Lester: Elk Grove Township confident building isn't contaminated

Elk Grove Township's supervisor tells me he's confident of getting an all-clear from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency if the township runs into trouble selling its former youth services building.

An adjacent building, a former dry cleaner in Mount Prospect's Golf Plaza shopping center, was contaminated by cleaning chemicals, documents show.

DiMucci Companies, which owns the shopping center, was given a “no further remediation” letter from the IEPA stating that no additional cleanup is necessary because toxic dry cleaning chemicals that had leached into the soil have dissipated.

Township Supervisor Mike Sweeney, who shared those documents with me after I was tipped to the situation, says the township also can seek IEPA confirmation that the youth services site at 401 W. Golf Road is free from contamination.

<h3 class="leadin">Why sell?

As my colleague Chris Placek reported, Elk Grove Township residents at a recent board meeting voted 40-26 to authorize the sale of the youth services building. Under Illinois law, a majority of at least 15 registered voters who attend a meeting must authorize township property sales.

The sale of the one-story, 1,650-square-foot building, built as a house in the 1950s, is part of a consolidation township officials have been discussing since last year. Eventually, they hope to merge township operations from three buildings to one.

The township is expected to seek bids for the youth services building and must sell it for at least $196,000, 80 percent of its $245,000 appraised value. If no acceptable bids come in, the township will seek its own documentation from the IEPA, he said.

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Sam Yingling

All over again

Not even a month after the election, state Rep. Sam Yingling of Grayslake is one of the first 2018 targets identified by the Illinois GOP this week as it launched its website - a continuation on a theme portraying the longtime House speaker as responsible for the state's fiscal woes.

Yingling narrowly won re-election Nov. 8 against Sam Drobinski of Wauconda. Yingling didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

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U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk was praised by the Jerusalem Post for his support for Israel. Associated Press File Photo

'Thank you, Senator Kirk'

An editorial by the Jerusalem Post thanks departing U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Highland Park.

Kirk “fought tirelessly to strengthen America's support of Israel, insisting that Israel is America's indispensable partner in the region. He was passionate about fighting the boycott movement, recognizing its goal as the destruction of the state of Israel, not a two-state solution,” the editorial reads. “But his chief claim to fame was his relentless campaign to denounce the Iranian regime as a threat to American national security interests.”

Kirk, a fixture in suburban GOP politics for the past three decades, will be replaced in January by Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates.

<h3 class="leadin">Another victim

Alternative schools in Palatine and Skokie are recent casualties of Illinois' budget impasse. The North Cook Young Adult Academies for students who had been facing expulsion from their local schools both have closed and their staffs were laid off, said Bruce Brown, director of the North Cook Intermediate Service Center.

It's the result of an odd hole in the state budget created in 2010 when then-Gov. Pat Quinn abolished Cook County's regional office of education after its leader Charles Flowers was charged with misconduct, theft and misapplication of funds.

Three intermediate service centers were set up to fill the gap, but Brown said there's no mechanism to fund them. A bill sponsored by state Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook to fund the centers languished and the legislature adjourned on Thursday without passing it.

The service center trains bus drivers, conducts school inspections and provides continuing education for administrators and teachers, among other things.

<h3 class="leadin">Asking for $132.5 million

Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200 board members have voted to put a referendum on the April ballot asking residents to approve $132.5 million for building improvements and a new early childhood center. Project costs are more than $150 million, but officials say some would be covered by reserve funds.

DiMucci interested in Elk Grove Township Golf Road property

Elk Grove Township plans to sell youth services building

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