JULY/AUGUST 2016 the City's window to your world
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With the Independence Day holiday quickly approaching, the City would like to remind everyone of the state and local laws regarding fireworks, as well as offer a few safety tips.
It is unlawful to possess, sell, use or explode any fireworks within the City of West Chicago. Those fireworks considered to be illegal include, but are not limited to; handheld fireworks, firecrackers, skyrockets, roman candles, and bombs. "Consumer fireworks" are not prohibited by ordinance and include sparklers, snakes, smoke devices, trick noisemakers, among a few others. Anyone seen violating the fireworks law/ordinance may receive a citation.

Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind this July 4th:
  • Always use common sense when handling fireworks.
  • Never let a child handle fireworks unattended, adult supervision is a must.
  • Always keep fireworks away from a house and any other structures.
  • Keep a bucket of water or hose nearby.
  • Only light fireworks outdoors.
  • Do not alter or combine any fireworks.
  • Do not try to re-light a "dud" firework.
If you observe anyone with illegal fireworks, or handling fireworks in an unsafe manner, please do not hesitate to call 9-1-1. The City wishes everyone a happy and safe July 4th.
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July 4 - City Hall Closed
July 7 - 10 - Railroad Days
July 21 - Historiography
August 18 - Historiography

Railroad Days Returns
July 7 - 10, 2016
Pioneer Park
479 W Forest Avenue
West Chicago Public Library
July 5, 19 - Chess Club
July 5, 12, 19, 26 - Stories & Songs
July 6, 13, 20, 27 - Lawn Games
July 7 - Sensory Movie
July 8, 22 - Friday Movie Matinee
July 9 - Story Stroll
July 11, 18 - Stories to Grow On
July 13 - Wipeout
July 15 - Summer Yoga
July 21 - Stories at Cantigny
July 23 - Sensory Game Party
July 25 - Messy Play Day
July 29 - Magical World of WCPLD

For details, visit:
or call (630) 231-1552

West Chicago Park District
July 15 - Minions Flick & Float
July 24 - Youth Triathlon
July 21 - 23 Community Theatre Performance  Tarzan

For details, visit:
or call (630) 231-9474 

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Mayor's Message

Response to the City's invitation to attend the Annual State of the City Address was proof that we live in a caring, concerned and active community. Our Council Chambers and adjoining Committee Rooms were filled to capacity with citizens, elected officials, business leaders and media representatives.
Among the noteworthy accomplishments of the past year, one in particular received a strong round of applause. After more than 40 years of living under the shadow of thorium contamination in our City, we reached a watershed moment last year.
On November 10, 2015, a rail car carrying the last remnants of thorium waste pulled out of West Chicago. For that, we thank the relentless efforts of local, state, county, and federal representatives who never gave up the fight on the City's behalf, and also the group of individuals who formed TAG, the Thorium Action Group, who remained ever vigilant on the issue.

Also highlighted was the West Chicago Strategic Plan, created by the input of a large and inclusive group of individuals and organizations including residents, neighborhood groups, business leaders, inter-governmental partners, and faith-based organizations. We are excited about our collective vision and urge you to take a look at the Plan, if you haven't done so already. You can find it here.
I would like to again convey my gratitude and respect for members of the West Chicago City Council, a group of men and women who serve our community well, thoughtfully assessing every item that comes before them, questioning why when necessary, and always keeping the best interests of this City at the forefront of every vote they cast on an issue. I am very privileged and grateful to be working with such a fine group of individuals.

Thank you again to our residents, business owners, intergovernmental partners, local elected officials and media partners, for the overwhelming show of support and interest in West Chicago. 


Ruben Pineda

Editor's Note: A copy of the full 2016 State of the City Address may be found here.
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Noteworthy News
Construction Schedule Released for A. Eugene Rennels Bridge Repairs

A construction schedule for the rehabilitation of the A. Eugene Rennels Bridge (formerly known as the Wilson Avenue Bridge) has been released by the City of West Chicago. Earlier this month, the City had notified residents about the upcoming repairs which will cause closure of the Bridge for up to three weeks.

Repairs are scheduled to close A. Eugene Rennels Bridge in West Chicago from

July 5 - 26, 2016.


The City has now confirmed that the Bridge is scheduled to be closed from July 5 - 26, 2016 for deck repairs and latex concrete overlay. During this closure, sidewalks and curbs will be replaced, storm sewer inlets will be repaired, and the asphalt approaches to the Bridge will be resurfaced
Once the Bridge deck concrete work is completed, the fence and railing contractor will mobilize on-site. It is hoped the existing fencing will be removed and replaced under daily lane closures with flagmen; however, City staff indicated that the contract does allow for daily road closures if necessary for up to seven days.

