Newsletter December 2016

Town of Cortland


December 2016


Hello Neighbors and Friends,


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Old Man Winter has begun to invite himself into our lives! Thankfully he held off long enough for us to enjoy beautiful weather for our Annual Fall Parade & Festival. On behalf of all those that attended and enjoyed this event, and those who participated, I want to thank Trustee Brad Stone, members of the Parade & Festival Committee, and those who volunteered their time to make this event something, that as a community, we can be proud!

The mild fall weather also allowed for the successful completion of numerous road improvement projects and much needed improvements to OUR community assets. Those included:  much needed addition of storm sewers and the reconstruction of most of Elm Avenue west of Somonauk Road. Our Public Works Department was directly involved in this project to reduce costs and complete this project within budget; paving and striping of Barber Greene Road east of Somonauk Road; paving of Mary Aldis Lane; and paving of several alleys that serve residential homes in the older sections of our community.

Our Town Hall, which was constructed in 1888, underwent much needed extensive exterior rehabilitation. This included new shingles, gutters and downspouts, vinyl siding, and aluminum trim. The structure was built at a time that insulation was not used in the exterior walls. Insulation was installed as was exterior light­ ing on the building. A window located on the front wall above the door, which was covered when the building was sided in the 196o’s, was uncovered  and replaced with a stained glass window. The window has an interior light which displays a patriotic red, white, and blue design bearing the year 1888.

Rehabilitation of the exterior walls of the Public Works/Police Department building began this year, with the capping of the concrete block walls with steel paneling. The front of the building was completed this fall. This was necessary to address the problem of the exterior of the blocks chipping and falling from the building. This project not only improved the appearance of OUR building, it eliminated the hazard of falling concrete debris.

The appearance and physical condition of all of our community assets reflects on us as a community. They must be maintained to reflect positively on our community if we are to attract businesses and further development.

At the time of this letter, the Cortland Center Road project is nearly completed. I apologize for the inconvenience to some caused by the extremely long road closure. There was a three-week delay while we waited for Mediacom to relocate their cables. I also apologize to those who have had to find alternate parking for their vehicles. Ideally, this project would have been completed many years ago by developers.

Improvements in the Richland Trails neighborhood are nearly completed. I intend on meeting with mem­bers of the Homeowners Association to identify what other needs exist in their neighborhood that can be satisfied with what designated funds may allow.

In January 2017, the Cortland Police Department will begin 24 hour patrols of our community. Please see the enclosed article from Chief of Police Lin Dargis. This much needed and overdue enhancement in the de­livery of police services will not only service as a crime prevention tool, it will be a plus as we attempt to at­tract businesses that would be beneficial to our community.

I welcome Theisen Roofing & Siding Company to our community. This company is a very reputable and long standing company that has moved to Stephenie Drive from their original location in DeKalb. They have totally rehabilitated their building which has played significantly in improving the attractiveness of our industrial area, also new to that area is the regional office and training facility of NPL construction. These businesses are highly visible from Route 38 and Loves Road. Both are very attractive and welcome additions for our community.

There are two other businesses that recently purchased property on North Avenue. Construction is currently in the planning stages.

In anticipation of new construction and home improvements beginning in the spring, the Town Board approved replacing our contracted inspections firm with two part-time Town Code Enforcement Officials. This change will help the Town control the costs of required building inspections. They are also responsible for the enforcement of the property maintenance code. As such, they will be providing encouragement and guidance to residents and businesses which are not in compliance with the property maintenance require­ments. This is needed to protect the integrity of our neighborhoods, which in tum, will have a positive effect on our property values.

Our Public Works Department has completed converting all street lights belonging to and maintained by the Town of Cortland to LED. The dramatic change is especially visible as you travel Somonauk Road through the downtown area at night. In time, this conversion will save the Town money in costs associated with operation and maintenance.

At the present time, our Finance Department is prepared to bring next years’ tax levy before the Town Board. Our department heads have begun to prepare their respective annual budgets, and I am working with all of them to identify their respective needs in bringing more improvements to our community.

Several of our priorities for next year will be the repaving and striping of Somonauk Road between North Avenue and Route 38. We hope to make this possible in concert with the DeKalb County Highway Depart­ment’s plan to bring improvements to Somonauk Road between North Avenue in Cortland and Bethany Road in Sycamore. Among those improvements will be sidewalks from Meadow Avenue to North Avenue on the east side of Somonauk Road. Sidewalk repairs will continue throughout Town as the budget will allow. We continue to promote the extension of a Bicycle Path from the existing path along Peace Road to Loves Road, along Barber Greene Road, to provide safe travel for bicyclists and pedestrians as they venture to and from DeKalb and destination points in Sycamore.

With the onset of cold weather, construction of the Hartness Ice Rink at Suppleland Park is scheduled to take place in early December. Weather and ice conditions will dictate when the rink will be open.  Hours of use will be 9:00 am to 9:00 pm daily.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

It is my pleasure serving you and working with our Board of Trustees and Department Heads, in moving the Town of Cortland forward!


Russ Stokes


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