Village of Gurnee Business Community Listserv December 2011

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Village of Gurnee Business Community ListServe - Newsletter, Notices, & Events

Upcoming Meetings:

Village Board Regular Meeting

Monday, December 19th, 29011 - 7:30 p.m.

Council Chambers

Gurnee Village Hall - 325 N. O'Plaine Road

Plan Commission Meeting

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 - 7:30 p.m.

Council Chambers

Gurnee Village Hall - 325 N. O'Plaine Road

Even More Info:

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Please note that the Village will be closed on the folllowing days:

- Friday, December 23rd

- Monday, December 26th

- Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Announcements for December 2011:

  1. News: Village Appoints New Administrator, Police Chief & Deputy Police Chief
  2. News: Village Administrator to Retire; Community Reception to be held Friday, January 6th
  3. News: Village Board Places Referendum on Electrical Aggregation on the March Primary Ballot
  4. Reminder: Business Licenses Due Saturday, December 31st
  5. Village of Gurnee Chamber of Commerce November Events
  6. General Updates from the Village
  7. New Businesses in the Village

1. News: Village Appoints New Administrator, Police Chief & Deputy Police Chief

Pat Muetz, Village AdministratorMayor Kovarik and the Village Board recently appointed three new officials in response to two recent retirements.  Assistant Village Administrator Patrick Muetz (right) will become the Village's new Administrator effective January 1st, 2012 following the retirement of current Administrator Jim Hayner.  Similarly, Police Chief Kevin WoodsKevin Woodsideide (left) and Deputy Chief Jim Caldwell (right) were both recently appointed to their posts following the retirement of former Police Chief Bob Jones.  Woodside was a former Deputy Chief and Caldwell was the former Detective Commander.

"I am very excited about these appointments.  All three of our recent appointments have demonstrated excellent competence, professionalism and a deep commitment to the well-being of this community.  I expect nothing but good things from each of them," Kovarik said regarding the appointments.

2. News: Village Administrator to Retire; Community Reception to be held Friday, January 6th

As mentioned in the December issue of Keeping Posted and in the above article, Village Administrator Jim Hayner will be retiring effective Saturday, December 31st.  Hayner has had a 35 year career with the Village including serving as the Village Administrator for the past 24 years.  During his tenure, the Village saw explosive residential and commercial growth.  Some of the projects that were completed during this time include Gurnee Mills, much of the development along Grand and Hunt Club and KeyLime Cove Water Resort.  Hayner also recently lead the negotiations that finalized the financing agreement that will bring Macy's to Gurnee Mills in spring 2013.  It is because of Hayner’s leadership that the Village has one of the strongest economic positions among Chicagoland communities and an extraordinarily low amount of debt

In honor of Jim, a community reception will be held on Friday, January 6th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Steven's Restaurant.  Please feel free to stop by during this time and wish Jim best wishes and good luck in his retirement.

3. News: Village Board Places Referendum on Electrical Aggregation on the March Primary Ballot

As you may know, the State of Illinois recently gave residents and small businesses the ability to to select a different electricity supplier than Commonwealth Edison (ComEd).  Essentially, this means instead of buying your electricity from ComEd, you can choose a different company that may be able to offer you more favorable rates on your electricity costs (i.e. on the kilowatt hour rate).  As part of these changes, the State also empowered municipalities to "aggregate" their residential and small businesses populations to achieve even greater discounts on electricity than might be otherwise available to individuals and small businesses and solicit bids on electricity for the community.  However, the Village must first gain approval via a referendum to begin the process.

A brief overview of the referendum, its necessity and frequently asked questions regarding aggregation can be found on the Village's website for more background.  However, the Village would like to also directly address common questions from the business community regarding this process on this listserv.  Below are some of our most frequent questions:

1. How are small businesses defined?

A small business is defined as a commercial building using less than a 100 kilowatt peak demand per year (a business roughly the size of a fast food restaurant or smaller).  You can tell if you qualify as a small business by reviewing the usage on your ComEd bill.

