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White named Minooka's Officer of the Year

Minooka Police Officer Andrea White was named Officer of the Year by Chief Justin Meyer (left). White is congratulated by her parents Ken and Julie White.
Minooka Police Officer Andrea White was named Officer of the Year by Chief Justin Meyer (left). White is congratulated by her parents Ken and Julie White.

MINOOKA — Police Chief Justin Meyer, along with Village President Pat Brennan, on Tuesday night honored Officer Andrea White as the department’s 2012 Officer of the Year.

The officer of the year is chosen for his or her involvement in the community over and above the call of duty.

White was chosen for her commitment to traffic safety, her willingness to volunteer time to Special Olympics, and for her involvement with the department’s Cadet Program, Meyer said.

“She was the first to raise her hand to be a (cadet) advisor,” Meyer said.

White spent two years, until May of 2012, as a school resource officer for Minooka High School District. She is currently on the Will County Gang Suppression Unit. She has been with the Minooka Police Department for five years.

“I am happy to have the opportunity to work for a great department and to be able to do the gang suppression program,” White said.

Selecting White wasn’t about the most arrests, Meyer said.

“She always comes to work with a positive attitude,” he said. “It’s one of the things that put her above everyone else.”

Impact fee to be rescinded

A brick and mortar impact fee on homes built in Westwind Estates in Minooka will likely be rescinded at the regular village board meeting in February.

The village passed a resolution in 2004 charging developers a fee to offset the impact of additional students on the school districts during the housing boom. The money is collected by the village and distributed annually to the schools.

The impact fee was included in the annexation agreements of new property in the village at the time.

“We did this with most other communities in this area (at the time),” said Village Attorney Chris Spesia. “There’s no state statute to have this fee, so we put it into the annexation agreements.”

Westwind ended up being the only subdivision in Minooka annexed with the brick and mortar impact fee, according to village documents.

“Each (subsequent) annexation agreement was a little more strict,” said Village Administrator Dan Duffy.
Minooka discussed land values with the village of Channahon last summer. Channahon had a number of subdivisions with the brick and mortar fee and removed it to reduce permit fees for developers, according to documents.

A study by Minooka Finance Director John Harrington showed that permits in Westwind are $6,450 higher than in Arbor Lakes subdivision in Minooka. They are also higher than other communities, which may be hindering home construction in that area of the village.

Removing the impact fee will make Westwind Estates more builder-friendly, Duffy said following the meeting.

Trustees agreed Tuesday night to table the matter at the request of Village President Pat Brennan until Brennan can speak with school officials about the matter.

The rescind resolution is expected to pass the board of trustees in February. It will not have an effect on other impact fees for school sites or cash in lieu of land.

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