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March/April 2015

The sketch of the Wiant House in all its glory (above, right) is from the 1874 DuPage County Atlas and was provided by the West Chicago City Museum.

Project of Renewal
Known as the "Joel Wiant House" to many West Chicago residents, the structure located at 151 West Washington Street has become a regular place to visit and observe as it undergoes a complete restoration.


What was once a building with serious structural and cosmetic deficiencies and at risk of being demolished,

has now become a treasure reflecting the craftsmanship and grandeur of the past. Originally constructed in 1859,

the home saw many changes over the years and most recently was used as office space on the first floor with two, single bedroom apartments occupying the upper level.



The West Chicago Community Center (WCCC), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to preservation and education, saw the challenge as an opportunity to meet their mission in a big way. The City agreed to sell the building to the WCCC with the condition that the exterior be improved to eliminate code violations that had existed for many years.


"The restoration has gone well beyond simple code compliance; this has become a labor of love with the goal of making it a showplace."  


David Sabathne, President of the WCCC 



Natural slate was purchased from a mine in Vermont and copper was used to cap the windows, as would have been done in the late 1800s. Windows have been taken apart and totally restored using original weights, ropes and pulleys. While the original hand-forged square nails couldn't be re-used, they have been saved.

Dental and crown moldings were restored and fabricated to an exact match.  Brick and mortar were replaced where structural integrity became a serious concern, adhering to the original formula which did not contain Portland cement, a much harder mortar that is used in today's construction.



Interior improvements have now begun as the cold weather prohibits additional exterior improvements. There are however, plans to completely reconstruct the original east side porch including the return of the roof which was removed decades ago.


The WCCC Board has taken great care to research materials and historical design standards, as well as consult with local and state organization during the restoration project. The completion date is estimated to be around June 2015. Tours of the facility will be conducted by the WCCC when all approvals have been received from the City.


Information for this article is courtesy of the WCCC. 

March 6 - Artist Reception
March 6 - Late Night at the Museum

March 8 - Daylight Saving Time

March 10 - Final Voter Registration Day

March 20 - Historiography

March 21 - ArtShare Saturday

March 22 - Friends of Museum Dance

March 26 - Local Music Night/Soup

                  and Bread

March 28 - Coffee with the Mayor

April 10 - Artist Reception
April 10 - Late Night at the Museum

April 7 - Consolidated General Election

April 17 - Historiography

April 18 - ArtShare Saturday

April 23 - Local Music Night/Soup

               and Bread

April 25 - Coffee with the Mayor 



    Vendor Applications Still Being Accepted 


March 3 -  It's All Greek to Me!

March 8 -  Tea Time Knitting

March 17 - St. Patrick's Day-Long Treasure Hunt

March 18 - LEGO Robotics

March 21 - Sofia the First

March 25 - Peep Science

March 28 - Springtime Fun!

March 29 - Teddy Bear Clinic

March 31 - Movie Makers Club

April 1 - LEGO Robotics

April 4 - Super Science Saturday

April 4 - Reading to Rover

April 11 - Storytime Strike! 

April 12 - Tea Time Knitting

April 15 - I Survived the Titanic

April 16 - Pendulum Art

April 19 -  LEGO Block Party

April 22 - Upcycled Clothes

April 25 - Books for Breakfast


For details visit

or call (630) 231-1552.



March 28 - Underwater Egg Hunt

April 4 - Breakfast with the Easter Bunny         

April 4 - American Legion Egg Hunt @

             Reed-Keppler Park


For details visit or call (630) 231-9474.


There's exciting news for all who are following the progress of Healthy West Chicago. A grand launch to introduce and share the results of the Action Plan created with the community's feedback will take place at Blooming Fest, May 16, 2015.

More details to come, but save the date.



Message from the Mayor

We're in the home stretch, spring is in sight. Our Public Works crews have done a great job keeping our roads clear and safe, and hopefully, the worst of the cold and snow is behind us and we can look ahead to the bright future.


The City continues to focus on long-term plans and progress for the community. Among those opportunities are the City's downtown improvement and redevelopment plans, in which the City has made a significant investment over many years.


