FROM WHERE WE’VE BEEN TO WHERE WE’RE GOING
A Message from your Village President
| Let me begin by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. In this edition of our quarterly newsletter, I want to be forward thinking and look ahead to the many opportunities that the coming year will bring. I would, however, be remiss if I did not take one glance back and express my sincere thanks to all of you who donated to our annual Toy and Coat Drive. I am overwhelmed with the generosity displayed by our residents and I am proud to be a part of such an outstanding group of citizens. This edition of Gateway outlines many of our upcoming events and provides updates on critical projects such as the York/Irving Grade Separation and the new Police Station. While these projects will provide improvements to our community for years to come, many of you have expressed concern about a more immediate concern, specifically, the closing of our local Dominick’s grocery store. We are all concerned about the situation and collectively, your village leadership has taken an active role in developing a plan to fill that critical location as quickly as possible. The good news is that Bensenville was not singled out in any way as Dominick’s withdrew from the market entirely. We believe that we have a very viable location for a new retailer and as such, while we want to see a new tenant in that location, we will not rush and make an unwise decision just in the interest of time. We are fortunate that the property is owned by Phillips Edison, one of the leading real estate management firms in the country. We are holding weekly meetings with their personnel to evaluate options and will keep you posted on our progress in the weeks ahead. The expertise of that company, the best interests of our community, and the ability to provide a sound business opportunity for a new tenant will all factor into the process. Some potential new tenants are studying sales figures for other local retailers such as the nearby Mariano’s to better understand the revenue potential, but like other aspects of the process, some time may be needed to make a smart decision for all. Despite that loss to our community, the business climate in Bensenville has never been stronger. Over the last few years we have made many changes to our operations that allow us to better recruit and maintain strong businesses. Now that we have a well-established dialogue we are looking to formalize our business climate with the development of a new Commercial and Industrial Council. It is our goal to build stronger bonds between the local government and the businesses that are integral to our success. By establishing this partnership we hope to identify key business concerns and create a means for creating and implementing long-term plans for a robust corporate presence that benefits everyone.
VILLAGE PRESIDENT Frank Soto BOARD OF TRUSTEES Morris Bartlett Susan Janowiak Robert Jarecki Martin O’Connell, III JoEllen Ridder Henry Wesseler CLERK Ilsa Rivera-Trujillo VILLAGE MANAGER Michael Cassady
I’d also like to commend our Village Board and staff as our recently completed budget process has resulted in another balanced budget. We are all steadfastly committed to fiscal responsibility not just once or twice, but always. I’m pleased to report that we continue to operate with a balanced budget, yet we do so without compromising on the services that we provide to all of you. Enjoy this edition of Gateway and all of the great events and activities that it describes in the months ahead.
FRANK SOTO | VILLAGE PRESIDENT
WINTER, WINTER AND MORE WINTER There have been songs and movies titled Endless Summer but doesn’t it seem more appropriate to talk about our endless winter? The days may slowly be getting longer but as we all know, winter never leaves quietly. Our winter got off to an early start this season. After the New Year’s snow and subsequent polar vortex blast, we had already exceeded our snowfall level for the previous winter. That means the use of salt for streets and walkways is up as well. By the second week in January we had already dispersed over 1,000 tons of salt – nearly 10% more than last winter’s total. Thanks to our new salt dome we have plenty of salt on-hand and are prepared for whatever the rest of this winter brings. Our Public Works teams did a superb job of keeping roads in drivable conditions. For nearly 10 consecutive days beginning with New Year’s Eve, we had teams on duty for 12 hour shifts around the clock, every day. Thanks to all of those great employees who met the tough conditions head on. With weeks of winter still ahead of us, please remember that no matter how tired we get of snow, it’s important for property owners to keep walkways shoveled and as free of ice as possible. Despite winter weather, neighborhood kids still need to get to school each day, folks down the block still walk their dogs, and the postman and other delivery