Newsletter April/May 2017

Town of Cortland


April/May 2017


Hello Neighbors and Friends,


Despite our mild weather, it seems spring is really not here until we’ve been treated to one more snow. It held off just long enough for us to put our new snowplow in service. Even with this storm, the reduction of salt used this year will compliment financially, the amount of public improvements we will be able to address this sum­mer.

Since our last Newsletter your Town Board has been busy addressing numerous issues. One of those has been refinancing of the bonds associated with NeuCort Lakes Subdivision Special Service Area Bonds (SSA’s.)Those efforts have come to fruition after much work from our municipal finance and legal teams and the numerous bond holders and their respective financial and legal experts. This effort will reduce SSA payments for those in the NeuCort Lakes neighborhood. Unfortunately, there was no interest by the bond companies to refinance, at this time, the SSA bonds associated with other neighborhoods. Residents in NeuCort Lakes will be seeing a reduction in those payments.

We have continued to work with, through our partnership with the DeKalb County Economic Development Association, several new businesses that will be relocating and building on a 20 acre parcel of land on East North Avenue. DC Trash will be relocating to that location from unincorporated DeKalb County. All Around Pumping will be building and relocating there from DeKalb. They are a welcomed and true asset to the future of our Town.

Recently I have been fielding numerous inquiries regarding residential development. Further residential development has been a great concern, given the type of wastewater treatment facility that the previous administration approved and subsequently had built. The facility is high tech and very efficient. It is well maintained and professionally managed by licensed staff. However, the capacity of t he facility is dictated by the amount of effluent it can spray. When the recession struck our community, areas that had been planned by developers, that would be used to spray the effluent, went away with the developers. Those properties were basically abandoned by the owners and the properties became available for purchase from DeKalb County at tax sales. The new owner(s) of those properties do not feel they should be responsible to the Town for paying into the SSA’s agreed to by previous owners. I cannot report to you anything further due to ongoing litigation. We continue to defend lawsuits brought about by the decisions that were made years ago. In all fairness, no one at that time saw the economic downturn that was ahead.

In early February I met with our Town Engineers and the Director of our Water/Wastewater Department to dis­ cuss wastewater capacity. I asked State Representative Bob Pritchard to join in those conversations and asked that he facilitate a meeting with the Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) in Springfield regarding our situation. I requested the meeting as a result of interest expressed in completing Phase One of the Nature’s Crossing subdivision and the Robinson Farm subdivision. As a result of that meeting, the Town will be issuing building permits for lots in all the unfinished subdivisions that have infrastructure already in place.

Our staff will be working with the IEPA for the next 36 months monitoring the impact on the capacity of our Wastewater Treatment Facility. The Town of Cortland was complimented by the IEPA Director for being “proactive” in confronting this situation before it became problematic.

We must continue to be very vigilant of this situation as to not create any additional financial burdens on our community that could have and should have been averted. I have been around “awhile” and, if nothing else, I’ve learned from the mistakes of others. As someone entrusted to be, among other things, a risk manager for our community, I’m sure my slow and calculated response to furthering residential development is respected by our taxpaying residents.

On a much happier note, but still concerning our Water /Wastewater Department, the Town received a commendation from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) for maintaining perfect compliance in 2016, for 12 consecutive months, in maintaining the correct levels of fluoride in our drinking water. This is the ninth year in a row our Water/Wastewater operators have been commended by IDPH.

Also on a happy note, Chief Dargis reports receiving positive responses from residents seeing Cortland Police Officers on patrol in their neighborhoods at all hours. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office also appreciates their tour of duty.

The Town Board is presently working with staff to approve the FY18 Budget and our Public Works Department is working with our Engineers to identify this summer’s MIT road projects.

I am working with the Richland Trails Homeowners to bring much needed improvements to their neighbor­ hood nature preserve/park area. The money for that project is available through the settlement previously reached with Cambridge Homes and the bond companies that brought the other much needed improvement to that neighborhood.

We will continue to move our Town forward! There will be more on other public improvement projects, and commercial development, in the next Town Newsletter.



As always, it’s a pleasure to serve.


Russ Stokes




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