An upcoming effort in the City's downtown planning and redevelopment will be a "Developer Review Panel", which was awarded to West Chicago by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). This panel will be conducted in the spring of 2015. It will allow review of the City's downtown development plans and prospective redevelopment areas by a panel of experts, including real estate developers. Getting this kind of feedback, now that the economy is improving, will provide insight for the best ways to move forward. Further, it will increase the City's, and the downtown's, profile to the real estate development community.


To be awarded this project, the City went through an application review process with the RTA. The application stressed that in addition to having the downtown area plans reviewed, the City desires to have the downtown market area analyzed for prospective development, and to obtain recommendations that will assist us in our redevelopment efforts.


Future redevelopment will further contribute to the value of the downtown area. Overall, property values in the downtown area have increased over 113% since 1990. With anticipated redevelopment, property values are estimated to increase an additional 126% in the next 12 years.    


I look forward to sharing the Panel's recommendations with you in a future message!



Mayor Ruben Pineda


City Services and Resources



Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 8, 2015. This is traditionally a time to check and/or change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly. Make the most of the extra hour of daylight by adding an activity which further connects you to the community, helps a friend or neighbor, or brings added enjoyment to yourself and your family. 



Whether you are thinking of home improvement, remodeling or building a new home, the City's goal is to ensure quality construction for the homeowner. It requires contractors to obtain a license by submitting the Contractor's Registration Application - 2015 (PDF - 44k) available at under Residents / Forms & Applications, along with a licensing bond to the City. Contractors licensed by the State of Illinois (plumbers, roofers, etc.) need only submit a copy of their license for those permits within the respective discipline for which the license has been issued. Furthermore, building permits are a required step in the process for new construction (including most accessory structures) and remodeling.  A building permit is issued once plans that comply with City Code are received, reviewed and approved. The builder is responsible for requesting all required inspections as construction proceeds. Building Permit Application forms are also available at City Hall, 475 Main Street.



Residents may dispose of an unlimited quantity of leaves during the week of April 20 - 24, 2015 on the regularly scheduled garbage pickup day. No stickers are required for leaves during this week and no other yard waste may be mixed with them. All leaves must be placed in a biodegradable "Kraft" yard waste bag or a 95-gallon yard waste cart. Leaves will not be accepted in plastic bags or cardboard boxes.



Yard waste collection will resume April 1 - November 30, 2015. All yard waste that is not placed in a 95-gallon yard waste cart must be placed in a biodegradable "Kraft" yard waste bag with a universal sticker attached.



The City's monthly brush pickup program, which runs May through November of each year, is scheduled to begin on May 4, 2015. Brush must be placed at the curb no earlier than two days prior to the first Monday of each month. Limbs should be no larger than eight inches in diameter (length is unimportant), and neatly stacked with all butt ends in the same direction facing the curb line. Limbs should not be bundled. This program is not designed for pickup of whole tree removals. For more information, please visit the City's website at



The annual Citywide Collection Event will be offered to those living in a single or two-family residence on the regularly-scheduled garbage collection day during the week of May 4 - 8, 2015. A total of eight "Universal" stickers must be affixed on the pile of ACCEPTABLE items. All eligible residents are encouraged to do some spring cleaning and take advantage of this annual program. If you would like more information, or if you have questions on acceptability of an item for pickup, please visit or contact the event coordinator, Michelle Baldino, at (630) 293-2255.  

  • Examples of "Acceptable Items" include, but are not limited to; garage and attic clean-out debris; barbeque grills; bicycles; carpeting, if rolled into sections not exceeding four feet in length and not weighing more than 50 pounds per roll; household construction materials (e.g., lumber, drywall, plywood, doors) if bundled or placed within 33-gallon refuse containers and/or not weighing more than 50 pounds; furniture; box springs and mattresses; and household fixtures, excluding electronics as described below.
  • Examples of "Unacceptable Items" include, but not limited to; hazardous waste; tires; automotive parts, fluids and batteries (e.g., oil, transmission fluid, windshield washing fluid, starters, brake shoes, etc.); household batteries; oil based paint; pesticides; and propane tanks, and large household appliances (refrigerators, washers, dryers, stoves, dishwashers). Small household appliances (e.g., toasters, televisions, microwaves, computers, monitors, speakers, stereo equipment) are no longer acceptable items as they are now banned from Illinois landfills from all sources under penalty of law.You may visit for more information on recycling the materials listed above.



