Residents happy with new Pingree Grove municipal center
About 150 people attended a ribbon cutting and open house Saturday for the new Pingree Grove municipal center, and the verdict was unanimous: It was a much-needed upgrade from the two trailers that used to house village hall.
"It's such an improvement," resident Bob Nelson said.
The new building also got major thumbs-up from village accountant Karin Yumping, who showed it off to her husband, Gerry, and daughters, Isabelle and Olivia. "It's like a dream come true. We are so happy to be in this building, especially to serve better the village and the residents."
The $4.2 million, 29,000-square-foot building is at 555 Reinking Road, about half a mile north of the old location. The building houses village hall -- administrative offices and a meeting room, where the board held its first public meeting July 1 -- and a large garage for public works equipment.
The building has LED sensors and other energy-efficient features. It was designed by Kluber Architects and built by Lamp Inc. of Elgin.
Funding included $3 million in 20-year municipal bonds and $1.2 million from developer D.R. Horton.
Pingree Grove also has a new village manager, Dean Frieders, who served as the village's attorney for many years. He started in his dual role June 1. Frieders said the new building already has attracted larger crowds to board meetings.
And the village has a new clerk, Shelly Jureczek, who also works as customer service supervisor, a new position. She started in July and had previously worked in another community with Frieders. Frieders said about 50 people applied and Jureczek was the unanimous choice from the hiring panel, which included Frieders, the village president and the finance director. The village clerk is appointed by the board.
The previous village clerk, Dawn Grivetti, also worked as communications manager, a position that was eliminated. Grivetti, who had worked for the village for almost four years, said last month that she had applied to work as customer service supervisor but was not selected.
"I chose not to ask too many questions. I have no ill will; I learned a lot there," she said.