Ward meeting discovery: Alderman McAdams is having trouble keeping up

Fifth Ward alderman Scott McAdams held a ward meeting last week. I’ve listened to a recording of it that’s making the rounds. One item of note from the meeting is the alderman’s admission that he’s not read the draft update of DeKalb’s comprehensive plan even though the city is collecting public input. I’ve transcribed his…

The depot’s place in a comprehensive development plan

During DeKalb’s last Planning & Zoning Committee (P&Z) meeting, a member of the public asked whether Union Pacific Railroad intended to sell its old train depot. The reply: City Manager Nicklas responded he has had several conversations regarding the rumor of Union Pacific selling the depot, however as far as he knows they are not…

Water reservations in DeKalb

Third in a series. First one is here. Second is here. Water conflicts continue to develop in the Joliet area. A small but vocal group of protesters gathered on the steps of Joliet city hall on Monday night to rail against Mayor Robert O’Dekirk’s controversial plan to solve a looming water crisis by tripling rates…

DeKalb taps into water trends

First of a series. The Better Government Association recently published an article about Joliet’s ambitious and controversial mayor, who plans to buy Lake Michigan water from Chicago. [Water scarcity] tensions have arrived in northeastern Illinois, which, despite its proximity to the world’s fourth-largest source of fresh water, faces a coming water crisis. Among the first…

A look back: DeKalb and its radium water

25 years ago, residents of DeKalb organized to pressure the city to reduce the amount of radium in our drinking water. The city, which already had obtained a variance that allowed it to exceed EPA limits for radium, required a second variance in 1996 to obtain permits to extend water mains for new construction. This…

Let’s learn from Hammer before we incentivize Barb

Remember “Project Hammer,” the big food manufacturing and warehousing project that ended up unmasked as Ferrara Candy? We offered them a lot of incentives to come here. The incentives are flowing because that was the only way Ferrara would choose DeKalb for its new facilities over a city in Wisconsin, city leaders told us. From…

Task force a potential bright spot for Annie Glidden North revitalization

It’s no secret that my main concern for the Annie Glidden North revitalization effort is the possibility that City of DeKalb and NIU are preparing to push a secret agenda to the detriment of public input and outcomes. As I exhaustively outlined for you earlier, email discussions of private planning, from the “DeKalb 2020 Prospectus”…

Fourth Warders on/near South Seventh Street: Cell phone tower application is back

In case this is new to you, we’ll start with a recap. From a post published April 2015: [DeKalb Planning & Zoning Commission] has discussed a request made by Central States Tower (CST) for a permit to place a Verizon cell tower/antenna at 1300 South 7th Street even though CST did not follow procedures required…

Where the city’s interest in Annie Glidden North comes from

***Update 8/12*** Added city manager Anne Marie Gaura and fixed clarity issues. As our city council prepares to discuss a revitalization plan proposal for the Annie Glidden North (AGN) section of DeKalb, we should be aware of the possibility of a “done deal” already worked out by NIU and private interests, promoted by city staff…

DeKalb Park District did not endorse the Annie Glidden North plan proposal. Here’s why

The DeKalb Park District (DPD) did not endorse City of DeKalb’s Annie Glidden North proposal. The resolution on the issue, unanimously passed during a special meeting Tuesday night, reads as follows: NOW BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of the DeKalb Park District, County of DeKalb, and State of Illinois, as follows: That…