The City will be flushing fire hydrants this spring, weekdays between 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. around the last two weeks of April. Signs will be posted in the areas one day prior to hydrant flushing. Hydrant flushing maintains West Chicago's water distribution system and assures proper operation of hydrants in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately, discolored water can result. This discoloration poses no health risk. However, please check the water before washing laundry.



During the period between May 15 and September 15, the outside use of unattended running water from a hose or sprinkling system, for the use of watering/sprinkling of lawns and gardens, is limited to odd numbered days for buildings/residences that bear an odd numbered street address and on even numbered days for those which bear an even numbered street address. An exception may be granted for a two-week period of watering for sod and/or newly seeded lawns. For more information, please call the Public Works Department at (630) 293-2255. 



As a means of protecting the City's public water supply system from contamination due to backsiphonage or backflow of contaminants or pollutants through the customer's water service connection, the City requires certain water users to install and maintain an approved backflow prevention (cross-connection control) device. The purpose of the cross-connection control device is to prevent materials from entering the public water system if, and/or when, the pressure of the private water system exceeds the pressure of the public water system. Per City Code and State statute, all cross-connection control devices shall be inspected at the time of installation and at least annually by the consumer using a person approved by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency as a Cross Connection Control Device Inspector (CCCDI). The inspection of mechanical devices shall include physical testing in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Results of the devices inspected must be forwarded to the City's Public Works Department. Please call the Public Works Department at (630) 293-2255 with any questions. 


Public Safety Matters 



March through August mark the height of the severe weather season in Illinois. During this time, we are most likely to encounter severe weather events such as thunderstorms, lightning, hail, damaging straight-line winds, and tornadoes. Although nothing can be done to prevent severe weather, every family should know the basics of how to protect themselves from the potential dangers it poses. For information on what to do before, during and after a tornado or other weather emergency, visit the new ESDA section at (Home / Government / Departments / Police / Emergency Services Disaster Agency (ESDA).

The City of West Chicago operates seven warning sirens throughout the community which are designed as outdoor warning devices. Residents may not hear them from inside their homes. Warning sirens are activated in DuPage County based on any of the following criteria:  
  • A confirmed sighting of a tornado, tracking toward the community, is reported by a trained weather spotter within the community or surrounding communities.
  • The receipt of a tornado warning, issued by the National Weather Service, including the community.
  • Reports of significant ongoing storm damage (i.e. uprooted trees, structural damage,   multiple broken windows, de-roofings) secondary to storm-related winds.

If an event meets any of the above criteria, the sirens will be activated only once; there is no "All Clear" signal from the sirens. Sirens are activated (tested) on the first Tuesday of every month in compliance with the Illinois Emergency Management Act (20 ILCS 3305 / 12).  



Dangerous city traffic situation with a cyclist and cars in motion blur With all the beauty spring brings, it also presents a unique set of driving challenges. Be alert for potholes created from temperature extremes during the winter months. Also, keep in mind how quickly seasonal weather conditions change, sometimes from sunny skies to thunderstorm downpours in a matter of minutes. Slow down for the increase in outdoor activity by children, adults and families; be alert for additional pedestrians, joggers, cyclists and dog walkers.


Remember, pedestrians have the right of way at intersections whether crosswalk striping is present or not.


Here are some common-sense tips to keep in mind as you hit the highway during this sometimes slick and soggy time of year:

  • When rain or mist begins, slow down.
  • Turn on your fan and defroster to keep the inside of your windshield clear of moisture.
  • Avoid driving through big puddles; splashing water could affect your brakes and impair the vision of other motorists.
  • Be alert for icy conditions caused by thawing snow, spring rains or mist, especially in shaded areas, and on bridges and overpasses. These areas tend to freeze first.
  • Look carefully for pedestrians; they can be difficult to see in rain and fog. (Don't count on them looking out for you.)

The West Chicago Police Department Traffic Safety Unit wants you to enjoy the spring - and drive carefully. 


Museum TransomCity Museum 
132 Main Street - (630) 231-3376
Friends of the West Chicago City Museum

Late Night at the Museum

Date: Friday, March 6, 2015

Time: 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.


Late Night at the Museum

Date: Friday, April 10, 2015

Time: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.