services are on their routes throughout town. In addition to doing your part, keep an eye out for neighbors who may be older or sick, or those who may be lucky enough to be off on a vacation, and pitch in to help them out by shoveling their driveways, sidewalks and porches. For those who may need shelter in severe cold Bensenville operates warming centers throughout the Village. Centers are located at Village Hall, the Edge Ice Arena, the Bensenville Library, and the Park District Leisure Center, all during normal business hours. It’s not too late to share a few other winter tips as well, particularly about protecting your plumbing at home or the office. It’s not uncommon for pipes to freeze when they are adjacent to an external wall or the garage. A frozen pipe can be inconvenient when you turn the handle and nothing comes out, and more than a nuisance when it bursts. Here are a few tips for you for colder temps: • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a pipe sleeve or installing UL-listed heat tape, heat cable or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Pipes should be carefully wrapped, with ends butted tightly and joints wrapped with tape. Follow manufacturer's recommendations for installing and using these products. Even a 1/4" of newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes. • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage. • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children. • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe even at a trickle—helps prevent pipes from freezing because the temperature of the water running through it is above freezing. • Don’t forget that hot water pipes are just as likely to freeze as the cold water supply. If your pipes do freeze, you can use some household appliances to thaw them out such as a hair dryer, a heating pad, or a space heater. DO NOT use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove or other open flame device. A blowtorch can make water in a frozen pipe boil and cause the pipe to explode. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide. And if you find and thaw one frozen pipe check others throughout the house as it is possible they will have frozen as well. As happens each year, we enforce a parking ban on streets for 24 hours after a 2” snowfall, or until the streets are cleared. Vehicles which violate this ordinance will be ticketed and towed. We will not grant permission for overnight street parking after a 2” or greater snowfall.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS LEARN TO SKATE CLASS REGISTRATION Begins Wednesday | February 5 Edge Ice Arena 630 766 8888 AQUATICS WATER'S EDGE AQUATIC CENTER 545 John Street | Bensenville Jena H. Watson | Aquatic Director 630 670 4665 WAHOO COMPETITION Saturday | February 15 | 10:45am – 3:00pm WAHOO SWIM CONFERENCE Saturday | March 8 | 7:00am – 5:00pm
SENIOR CITIZEN LUNCHEON Tuesday | February 4 | 11am Tuesday | March 4 | 11am Tuesday | April 1 | 11am MONTY’S | 703 South York Road 735 East Jefferson | Bensenville Reservations call 630 594 1010 VILLAGE VS. FENTON CHARITY BASKETBALL GAME To benefit Special Olympics Wednesday | February 5 7pm | Fenton High School
PRESIDENT’S DAY Monday | February 17 Village facilities will be open HONOR FLIGHT CHICAGO CHARITY HOCKEY GAME between FBI & Chicago Police Saturday | March 15 | 7 to 10pm EDGE ICE ARENA 735 East Jefferson | Bensenville Ticket information call 630 566 0270 EARLY SPRING BRUCH PICK-UP Begins April 14
VILLAGE TEAMS WITH AGENCIES TO PRODUCE LOCAL TV PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE PARK DISTRICT FITNESS 7 days a week @ 7AM 7 days a week @ NOON LIBRARY READING Monday @ 7:30AM LIBRARY STORY TIME Monday-Saturday @ 7:30AM 7 days a week @ 12:30PM DISTRICT 2 PRIME Sunday @ 8:30AM Thursday @ 8:30AM, 1:30PM & 7PM PARK DISTRICT PRIME Sunday @ 4PM Monday @ 8:30AM, 1:30PM & 7PM VILLAGE PRIME Sunday @ 10:30AM & 7PM Wednesday @ 8:30AM & 1:30PM VILLAGE BOARD MEETING Wednesday @ 4PM & 7PM SPOTLIGHT BENSENVILLE Wednesday @ 8PM FENTON PRIME Sunday @1:30PM Friday @ 8:30AM, 1:30PM & 7PM
As we noted in our last newsletter, Bensenville recently completed work on our multi-camera video production studio. Designed to allow local government bodies the opportunity to produce content to keep our residents well informed, the studio is now fully functional, and is already churning out hours of programming each week. In addition to the agreements with School Districts 2 and 100 that were already in place, the Village is now partnering with other government bodies such as the Park District and the Library to produce content for the Bensenville Community Cable Channel (Comcast Channel 6 or AT&T U-verse Channel 99). The Village is very pleased to utilize the capabilities of the studio to forge and strengthen new levels of cooperation between all of these taxing bodies. When we work together in this fashion, residents receive greater benefit and costs are