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Merry Christmas to all of you we serve! To give us such a season of joy, peace and hope, God must be a happy grandparent with a sense of mirth.
An extended family consists of people who are happy when you succeed and laugh when you joke. They’re sad when you’re hurting and try to help when they can. But most importantly, they do their best to keep you safe when you’re vulnerable … as all of us are when we face life’s challenges all year long.
Twelve hundred fifty county staff members are growing in our dedication and competence to being worthy members of your extended family.
Christmastime brings family and friends together for a moment to appreciate the love in our lives that we sometimes take for granted. For those of us who have comforted loved ones in final moments when they experience, as Charles Dickens described, “Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future,” their fervent wish was not to attend one more meeting, run one more errand, climb one more rung on the ladder … but rather, to tenderly hug a child just a bit longer, patiently listen to a story told with such pleasure for the umpteenth time, or to simply and sincerely say, “I love you!”
This year’s holiday season can be a time when we “ … write on our hearts that every day can be the best day of the year.”
Our Kane County wish and hope for you, your family and friends is for love, peace and happiness.
Chris LauzenKane County Board ChairmanDecember 2014
Check out Kane County’s new PSA on how to conserve water!
The Kane County Foreclosure Taskforce is pleased to announce that two Mortgage Relief Project events have been scheduled to take place in Kane County. The free events will be held from 9am to 1pm at Elgin Community College on June 14th and at Aurora’s Prisco Community Center on July 12th. Homeowners who attend will receive helpful advice about mortgage refinancing, foreclosure prevention, legal rights, credit counseling and avoiding scams. Additionally, HUD-certified counselors will be on hand to provide private, one-on-one counseling.
The Mortgage Relief Project is a state-wide program co-sponsored by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). It is designed to offer a one-stop shop where homeowners can access the resources of state agencies and nonprofit organizations that help Illinois residents stay in their homes.
Illinois’ Homeowner Protection Act requires all lenders and loan servicers to notify homeowners who are at least 30 days late on their mortgage payments that they have 30 days to seek housing counseling to get their loans back on track. If a homeowner enters housing counseling, they get an additional 30-day grace period on foreclosure in order to work out a payment plan or refinance option.
For more information or to receive immediate assistance in advance of the event, please call IDFPR's toll-free consumer hotline (800) 532-8785 during regular business hours or visit www.idfpr.com or www.ihda.org.
Dear Unincorporated Kane County Resident:
During the last year the Kane County Board has made a concerted effort to reduce the “cost of living” for residents of our county. On March 18, 2014, residents will weigh in on a ballot question of whether or not to allow the County Board the ability to negotiate a completely voluntary energy savings program for those residents in unincorporated portions of the County. This initiative is completely voluntary, with those residents who oppose the program able to opt out if it were to pass against their wishes. This letter is intended solely to explain what the referendum means to you, and help you ultimately cast an educated vote on March 18th.
Presently, residential electric rates are either set by Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) or an alternative electric supplier secured by you. The electrical rates can be “set” (for 12 month period) or “variable” depending on the contract terms. If permission is granted by voters, through referendum, the County could take the necessary steps so multiple electric suppliers can provide competitive rate quotes.
The County has been purchasing its power (for various County-owned buildings) from suppliers other than ComEd since 2006. These suppliers have been able to offer lower rates than those we would have received from ComEd. The 2014 electrical bidding process netted a potential electrical savings of over $193,000 from 2013 electrical costs for County taxpayers.
Since the State of Illinois deregulated ComEd, 17 municipalities, and 2 townships within Kane County have provided their residents the opportunity for cheaper electricity. 18 of these 19 local governments secured savings for their constituents.
Before the County can provide this choice for you, the residents of unincorporated Kane County have to approve a resolution on the March 18, 2014 ballot. If the “energy savings choice” referendum is authorized by the voters, under state statute, counties will be able to receive bids from suppliers on behalf of the unincorporated portions of the County. If the rates are lower than ComEd’s, the County can move all residential (and small commercial) accounts in the unincorporated portions of Kane County to the new supplier. Any individual household could opt out if they prefer.
However, the County is not obligated to switch suppliers. The referendum simply gives the County the right to solicit competitive bids. Once the bids are received, then the County Board will decide if it is in the best interest of the residents in unincorporated Kane County to move to the lower supplier. If not, all County unincorporated residents will remain with ComEd for the following 12 months.
There will be no change to your billing. ComEd will continue to send your monthly bill. They will still deliver the electricity and you will still call ComEd for service and outages. You will not be required to participate in the new program. Every unincorporated resident who does not already have an alternate supplier will receive a letter with the opportunity to “opt out” of the new program at no cost to you. If ComEd’s rate is less expensive than the lowest quoted electric supplier, ComEd will remain your electric supplier.
We value our residents and look forward to saving you money on the electricity you purchase. Please vote on March 18, 2014.
If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Mr. Kenneth N. Anderson, Jr., at 630-208-5118 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To protect government independence and transparency no consultant or contractor has been hired to place this referendum on the March 18, 2014 election ballot.