The City Museum will continue its Historiography program in March and April, a non-fiction book reading group held in collaboration with the West Chicago Public Library. The group will meet on Friday, March 20, 2015 at noon to discuss Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations in honor of Women's History Month. A program on Gertrude Bell will also be held at the Library on Thursday, April 2, 2015 at noon. Historiography participants will meet on Friday, April 17, 2015 at noon to discuss The Diary and Letters of Hannah Ropes, a Civil War nurse, in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the end of the American Civil War. The Historiography program is open to all, feel free to bring a bag lunch; complimentary drinks and desserts will be provided. Copies of the books being discussed can be checked out from the Museum or Library.


The Friends of the West Chicago City Museum will be holding its Spring Dance Fundraiser at Tango Argentina Club, 179 W. Washington Street, on Sunday, March 22, 2015 starting at 1:00 p.m. Join friends and neighbors for delicious food and dancing. Ticket prices are $15 per person or $25 per couple. Tickets can be purchased at the City Museum, 132 Main Street, or at the door. Please contact the Museum with any questions at (630)2 31-3376 or


There is still time to submit a postcard to be included in A Sense of Place, the project of visiting Danish artist Diana Velasco.  Participants can pick up a postcard from the City Museum and share a story or memory about a place in town. Stories can be shared anonymously. Diana is photographing a selection of places detailed in the postcards for an exhibit that will be at the Museum from May - August 2015. The submitted postcards will be included in the exhibit. Velasco is in West Chicago as part of the International Artist-in-Residency Program which is held in collaboration with People Made Visible and the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission.


Visit the Museum in March and early April to see 25 Years of Telling Tales before it closes Saturday, April 18, 2015. The exhibit explores the history of Oakwood Cemetery as well as some of the people who were instrumental in the Cemetery's founding and preservation. Stories of veterans from the War of 1812 and the Civil War are also shared in the exhibit, which is based on the Museum's popular fall cemetery walk Tales Tombstones Tell which first began in 1989. The Museum's research collection also contains information about many of the people buried in West Chicago's cemetery and is open to the public upon request.


Inspirational quote by Eleanor Roosevelt on earthy background
~Eleanore Roosevelt
People Made Visible
108 Sherman Street - (630) 473-0268 

Local Music Night at Soup & Bread

Thursday, March 26, 2015, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

American Legion Post #300 - 123 Main Street

6:00 p.m. - Mike Felten

7:00 - 8:00 - ZAZZ


Thursday, April 23, 2015, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

American Legion Post #300 - 123 Main Street

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. -  More than Molecules  


Gallery 200
200 Main Street - (630) 231-9550  
Gallery 200/STUDIO
203 Turner Court - (630) 231-9550    

ArtShare Saturday

Saturday, March 21, 2015, 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Sandy McLain - Twig Weaving:  Use materials found in your yard - make a small wall hanging. Colors and textures abundantly present.


Saturday, April 18, 2015, 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Heide Morris - Clay Birds: Learn how to sculpt a lifelike small clay bird. Make a small buddy bird that will seem as though almost alive.


Featured Artists

School District 33 will once again engage the budding creativity of the community's youngest artists for an exhibit which will remain at the Gallery for the entire month of March.

Opening Reception date: Friday, March 6, 2015, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.


The month of April will feature the talents of Community High School District 94 art students. This is the first time the High School is sponsoring a group show, and Gallery members are very excited about this opportunity to connect with the art program and students.  

Opening Reception date: Friday, April 10, 2015, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.








City Council


Fire Administration

(630) 231-2123

Fire Emergency



Police Administration

(630) 293-2222

Police Response



City Administration

City Hall

(630) 293-2200


Ruben Pineda


Nancy Smith
City Clerk


Michael Guttman
City Administrator 



Ward 1 

Lori Chassee     (630) 231-8709 

James Beifuss   (630) 231-0584


Ward 2

James Smith     (630) 231-1524 

Don Earley        (630) 231-3060


Ward 3

Laura Grodoski  (312) 925-9241 

Alton Hallett       (630) 254-7112 


City Seal    




Ward 4 

Melissa Birch     (630) 621-0128  

Sandy Dimas     (630) 293-5170


Ward 5 

Kurt Meissner      (630) 231-9302 

John C. Smith, Jr. (630) 293-3802


Ward 6 

Rebecca Stout   (630) 293-7335 

Mark Edwalds    (630) 632-6670


Ward 7 

Matt Fuesting     (630) 762-1996 

John Banas        (630) 762-9762













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