Newsletter May/June 2015

Town of Cortland


May/June 2015


Hello Friends and Neighbors,


As I write this letter, the Town Board of Trustees, our Accountants, and Department Heads, are reviewing the proposed FY16 Annual Budget.  I expect this budget to be finalized and passed before the end of this month. Our budgets have always been “tight” to say the least. However, through the financial diligence of our De­partment Heads, I intend to continue moving our town forward.  It is difficult to predict what negative impact will be felt by our town as our elected officials in Springfield attempt to right the State’s financial wrongs.  We will continue to prioritize our public works projects and adjust our budget when necessary. Public Safety and Community Services will remain priorities.

As soon as weather permits, site improvements will begin at our Water/Wastewater Office Building, Wastewater Reclamation Facility, and Police Station and Garage.

Construction of the Town of Cortland Veterans Memorial at Suppeland Park and improvements to the tot playground located in that park will begin soon.

I have budgeted for a shelter to be built this summer  in McPhillips Park and construction of a small shelter and tot playground located at Winterberry Avenue and Bluebell Avenue in the Nature’s Crossing neighbor­hood.  A public sidewalk will be completed at that site as part of this project.

The Town of Cortland signs located on Somonauk Road south of Barber Greene Road and Route 38 west of Loves Road are being rehabilitated, and two additional signs will be added later this year at other entry points to our community.  These signs will boldly reflect the Year 1865 as the year of incorporation of our Town.

Work will begin on sidewalk repair and replacement throughout Town. An effort has been made to identify those in most need.  Those repairs or replacements will take place until the money allotted in the FY16 Budg­et is exhausted.

I have met with our Town Engineers and Public Works Director to prioritize this year’s road and storm sewer repair needs.  All municipalities have been notified by the State of Illinois that portions of their anticipated Motor Fuel Tax monies are being retained by the State in an effort to balance the State’s budget. At this time we do not yet know to what extent this will affect us.  Tentatively, Aspen Drive between Linda Avenue and Ellen Avenue, including the cul-de-sac, will be repaved and storm sewer work will be performed that will im­ prove storm water drainage in the area of Somonauk Road and Chestnut Avenue.

An owner and Court Ordered Receiver have come forward to claim responsibility for 2 properties in the Chestnut Grove neighborhood. Our Code Enforcement/Building Inspectors and our Attorneys are working with the Court Ordered Receiver of those properties to bring them into compliance and abate all property­ related nuisances as soon as possible. This comes shortly before the property at 473 S. Hampstead Street was to become subject to condemnation and demolition.

The property at 85 S. Somonauk Road has recently been condemned, and the court has ordered demolition of the house which has been vacant and in a state of disrepair since 2007. Demolition is expected to take place in May.

Condemnation and demolition of the house at 86 N. Somonauk Road is still being pursued by the Town.

I thank everyone who responded to the Residential Trash Pickup Survey.  The Town Board of Trustees will be taking up this issue in June 2015. This postponement will allow newly elected Trustees to become acclimated to their new position and familiarize themselves with this and other town matters that are at hand.

The Sesquicentennial Town Hall Open House was well attended. Many people visited the Town Hall on Saturdays during the month of March to view historic photos, records, and artifacts relating the town’s very interesting past.  Photos and artifacts will remain available for viewing by guests during regular business hours.  Many residents have been interviewed and vintage photos discovered that will be part of the Town of Cortland Sesquicentennial History Book. The book will be completed and on sale on or before the Annual Cortland Fest which will take place on Friday evening, August 14, 2015, and Saturday, August 15, 2015.

Please take note of the many events that are being planned for this summer and fall by the Cortland Parade & Festival Committee and the Cortland Lions Club. These events are made possible through the time and hard work of community volunteers. I encourage everyone to get involved in our community.  You can help to cre­ate events that reflect positively on our town and foster community spirit and pride.

If you are interested in being part of the Parade & Festival Committee please contact Trustee Brad Stone or volunteer Trustee Chuck Lanning.  For information on the Cortland Lions Club please contact any Lions Club Member.

I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable summer.

As always, I thank you for the opportunity to serve our community.


Russ Stokes


Cortland Officer Receives Commendation

Cortland Police Officer Peggy Hopkins received recognition along with several women officers from DeKalb County Law Enforcement Agencies at the Northern Illinois Convocation Center on March 25· The event, “Women of the Shield: Honoring the Women in Law Enforcement of DeKalb County” was an oppor­tunity to recognize the contributions women have made to this community.More than 70 officers and community members attended the event. Peggy Hop­kins has been a police officer with the Cortland  Police Department for more than 10 years.


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