In this first publication of The Marengo-Union Times, I would like to introduce myself and Marengo area OutReach Enterprises, Inc. I am a retired Marengo Community High School teacher of 33 years and am now a grandfather to nine grandchildren.

The City of Marengo increased water and sewer rates by 5 percent on April 1, 2011. The increase was scheduled and approved back in 2008, said Joshua Blakemore, assistant to the Marengo City Administrator.

The Marengo Fire/Rescue Districts are proud to announce that we recently took delivery of a new 2010 Med Tec Ambulance. The ambulance was designed and purchased over the summer and delivered to us in February 2011. The total build time was approximately six months.

In a special meeting held on Tuesday, March 22, the board of commissioners for the Marengo Park District voted to open the park pool for the 2011 season. Previous decisions had been made to close the pool due to continued losses and much-needed repairs.

If you are a business owner in the Marengo-Union area, or are considering the expansion of your business into this ripe market, then you need to join the chamber of commerce. The Marengo-Union Chamber of Commerce mission is, “to be an advocate for business; promote business alliances; and provide services to our members which encourages growth and economic stability for the community.”

We all see it–Marengo has potential. Among the many benefits of a successful downtown are: quality business start-ups; expansions and retention of existing businesses; a comfortable, inviting atmosphere; and community pride. Additionally, a vibrant downtown protects the property values of the entire city. As the executive director of Marengo Main Street, I see a lot of potential in Marengo.

Planning a journey west from Chicago to Galena, Illinois? The stage will follow a route or roadway which is now U.S. Route 20 or U.S. Grant Highway. The year is 1850 and the Frink and Walker Stagecoach Line have been running this route since around 1844. You purchased your ticket on the Frink and Wagner Stagecoach Line, which operates out of Chicago to Galena, Illinois.

Over the last several months, we have heard a great deal about TIFs, (Tax Increment Financing Districts), in the City of Marengo. This has caused confusion among some of our citizens; and I would like to take a moment to speak to you about this issue. The Downtown TIF is approximately 52-acres, with the total taxes paid by these properties in 2009 being $640,742. The Eastern Corridor TIF is approximately 33-acres, with the total taxes paid by these properties in 2009 being $113,404.

Sports and other extracurricular activities will be returning to Marengo Community Middle School in the Fall of 2011.

The Marengo City Council voted to implement two Tax Increment Financing Districts (TIFs) in Marengo at the city council meeting on March 14, 2011 in city hall.

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