Kane County has been saving money on our electrical costs on various buildings for nearly 7 years. We are buying the power on the open market and it is then delivered by ComEd. A few years ago, the Illinois General Assembly authorized local government to do the same bidding process on behalf of its residents and small businesses.
The County of Kane will be placing a Referendum on the March 18, 2014 ballot. If the majority of voters concur, then the County can seek lower electric rates for its residents in unincorporated areas.
Q: How can the County purchase power at a potentially lower cost?
Electric deregulation allows the County to shop for power and purchase in bulk for our unincorporated residences at a lower price.
Q: Who will take care of my power if there is an outage?
ComEd, by law, will still be paid to distribute the power to the homes and businesses and handle any emergency repairs.
Q: What if I don’t want to participate in the program?
Residents will have multiple opportunities to “Opt Out” of the program, which will be your right by law.
Q: What happens if the County cannot purchase or negotiate lower rates than ComEd?
Your account would stay at ComEd and ComEd would be both the power provider and the local distribution company. Either way, ComEd will be our distributor. By voting YES on the referendum, ComEd will then have to compete with power suppliers from throughout the Midwest to provide our power.
Q: Why is this opportunity available?
This is the last part of the Deregulation Process. Until this Act was amended, only larger customers such as industrial, commercial and government entities could participate. Seventy-five percent of these customers are currently purchasing their power from sources other than ComEd.
Q: Why is the County doing this?
In addition to freezing county property tax levies, during times of declining home values, we are trying to save you money by taking advantage of a law that allows our residents and small businesses to save money. To administer this program, the County may encourage a modest “civic contribution” as permitted under state statute.
On January 23, 2014, Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen and several of his leadership team, along with Congressman Randy Hultgren, 14th Congressional District, and his staff met in a warm and friendly setting in the Chairman’s office.
Active discussion centered around successes and issues that impact Kane County such as the Health Department receiving national accreditation, the Longmeadow Parkway, radon and lead testing and status of community reinvestment federal grants.
Chris sincerely complimented Randy for taking the generous initiative of introducing his entire staff from both Washington, D.C. and the district to the Kane County Team.
Who? Judge Akemann, Judge Cruz and Judge Dalton would like to read their favorite bedtime stories to YOU! Event includes snacks and a courtroom tour. Don’t forget to bring your friends!
This event is for children in 2nd grade or younger. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Where? Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center on the second floor of the Kane County Judicial Center. Phone: 630.406.7126.
When? Wednesday November 20th, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Attire? Pajamas, of course!
To learn more on donating and this special project, please click here.
The Kane County and its municipalities have a long history of planning cooperation, historically bringing valuable planning resources and grants of all types. The most recent benefits will be realized in 2014, when 7 new planning projects and studies involving Kane County and seven municipalities will start up with assistance from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). The approved projects are considered to be significant because they help achieve one or more regional goals in CMAPs’ GO TO 2040 Plan as well as the Kane County 2040 Plan. This is the third year of CMAPs’ Local Technical Assistance Program.
The approved seven projects in this third round of awards represent a value of about $350,000-$400,000 to Kane County, according to estimates provided by CMAP. Since the first two years of the program, including ongoing projects, the value of the assistance provided to Kane County and municipalities is worth about $800,000, making the combine value of planning assistance about $1.2 million. “This assistance represents a substantial benefit to Kane County and its communities”, stated Kane County Board Chairman, Chris Lauzen, “being competitive to bring in outside planning resources reduces the burden on local taxpayers while ensuring that Kane County remains a great place to live, work and do business.”
Kane County’s vision, leadership and the award winning Kane County Planning Cooperative have been a large part of the success for gaining approval from CMAP for these projects. The Kane County Planning Cooperative is a collaborative effort between Kane County’s Health, Transportation and Development planning staff. One of the Cooperative’s fundamental goals is to help municipalities and other planning partners “fill in the gaps” in local planning resources by providing technical assistance. This is of particular importance in some of the county’s municipalities that have no, or overextended, planning staff.
Municipalities approved for LTA projects for 2014 include Algonquin, Carpentersville, Pingree Grove, South Elgin, Barrington Hills, Campton Hills, and Montgomery. Projects range from bike/pedestrian planning, sharing municipal services, to updates of zoning ordinances and comprehensive plans.
Kane County’s approved project will benefit CMAP, the region, and a Kane County municipality to be determined. Kane County will be sharing training they received in 2012 to undertake a recently completed Health Impact Assessment (HIA) studying the impacts of increasing local food production. An HIA is an emerging planning tool used to evaluate how a plan, program, or policy will affect the overall health of a population. A HIA is designed to inform policy makers before a plan, program, or policy is adopted.
Kane County Kane County will partner with CMAP to perform the HIA, while also training CMAP staff about the HIA process and providing an example of HIA for the region. The topic of study selected by the County and CMAP will be a municipal plan, program, or policy that directly implements CMAP's GO TO 2040 Plan and the Kane County 2040 Plan.
Municipalities in Kane County interested in having the HIA undertaken to benefit their community are encouraged to contact Mark VanKerkhoff, Director, Kane County Development & Community Services Department at (630) 232-3451 or at email@example.com.