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Down well does not affect water availability

Minooka gets distracted driving ordinance

MINOOKA – Even though Minooka is down one water well right now, officials believe it will not affect the community in any way.

Superintendent of Public Works Rob Tonarelli told the Minooka Village Board Tuesday night the motor in the village well on Ridge Road has ceased working and will cost $15,000 just for the service call. If the motor is bad, a replacement will cost $130,000 or more depending on if they purchase a rebuilt or new motor.

The well’s motor is nearly eight years old, Tonarelli said, and has taken a few lightning hits. A new motor comes with just a one year warranty.

While the well is out of service, there’s no need for concern over water availability.

“We have two deep wells and two shallow wells,” Tonarelli said. “Plus a connection with Channahon if we ever need it.”

Distracted drivers

will be fined

If you are caught using any type of electronic device that isn’t hands-free within Minooka village limits, it’s going to cost you.

A new ordinance, approved Tuesday, defines distracted driving and sets a dollar limit for administration costs at $60 for each offense.

Distracted driving is considered the use of any hand-held electronic communication device while driving, including phones, personal digital assistants and mobile computers.

It does not include global positioning or navigation systems integrated into the vehicle.

The ordinance does not apply to reporting an emergency situation or continued communication with emergency personnel, according to the ordinance.

A driver using a hands-free or voice operated device, including a headset, or a device activated by pressing a single button, is allowable as are two-way or citizens band radios, according to village records.

Minooka Police issue about six distracted driving citations a week, said Police Chief Justin Meyer Wednesday.

“The Minooka Police traffic safety initiative is to reduce the amount of traffic crashes of years past. One of the strategies is distracted driving enforcement,” Meyer said. “While conducting a traffic crash analysis, distracted driving within the vehicle was the most contributing cause of the traffic crashes.”

Hotel gets sign variance

Holiday Inn & Suites, planned for Ridge and Bob Blair roads, will be able to erect a 65 foot sign to attract customers traveling on Interstate 80.

Trustees approved the sign variance, which was requested through the Planning and Zoning Committee and taken under consideration by the full board, Village Administrator Dan Duffy said.

“This will be a big marketing piece of that whole (project),” Duffy said. “[The sign] will be seen for several miles on I-80.”

Pollution discharge fees paid under protest

The board again approved the payment of three state fees for pollution discharge, under protest, as they have continued to do year after year.

In a 4-1 vote, with Trustee Terry Houchens absent and Trustee Dick Parrish voting against, the board approved payment of $18,500 in fees for domestic waste, sludge generators and stormwater elimination system permits.

Village trustees all along have said the fees were tagged onto municipalities during former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s term as a way of helping to balance the state budget and are passed down to the taxpayer.

“They [the state] see it as an extra way to take money from (taxpayers),” said Village Finance Director John Harrington.

The hope is that someday the fees will be deemed inappropriate and by paying them in protest municipalities may recoup some or all of the money they paid.

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