dispersed making cooperative agreements a true win-win situation. “A facility like this is an important addition to our community,” said Mayor Frank Soto. “By providing access to this very valuable communications tool, we are furthering our transparency and outreach goals, not only for the Village, but for all of the governmental bodies that serve our residents such as the schools, parks and library.” Fitness programs produced by the Park District were among the first to appear, along with a series of reading programs from the Bensenville Community Library. Bensenville School District 2 has been active producing educational programs while Fenton High School has recorded band and choir concerts for distribution on the channel. Not to be outdone, the Bensenville Fire Department has contributed some fire safety content as well. “This is exactly what a community studio and channel are designed for,” said Anthony Sumner, Multimedia Communications Administrator for the Village. “This presents a tremendous opportunity for all of our government bodies to share information with residents, whether it is news, entertainment or just showcasing local talent.” Mayor Soto is particularly encouraged by the potential that the studio has to provide exposure to local students who may be interested in careers in media. “Allowing students to come in and use the equipment, and to write, produce and perform in television programs is one of the many benefits the studio will provide.” Sumner encourages residents to check the Bensenville Facebook page and the Village website (www.bensenville.il.us) for programming and scheduling updates.
FIRE PRIME Sunday @ 9PM Saturday @ 8:30AM, 1:30PM & 7PM
Have You Scheduled Your Water Meter Replacement Yet?
r We are several months into our water mete say to sed plea e replacement program and we’r e Villag the t ghou that the majority of units throu you If s? your t have been replaced. How abou call our haven’t had your meter replaced, please 8964 533 877 at contractor, United Meters, Inc. to cost no is There nt. to schedule your appointme cipaparti but ired you and no inspection is requ tion is mandatory. toring Residents will benefit from the remote moni the and rs mete new capabilities provided by the all us help to d ipate technology involved is antic can be save considerable expenses. Installation cases. most in tes completed in less than 15 minu the ut abo s If you have any question ks new meters, please call Public Wor at 630 350 3435.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Now Under Village Control As we continue to improve our financial standing by more closely controlling costs and by taking greater ownership of certain services, we are pleased to announce that we now are solely responsible for the operation of our Wastewater Treatment Plant. Despite adding new employees in-house, the Village still stands to realize an annual savings of $285,000 with this move which is effective Januar y 1, 2014. In the weeks ahead we hope to finalize a contract on the upgrade project for the plant. Our current schedule anticipates work beginning in March. The $30 million project will take approximately two years to complete but when it is done we will experience increased efficiency in the operation of the plant.
d Grants Available for Retail an ents Commercial Façade Improvem
ic Development The Community and Econom local retail and Department (CEDC) is offering opportunity to the commercial building owners for façade nts receive up to $10,000 in gra in the Downtown, e ctur improvements to existing stru r areas. rido Mid-Town and Irving Park Cor items like new doors The improvements can include types of signage, e som and entr yways, windows, replicate original to s porches, railings and cornice up an applicapick designs. Business owners can ity and mun Com tion for the grant from the along with a ent, artm Economic Development Dep . ing mitt sub copy of the guidelines for enhance the look and The program is designed to ve areas within the acti value of property in these approved by the be community. All plans must endations from the mm Village Board based on reco ere to applicable adh t CEDC, and all changes mus limited. is m gra codes. Funding for the pro
SISTER CITY DELEGATION VISIT Mid-November featured a visit to Bensenville by a diplomatic delegation from our community’s Sister City, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico. The newly adopted Sister City sent a delegation to visit Bensenville and build relationships between November 11 and 16. The fourth-largest city in the Mexican state of Guerrero, IxtapaZihuatanejo is a hybrid community that features modern resorts as well as a traditional community. They share some characteristics with Bensenville, including proximity to major transportation hubs. Local elected officials spent time with the visitors discussing similar governmental concerns while also taking time to enjoy some social experiences.