2. What kind of savings can a small business expect on its energy bill from aggregation? 

In communities that have already been through the aggregation process, discounts from aggregation have been roughly 22 - 30% off the ComEd rate per kilowatt hour.  At this time, it is hard to predict what discounts may be realized but the Village has large residential and small business communities and expects that it will receive favorable bids on electricity.

3. Will this impact my business relationship with either ComEd or the Village?

No.  ComEd is what is known as a "transmitter" company in that it simply provides transmission of power to customers and bills for that power.  If you choose to find your own supplier or participate in aggregation, you will still be billed by ComEd and have to resolve outage issues with ComEd.  The only impact aggregation will have is that it will reduce your power bill since another supplier will be providing your electricity.

As far as the Village, this will not impact your relationship with us.  The Village will simply bid electricity and allow residents and businesses to receive the benefit of reduced bills.  Questions regarding billing and service will not be handled by the Village.

4. I support this referendum but do not live in the Village.  What can I do? 

Please spread the word and let those individuals that you know who live in the Village know about this referendum.  Your community may also have a similar referendum that you can support as a resident.

5. Where can I go for more information?

Please visit the Village's website for regular updates.  If you have specific questions, you can call Erik Jensen at Village Hall at (847) 599-7500 or e-mail

4. Reminder: Business Licenses due Saturday, December 31st

As a friendly reminder, business licenses renewals were mailed during November and are due on Saturday, December 31st.  As in previous years, you can pay by check or cash at Village Hall, by check via mail or online via the Illinois E-Pay System.  Please note that there is a convenience fee charged by Illinois E-Pay for using their system.

For more information on business licenses, visit the Village's website.  For any questions, contact the Finance Division at (847) 599-7500.


5. Upcoming Village of Gurnee Chamber of Commerce  Events

The Village of Gurnee Chamber of Commerce will hold the following events in December:

  • The Chamber will hold a Lunch N' Learn on Wednesday, Dec. 21st from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Risotto's.  A panel will be speaking on mobile phone marketing technology including smart phone applications and text messaging marketing.

For any questions, visit the Chamber's website.

6. General Updates from the Village

November was a busy month for the Village as prepared for the upcoming snow and holiday seasons.  Budget season goes in to full swing in early January and therefore, many of the Departments focus on preparing budget requests during November and December.  Below is an overview of events that occurred throughout the month.

The Administration Department began preliminary work on the annual budget.  This included finalizing the budget calendar and comparing current revenues against budgeted forecasts.  The Department also continued the water billing transition which should be complete next month.

The Planning Division of the Community Development Department has been working on updates related to emergency power generators regulations and noise standards in the Zoning Ordinance over the last month.  At the Village Board's regular December 5th meeting, the Board approved the Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeal's recommended amendments.

The Economic Development Commission had its first meeting on Thursday, December 1st.  Further developments will be posted as they become available.  As you may recall, this Commission was formed to help develop an economic development strategy for the Village.

The Public Works Department has been continuing preparations for the snow season.  As you may know, the Department is one of the first in the area to begin introducing liquid ice control agents into its operations.  This year they will introduce another anti-icing agent called AG64, an all natural alternative to salt brine mixtures which tend to be corrosive to the environment.  The Department hopes that this will continue to reduce the need for rock salt.

7. New Businesses in the Village

The Village is excited to welcome the following new businesses in the Village:

  • St. Nick's Shoppe - A Christmas retailer open at Gurnee Mills
  • Knights of Columbus - A Christmas tree retailer at 6401 Gages Lake
  • Jos A Bank Clothiers - A clothing retailer at 7055 West Grand
  • The Button Room - A Button Museum at 4072 Old Grand
  • Party Plus Furniture - a furniture retailer open at 3563 Grand
  • Cashmere - A clothing retailer open at Gurnee Mills
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