Village of Gurnee Business Community Listserv February 2012

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


Upcoming Meetings:



Plan Commission Meeting

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 - 7:30 p.m.

Council Chambers

Gurnee Village Hall - 325 N. O'Plaine Road



Village Board Regular Meeting

Monday, February 20th, 2012 - 7:30 p.m.

Council Chambers

Gurnee Village Hall - 325 N. O'Plaine Road



Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 - 7:30 p.m.

Council Chambers

Gurnee Village Hall - 325 N. O'Plaine Road



Village Board Committee of the Whole

Monday, February 27th, 2012 - 7:30 p.m.

Council Chambers

Gurnee Village Hall - 325 N. O'Plaine Road



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Announcements for February 2012:

  1. News: Liquor, Massage and Other License Renewal Notices Mailed; Renewals due by Monday, April 30th
  2. News: Business Licenses Now Past Due; Please Remit Immediately
  3. News: Village Board Places Referendum on Electrical Aggregation on the March Primary Ballot
  4. Reminder: Emerald Ash Borer on Private Property
  5. Village of Gurnee Chamber of Commerce February/March Events
  6. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Offers Illinois Corporations Information on Mid-East Trade Opportunities
  7. Free Business Development Webinars Available through the Association of Small Business Development Centers 
  8. General Updates from the Village
  9. New Businesses in the Village

1. News: Liquor, Massage and Other License Renewal Notices Mailed; Renewals due by Monday, April 30th



The Village's Finance Division mailed renewal notices for the specialized licenses issued by the Village including liquor, massage and waste hauler licenses on Friday, February 3rd.  These licenses must be renewed by Monday, April 30th in order to be valid for the next fiscal year.  Please remit payment or notice to cancel the license at your earliest convenience if you receive a notice.  For any questions, contact Village Hall at (847) 599-7500.



2. News: Business Licenses Now Past Due; Please Remit Immediately



As a reminder, business licenses were due by Saturday, December 31st, 2011.  If you not have paid yet, your license is past due and is now subject to a 10% late fee.  Please remit payment immediately to avoid any further late charges.  As a reminder, you can pay by cash or check at Village Hall or online via the Illinois E-Pay System.  For any questions, contact the the Finance Division at (847) 599-7500.



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 ejensen@village.gurnee.il.us.

 

4. Reminder: Emerald Ash Borer on Private Property



As you may remember, an emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation within the Village was identified by the Village and confimed by the State of Illinois in January 2011.  This invasive pest has killed millions of ash trees across North America since its initial discovery in Michigan in 2002.  The presence of EAB is particularly troubling due to the fact that ash is a native species to Illinois and is quite prevalent on both public and private property.  Once the beetle is introduced into an area, it will kill every ash tree that is not somehow treated or removed. 



EAB larvae attack ash trees by boring into the actual tree and slowly strangling it by cutting off the flow of nutrients.  The photo to the right illustrates the kind of damage these larvae cause. 



Last year, the Village began implementation of a treatment program to combat EAB and to preserve as many public trees as possible.  Residents and private land owners are encouraged to consider their available options for dealing with this pest now as it may still be possible to save many trees before they are too damaged to be saved.  A full discussion of EAB, available resources and an overview of the Village's program can be found on the Village's website.



For any questions, contact the Public Works Department at (847) 599-6800.

 

5. Upcoming Village of Gurnee Chamber of Commerce  Events



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

  • The first multi-chamber Leaders Breakfast will be held Wednesday, February 15th from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the HeatherRidge Clubhouse.  Local author Maribeth Kuzmeski will speak on sales generation through simple marketing.  RSVP on the Chamber's website early as seating will be limited at the event. 
  • The Women's Networking Group (WNG) will have a networking meeting on Wednesday, March 7th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Steven's Restaurant.  More information will be available in the near future on the Chamber's website.

For any questions, visit the Chamber's website.



6. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Offers Illinois Corporations Information on Mid-East Trade Opportunities



For local established corporations with some trade experience, trade in the Mid-east may be a valuable new market.  Seth Vogelman, the Director of Trade for the the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's (IDCEO)'s Mid-East Office can be a valuable resource in helping you enter this market.   If you are interested in receiving regular e-notices detailing these types of trade opportunities for Illinois businesses, please contact Mr. Vogelman with the contact information below:



Seth Vogelman, Director - Trade

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

Middle East Regional Office

POB 45005,  91450 Jerusalem, Israel

Tel.  +972 2 571 0199

Fax.  +972 2 571 0713

Mobile:  +972.54.668.4802

Email: seth.vogelman@atid-edi.com



For more information on the IDCEO and on other potential trade opportunities, visit the IDCEO's website.



7. Free Business Development Webinars Available through the Association of Small Business Development Centers



Through the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), local businesses have the opportunity to complete a number of free webinars on the Association's website.  These webinars focus on topics such as using Google Docs as part of your business and other ways to better use free or low cost resources.  You can access all these webinars through ASBDC's website.

 

8. General Updates from the Village



Administration:



The Administration Department continues preparing the proposed fiscal year 2012/2013 budget, which will be released later this month.  This document is essential in directing and funding the projects the Village manages each year and is one of the core documents of the Village. 



 Community Development:



In the last month, Six Flags Great America began erecting X-Flight, a new wing roller coaster to open this spring at Great America.  The Village's Building Division will be working closely with Great America to ensure that the ride is safe and compliant with the Village's code.  The anticipated open date for X-Flight is Memorial Day weekend.  As you may know, wing roller coasters are a new type of roller coaster where guests ride alongside the track and not above or below it.  X-Flight will be the second such coaster in North America and only one of six in the world.  The photo to the right is a rendering from a virtual tour courtesy of Six Flags. 



The Planning/Zoning Division also finished interviews with potential consultants for an update of the Zoning Ordinance this past month.  The Zoning Ordinance regulates land use in the Village and is an integral piece of promoting the health, safety and welfare of residents and businesses.  A contract should be forwarded later this year to the Village Board to partner with one of these consultants. 



  Fire Department:



The Fire Department met with representatives from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) this past month to beginning planning for an October field inspection.  The ISO rates communities on their ability to respond to hazardous situations as determined through a field inspection, and this rating is one of several components in calculating home insurance premiums.  The Department's received an ISO rating of 3 during the last inspection in 2000 on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is the highest possible score.  

Police Department:



As a reminder, the Police Department offers local businesses specialized security training upon request.  Trainings are customized for each business based on its needs and can be conducted at either the place of business or at the Police Station. Potential examples of training include trainings related to handling robberies for banks, theft/shrink loss prevention for retailers or burglary prevention for all businesses.  For more information, contact Crime Prevention Technician Tom Agos at (847) 599-7080.



Public Works Department:



During this past month, the Public Works Department's Utility Division completed its water meter exchange program and closed out the final few residences and businesses that needed to change their meters.  As you may recall, through this program, the Department exchanged older, manual read meters for radio read meters.  The primary benefit of such a move is that it drastically reduces the amount of time necessary for reading meters and therefore, increases operational efficiency.  The Department thanks the community for its cooperation with the program.



As you may know, the Public Works Department manages snow plowing operations on Village streets.  So far during this winter season, the Department has responded to 11 winter events that had a combined total of 16.25 inches of snowfall.  Approximately 1005.3 tons of GeoSalt were used during these events with 21,378.5 gallons of SuperMix (a liquid anti-ice agent). 

Learn more about snow plowing by viewing our recent video posted on YouTube.



9. New Businesses in the Village



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

  • United Plastics - a plastics manufacturer opening at 1947 Delany
  • Camelot Care Center - a service provider opening at 5100 Washington
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