The two groups pledged to work together on building cultural and social relationships.
BENSENVILLE RECEIVES KEY REGIONAL AWARD FROM CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
LAW ENFORCEMENT TEAMS TO LACE UP SKATES FOR 3RD ANNUAL HOCKEY CLASSIC
The Village of Bensenville has been named as the recipient for the 2013 Public Body of the Year Award. Presented annually by the Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO), the award recognizes a group that has distinguished itself in union construction projects. In particular, Bensenville was recognized for hosting an informational fair for union construction companies last October at which fifteen different construction unions were represented.
The Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville will be the site for the 3rd Annual Law Enforcement Hockey Classic on March 15. The game will pit members of the Chicago Police Department against their peers from the Chicago FBI. The puck drops at 7:00 and tickets are available by calling 630 566 0270. “This game is a great family event and we hope to have a great turn-out to enjoy the game, and support a very worthy cause,” said Mayor Soto.
“We feel very strongly about the career opportunities that have sprung up in Bensenville in recent years, and we think this award serves as recognition of our commitment to bringing good, well-paying jobs to this community,” said Mayor Soto. He pointed to major infrastructure work, the O’Hare western access projects, York Road improvements and others as specific examples of how Bensenville regularly interacts with the construction industry. “Our responsible bidder ordinances further enhance our relationship with employers who bring skilled labor to our town.” The CISCO awards have been given annually since 2005 to acknowledge achievement in union construction projects across Northern Illinois. Among other winners this year, O’Hare Airport’s new Runway 10C-28C was the winner of the Infrastructure Award. CISCO leaders are also working with students on Fenton High School to promote careers in the union trades. The Public Body of the Year Award will be presented to Mayor Soto at a ceremony on January 31.
This year’s charity event will benefit Honor Flight Chicago, the organization dedicated to providing free trips to Washington, D.C. for area World War II veterans. Honor Flight Chicago arranges for a day trip to Washington during which veterans are honored for the day and visit the WWII Memorial. Fund-raising efforts cover the approximate $500 per person cost for the veterans. There are estimated to be about 25,000 remaining WWII veterans in the Chicago area and Honor Flight Chicago is dedicated to making this trip available to as many of them as possible. “I can’t think of a better cause to support,” said Mayor Soto. “I’m looking forward to seeing a full house on the 15th. I know everyone in Bensenville would be honored to support some very deserving veterans by allowing them to enjoy this special day.” Soto noted that Bensenville has a long history of commitment to military veterans. “This past summer we were pleased to move and enhance our veteran’s monument here in Bensenville, and it’s an honor to work with the Edge Ice Arena to host an event like this. I can think of no better tribute, though, than for families to provide individual support to Honor Flight by coming out to the game.” To learn more about the efforts of Honor Flight Chicago, visit www.honorflightchicago.org
BEST OF ALL OPTIONS COME TOGETHER IN NEW POLICE HEADQUARTERS PLAN The Village’s new 47,000 square foot Police Station targeted for 345 East Green Street is moving closer to reality. This blighted property has been vacant since 1998 and was victim to several break-ins and crime activity. The facility, which is under construction now, will replace the current 40-year-old structure that no longer meets the needs of the department or community. “Police protection and crime prevention are critical to any community, and in Bensenville we are fortunate to have exceptional officers and administrators serving our customers,” said Village Manager Mike Cassady. “This new facility will allow them to provide the highest level of service possible. I am pleased that we have been able to create new life for this property and design a modern and functional facility while maintaining costs in a responsible manner.” Residents will not only benefit from improved service and Emergency Management capabilities, but they will do so without any impact to property or other local taxes. By utilizing an existing building