Updates on downtown redevelopment and other issues -- along with a chance to enjoy craft beer -- were part of the Long Grove village board's agenda Monday night at Buffalo Creek Brewing.
Homeowners association presidents were most of the crowd of 30 or so at tables in a second-floor private room at the downtown Long Grove brewery that opened last summer. Village President Bill Jacob said he wanted to restart the annual session geared for the subdivision leaders, so they can learn firsthand about what's happening in town.
Jacob said there was more to having the meeting at Buffalo Creek Brewing than just offering a casual setting to foster conversation; he said it was a way to showcase a new business.
"I think that's the other thing about doing things likes this," Jacob said. "(The residents) can get to know some of the new places. You can see some of the positive things that are happening in the downtown, the investment Mike Marr made here with the brewery, which is phenomenal."
Marr said he was happy to be asked to host the village board at the brewery.
"I was surprised," Marr said. "A lot of fraternal organizations, they meet in taverns, but usually not public officials."
As some at Monday's meeting settled in with a Kolsch-style beer called Marrvelous and other selections, Jacob said Buffalo Creek Brewing and other new business opened in 2017.
"From an economic development perspective, one of our key goals was to maintain no real estate tax," he said. "In order to fund our initiatives, we need to increase sales tax revenue. We are focused on doing those kinds of things to try to drive businesses to the downtown."
Looking ahead, an Old McHenry Road reconstruction project is to start in spring, Jacob said. Plans call for a stoplight with a crosswalk, new sidewalks, improved drainage and buried power lines in the downtown.
On the issue of public safety, Long Grove is mulling a proposal to continue with the Lake County sheriff's office for service. The village receives two deputies and two squad cars for 17 hours every day.
Under a proposed three-year contract that would begin May 1, Long Grove would pay $633,000 to the sheriff's office for an increase of 3.3 percent in first year. Long Grove would pay an extra 3.7 percent in 2019 and 3.1 percent in 2020.