Long Grove's need to repair or replace a venerable covered bridge was among the topics that emerged Thursday at the Lake Zurich Area Chamber of Commerce's annual Breakfast With the Villages.
Top elected officials from Lake Zurich, Long Grove, Kildeer, Deer Park, Hawthorn Woods and Lake County provided updates to the 100 or so breakfast guests at Kemper Lakes Golf Club. Recently retired Illinois Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Doug Whitley gave the keynote address.
Downtown Long Grove's one-lane covered bridge on Robert Parker Coffin Road came up when Village President Angie Underwood took her turn at the podium. The bridge dates to about 1906.
"It's in need of serious repair and, frankly, replacement," she said.
Underwood said village officials may seek federal funding to help pay for potential bridge work. She said the bridge would be expanded to two lanes to comply with federal regulations.
"It'll still be a covered bridge, but it may look slightly different," Underwood said.
In 2007, the Federal Highway Administration gave the bridge a 27 percent sufficiency rating. Long Grove officials at the time said the low rating didn't mean the single-lane bridge was unsafe, in part, because a roof limits the type of vehicles that use the structure.
Lake Zurich Mayor Thomas Poynton told the crowd that voters in his town might get to decide whether to grant home rule to the village government in the November election. Home rule would allow village officials to have more local control over taxes and other matters.
Towns with populations exceeding 25,000 receive home rule automatically, but it requires voter approval in smaller communities. Lake Zurich has nearly 20,000 residents.
"There comes a time when young folks need to move out of their parents' homes and start to make decisions for themselves," Poynton said. "Same with municipal government."
Lake Zurich village trustees are to vote Aug. 18 on whether to place the proposed home rule referendum on the November ballot.
Kildeer Village President Nandia Black said a new Chick-fil-A restaurant should open in October on Rand Road at Deer Park Boulevard. Black said she's often been questioned by residents and others about the opening date for the popular restaurant.