives to developers to improve the property and roadways,” he said.
A business district may also be created on some of the land, which, according to Director of Community Development Mike Mahon, would allow the village to create some new taxes, such as a motel-hotel tax, an amusement tax, and additional sales taxes. There could also be façade loans and micro loans for small businesses there.
Finance Director Bob Guess also told the board that his department once again received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award. This is the seventh year in a row the department has received the award.
The Channahon Planning and Zoning Commission will not meet on Monday, July 9, as planned, but instead will meet on Monday, July 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the village hall.