Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Algonquin Board OK To Save Trees, Keep Downtown Parade
For more than a month the 60 or so residents in the pre-War neighborhood have complained they haven't asked to have anything fixed and that the work would destroy the semi-country atmosphere of their neighborhood. Village planners have answered that upcoming EPA pollution regs and deteriorating water mains demand the work. Proposed sidewalks that would take 23 trees were really the only optional part of the project, they said.
Tuesday the sidewalks were abandoned and Village Manager Bill Ganek said the Village would use specialized drilling for new water mains to save as many trees as the budget would allow. That still left a question of how wide new streets ought to be, 24 feet with a curb or 27 feet with a flat gutter. Homeowners Association President Mike Amster said his group hadn't polled residents about that since they didn't know they had a choice. He was topped, however, by one resident who claimed she hadn't heard about the project at all until Tuesday morning.
Trustees all favored the wider but lower option street and passed the whole package along for final approval next week.
Separately, the Board wrestled with a request from the Algonquin Founders' Days Committee to pick a route for this year's Founders' Days parade, preferably that very evening. Edgewood Road reconstruction this year will preclude the usual Route 31 traffic detour during the July parade.
Planners saw only two choices: One favored by Police to transplant the parade onto Huntington Drive from Harnish to Circle Drive; The other to run the normal parade route but send detour traffic, including giant semi's, up Huntington while turning most of the Downtown into a parking desert for parade watchers.
Even with a truncated 50-unit parade, neither choice was very attractive but the Board, led by trustee Bob Smith, favored keeping the Downtown route. "Having it up on the hill doesn't give it the jumpstart it needs," he said.
"How are you going to tell people tonight the State is going to give us permission (later on)?" asked Village President John Schmitt.
There seemed to be a feeling IDOT would be reasonable about an hour's possible delay for, at most, half a dozen semi's so the Board sent the Downtown parade route along for final approval next week.
In the pic: Only about two thirds of Indian Grove subdivision residents appeared at Tuesday's meeting of the Algonquin Board.