The Marengo Park District would like to give a big thank you to all that have extended a helping hand in bringing the park district back in a positive direction. While there is a long way to go we have certainly seen things get better and hold out hope for more good things in the future. We have tried to present the challenges that the park district still has in front of it, some of the more pressing issues involve facility management and finance.

The park district is struggling with a repair of the roof at the community center; because of poor design which has led to snow settling on the roof and water leaking in to program areas, the roof over the building addition needs to be repaired. The cost of this repair is approximately $19,000.

The insurance claim for the flood and destruction of the new hardwood dance floor was denied; the cause was determined to be poor building design that led to the flooding. Repairs were made in November as well as replacement of the hardwood floor, with the cost covered by the park district.

The cost for these repairs was approximately $6,500.

The largest hurdle the park district faces is the restructuring of a bond issue that is scheduled to start repayment in 2020. The district currently has two outstanding bond issues and a bank loan, this long term debt was taken out many years ago. In 2020 the park district will be required to repay three outstanding bond issues and any outstanding balance that remains on the bank loan. The 2020 bond issue will cost the park district over $300,000 per year for four years, this will be in addition to the $250,000 required to pay for the two other bond issues and the approximately $25,000 annual payments for the outstanding bank loan. The district only receives approximately $490,000 annually from tax revenue, so the district is developing a plan to manage this problem that is three years away.

I have heard many positive comments from residents about the information being shared regarding the park district financial situation both present and past. I present this information because the residents deserve to know what problems are present and hopefully will gain an understanding of the park district moving forward.

DionneMariah Dionne signed with Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. Southeastern University competes in the NAIA division of college athletics. Mariah has been a four year varsity starter here for the Indians. She will hold several individual pitching records after she leaves MCHS. Mariah has been very solid inside the circle and we hope that she can finish off her great career with another trip to the state tournament. During Mariah's sophomore season, the Indians were state runners-up, where she earned all-state and player of the year (Northwest Herald) honors. Mariah is undecided of her degree at this time.

Leah SecorLeah Secor signed with Rock Valley College in Rockford on November 12, 2016. She will be playing for the three time back to back to back NJCAA D3 National Champions, and joins the same program that Marengo Alums Jessica Turner, Abby Kissack and Taylor Carlson experienced. She is continuing her post-secondary education to pursue Agricultural Business. Head Coach Darin Monroe said "Leah comes from one of the best programs in Illinois and will have the opportunity to play the middle infield from the start. She has quick hands at the plate and has some untapped power that we will look to develop. Leah has great range and excellent arm strength." Leah will be a 4 year varsity starter for the Indians this spring, with her primary position at short stop. Congratulations!

wreathThe Marengo Fire Protection District urges the community to help them “Keep the Wreath Red” throughout the month of December.

The firefighters will place a wreath, which is lighted with red bulbs, in front of the fire station at 120 E. Prairie Street, that is visible to all. If a fire occurs during the holiday season in which holiday decorations are involved, one of the red bulbs will be changed to a white bulb. This will act as a remind of the safety precautions that should be taken during the holiday season. Visit us at

Winter has not reared its face, and we have not seen the snow....(yet). When the snow does come, and I am sure we will see it soon, this will turn up the heat in our homes as we begin to bundle up. Let’s discuss fire safety in the home: It is a fact that half of home fires occur, from heat related appliances in the months of December, January and February (for obvious reasons). Accidents happen; however, accidents can be prevented - here are a few tips to help prevent an accidental fire in your home:

Santa trainI received a note the other day - an invitation for me, my friends and my family. I thought I would share it with all of the people in the Marengo-Union area. It reads:

Pleasant Acres Farm(Editor’s note: This is the second of a series of articles on local farms that produce the food we eat.)

Pleasant Acres Farm is a small livestock and grain farm located at 306 Busse Road between Marengo and Harvard. Owner Joe Clarke was born and raised in Prospect Heights. Thirtythree years ago he married his high school sweetheart, Beth Stark, and the two of them became interested in farming.

Iron worksD5 Iron Works will soon be moving from its location in Woodstock to the outskirts of Union. The land is next door to Intren [formerly Trench-It].

“We bought property in Union to expand our business in a new permanent facility,” says owner Ray Lidner. “We service the Chicagoland area and, just from a logistical standpoint, Union is located only ten miles from Interstate I-90.”

bootsIt is time to shop for the gardeners on your holiday list. We love to share ideas for gifts that any gardener or homeowner would love to receive. If you visit a local garden center, you may find some of our suggestions. Otherwise, start early and order from a catalog or online.

Gardeners always appreciate seeds, especially anything that is heirloom. We like Seed Saver’s Exchange, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Renee’s Garden for unique selections of vegetables and flowers. You could package seeds in a gift basket with gel kneepads, garden gloves, plant markers or gardener’s skin care products.

A few weeks ago, just before Thanksgiving, Marengo got an early holiday present. The area franchise holder/developer of Taco Bell is making commitment to build a Mexican fast food restaurant located on the northwest corner of Lindow Lane and USH 20 – East Grant Highway. To be built on the outlot in front of Sullivan’s Grocery with access coming off of Lindow, the 2,053 square-foot building is planned to have dining room seating for 42 patrons, and an outside patio that could seat another 31. And of course, one of the building’s other features is a drive-through for carry- out service. With the building’s plan currently under permit review, and knowing that construction start-up is somewhat weather dependent, for now it is anticipated that the restaurant will open up mid-2017.


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