that can be retrofitted, the $16 million project will expand the working area for police at a lower cost than would have been incurred by expanding the current facility or putting up a new building. In addition, we’ll be creating greater efficiency and response capabilities by co-locating police operations with the Bensenville Emergency Management Agency. Our Mayor Frank Soto also noted that the design takes into account the long-term growth potential for Bensenville. “We anticipate significant, well-measured growth in both our business community and our general residential population over the next few decades. This building will allow us to expand our police services along with that growth as far as 40 or more years into the future.” The state-of-the-art facility will expand access to important data, improve operating efficiency, enhance communications with other law enforcement agencies without compromising the department’s ability to provide superior law enforcement services to the community. “This is a long over-due addition to Bensenville,” Soto said. “Residents will be well-served in multiple ways through this new location. I am especially pleased that we can enhance our level of service in this manner without impacting property taxes which we feel is important to our residents.” The plans will also allow the Police Department to more easily achieve certification with national governing bodies. Other changes include separate holding cells for juveniles as required by state law, and improved safety for both officers and suspects relative to detention, interrogation and suspect delivery in the facility. The location is along a major thoroughfare that also has private railway access and is hoped to spur economic development along that corridor of town. Significant cost savings will also be achieved by extending the life of vehicles by utilizing indoor parking. When complete the facility will be LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified due to the best in class building strategies that will be used. Creating a green building in this location, for this particular use is a noteworthy achievement in which all of Bensenville can take pride. Current projections call for the new Police Headquarters facility to be operational by the Spring of 2015.
YORK & IRVING RAIL BRIDGE PROJECT If you’ve been around Bensenville for any length of time, you know that there is no bigger project in our town than the York & Irving Rail Bridge Project. Despite the many advantages that the project will bring to local business, regional transportation, and residents, we are well aware that the work can be a bit intrusive. Unfortunately, the early and intense winter weather has adversely impacted the already lengthy construction schedule. IDOT has reported that work on bridge abutments and piers has been delayed and is now 4-6 months off plan. If conditions return to normal we still anticipate the bridge being completed this year and substantial progress being made toward completing track work and furthering the roadway work during this year.
Summer EXCITIN G NEWS FOR
(Hint: It’s Healthy and Fun!)
We’re very pleased to announce that Bensenville will be home to a Farmer’s Market this summer. This popular attraction will be a part of our Wednesday night Music in the Park series. The current plan calls for the Farmer’s Market to be located in town on Railroad Avenue between Center Street and York Road on Wednesday afternoons. You’ll be able to browse fresh produce and specialty foods during the day and then enjoy our popular concert series in the evening. The market is coming together thanks to the efforts of an industrious visitor to our town, Maciej Bieniek. A native of Poland, Maciej is living here with relatives while studying Health Policy and Administration at UIC. To support his efforts, we’d like your input on the type of vendors you’d like to see each week. We’ve prepared a short survey to gather your input. It can be found on our website (www.bensenville.il.us). Please take a few moments to complete a survey and share your ideas with us so we can make this new endeavor a great addition to our summer experience.
PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 72 BENSENVILLE, IL 12 SOUTH CENTER STREET BENSENVILLE | ILLINOIS 60106
POSTAL CUSTOMER BENSENVILLE | ILLINOIS 60106
Coming soon the the Village of Bensenville! BLU. Liq uified N atural G 600 W as Fueli est Dev ng Cen on Ave ter nue | O penin g Fall 2015
MCDONALD’S | 308 West Irving Park Road Opening June 2015
THORNTON’S 601 Illinois Route 83 Opening Fall 2015