Marengo News Briefs


The Marengo Park District sought input from residents on the re-opening of the Starfish Water swimming pool at Indians Oaks Park through a non-binding advisory referendum question on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. The two part query asked if residents wanted the pool’s re-opening to be researched and supporting a property tax increase not to exceed $150,000.\

The county clerk’s office posted unofficial results that did not favor the proposal with 1,184 “No” votes cast, and 672 “Yes” votes, a disapproval margin of 72.9 percent to 27.1 per cent.

Shuttered since 2014, the operational and maintenance costs that had originally forced its closure are still a factor in trying to revive it. The park district has faced financial troubles for nearly a decade resulting from the 2008 recession, receding home values, and a decline in anticipated property tax revenues. Marengo Parks and Recreation Superintendent Joe Vallez had cited problems of potential damage from inactivity at the site as being an unknown factor.

“We wanted to put the question in the hands of the voters, as it should be,” he said.

The park district’s Board of Trustees met Nov. 15, with an agenda item of issuing approximately $24,00 in taxable general obligation limited tax park bonds, and $115,295 in taxable general obligation tax park bonds “for the payment of certain outstanding obligations,” with the levy of the direct annual tax paying for the principal and interest.XXXX The board approved the bond issue, and both were purchased by Oak Brookbased Republic Bank, with a branch in Addison. The purchase was fostered through prior relationships between the financial institution and Vallez, resulting in a “great rate nearly 2 points less than any Mc Henry-area bank.”

Regarding the pool, Vallez said it is not anticipated that the question will come up again via a referendum route. “We are now formulating plans on what we can do,” he said. “We’re looking at possibly demolishing it, and putting up a zero-depth pool which is a spray park with little animals. The water is on a recycle system, it’s gathered in a tank, re-chlorinated, and returned to the pool.”




Gary Reiher booking photo.

Photo courtesy of Lake County sheriff ’s deptartment


 The early morning Nov. 16 snowfall resulted in numerous traffic accidents in the vicinity of routes 23 and 176, due to icy road conditions. The Marengo Fire Protection District responded to several assistance calls including one with injuries at the Route 23 Bridge.

“There were quite a few in our district…we had four service calls, Union had two, and Woodstock had several calls,” said the fire protection district’s Lt. Noel Gaines. “What I can tell you is that the bridges were solid ice, and Illinois Department of Transportation trucks couldn’t get out to the area in time to salt the roads.”

The areas where the accidents occurred were mostly under state jurisdiction, although the fire protection district and Marengo personnel monitored the areas until roads and bridges could be serviced. Motorists are urged to exercise caution during winter driving, especially on bridges as the roadbeds are the first parts to freeze due to its elevations.


Marengo resident Gary Reiher, 33, was ordered to be held in the Lake County Jail after being charged with home invasion, domestic battery, and violating an order of protection for the Nov. 3 early morning break-in of his ex-girlfriend’s home in Round Lake Park. 19th Circuit Court Judge Paul Novak set bail at $300,000 with conditions that potential release cannot be effectuated until a Nov. 15 domestic assault risk assessment hearing.

 Reiher, of the 500-block on Eisenhower Street, allegedly broke into the home of his ex-girlfriend at 4:00 a.m. Nov. 3, dragged her through the premises by the hair and arm, beat and choked her, poked the woman in the stomach with a knife, and hit her 4-year old son. He destroyed her cellphone, but she managed to use an old unit to call 911 at 10:45 a.m., to call authorities.

After police arrived, authorities said Reiher was found hiding under a patio deck, 25 yards from the residence, by a Lake County Sheriff ’s Department K-9.XXX Court records show he had attacked her previously, and pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of battery. He was sentenced to 12 months of probation, with a contingency order to have no contact with her.


The Riley Community Consolidated School District 18 unanimously approved a motion for the estimated aggregate tax levy extension for 2018 property tax assessments, during its Nov. 19 meeting. The action also included with the final adoption of the Certificate of Tax Levy, Tax Levy Resolution, and Certificate of Compliance with certain provisions of the Truth In Taxation Law. No public hearing was scheduled, as the amount was below the tax levy cap set by state law.

The total levy amount is $4,239,210 and includes fire prevention, safety, energy conservation, disabled accessibility, school security, and specified repair purposes. Itemized in the total levy amounts are: $3,132, 210 for educational costs; $627,000 for operations and maintenance; $250,000 for special education; $103,000 for municipal retirement; $52,000 for social security; $45,000 for tort immunity; $22,000 for working cash; and $8,000 for transportation.

The Certificate of Tax Levy was filed Nov. 20, with the Mc Henry County Clerk’s Office.