The painting contractor will mobilize on-site after the deck work is complete, but this work should not impact traffic.


As previously advised, traffic will be detoured over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks at Wood Street and Washington Street. Pedestrian traffic will be detoured thru the Main Street Tunnel on Turner Court. If Wilson Avenue is to be closed during dates when school is in session at West Chicago Community High School, every effort will be made to limit the bridge closure to traffic between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., so that school traffic is not affected by the closure.

It should also be noted that depending on temperatures, the contractor may need to perform the bridge deck latex concrete overlay work during night-time hours due to the sensitivity of latex concrete to high temperatures in the summer months.

Additional information will be shared as it becomes available.
If you have any questions, please feel free contact the City's Public Works Department at (630) 293-2255.

Partners in Health Commit to Furthering a Culture of Health in West Chicago
Striving to lead the community by example, the City of West Chicago, Healthy West Chicago and the Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce  have joined with the American Heart Association to improve the overall food and beverage environment within the three organizations, with the hope that others in the community will follow. Read about it here.

Support Continuing Appropriations for State-Collected Local Revenues

Certain revenues are specifically collected by the state for distribution to local governments, including Use Tax, Motor Fuel Tax, and Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge revenues. In 2015, due to the state budget impasse, local governments went nearly six months without receiving these critical revenues. The state argued that without a budget in place, it lacked the authority to distribute these revenues.
Although the local revenues were eventually restored late last year through the adoption of legislation, new appropriation authority is necessary to prevent a repeat of this crisis at the start of the new fiscal year on July 1. Municipalities throughout DuPage urge the General Assembly and Governor to protect local revenue by making state-collected local revenues continuing appropriations, meaning an approved state budget would not be needed to ensure the distribution of these revenues. Because these revenues are specifically collected for distribution to local governments, they have no impact on the state budget. Rather, they are needed to provide public safety and infrastructure to residents and businesses, and without them, municipalities may be forced to cut services, raise property taxes, or layoff critical staff to cover this loss.  
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West Chicago City Museum

Made in West Chicago - Opened Saturday, May 21, 2016
  • July 21, 2016 - Special Movie Month - Trail of Tears A Native American Documentary Collection
  • August 18, 2016 - West of the Revolution - by Claudio Saunt
A book discussion group held in collaboration with the West Chicago Public Library District, Historiography meets on the second floor of the Museum from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. The meetings are full of supplemental materials, activities and questions that are meant to further the discussion of the topics at hand. Participants are not required to have read the books, but are encouraged to do so. Copies of the book are available for checkout at the City Museum, 132 Main Street, and the
West Chicago Public Library, 118 West Washington Street.

Historiography is open to all, feel free to bring a bag lunch; complimentary drinks and desserts will be provided.

Cultural Arts Commission News

Over the past winter, the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission invited area artists to submit original artwork for consideration for the 2016 Community Art Banner Project. The entries were anonymously judged by Chicago-based artist and Assistant Professor of Photography at Northeastern Illinois University, Nate Matthews. Seventeen exceptional works, depicting this year's theme Patterns-Patterns-Patterns, were chosen for a public art display on Main Street which runs through early September.

Featured artists this year include: Chris Hodge, Lewis Achenbach, Anni Holm, Mitch Ralph, Kathy Steere, Nancy Reppe, Juan Fernandez, Andrea Alvarez, Anne Frantzen, Judith Horsley, Katherine Houlne, Eden Unluata, Dan Stultz, Audrius Plioplys, Diana Gabriel and Rita Grendze, Natalia Toreeva, and Meg Duguid.

A Walking Tour Map, available at the City Museum, Gallery 200, or online through a mobile device, is a great way to enhance visitors appreciation of the art and learn more about the artists.

"There has been a growing interest among artists to participate in this project," said Commission Chairperson Anni Holm. "This year we have artists from Aurora, Elgin, Batavia, Wheaton, Northwoods, Yorkville, Carol Stream and Chicago, as well as those from West Chicago, represented. It is very exciting for us to expand our reach, collaborate and connect our creative base with that of other communities. It strengthens the arts for all of us," she said. 
Artists wishing to plan for 2017
An announcement, made earlier last month, released the 2017 Community Art Banner Project theme, Rails and Trails. The Commission hopes that the early notice will inspire artistic pursuits related to the rails and trails in and around West Chicago this summer, fall and winter. Online submission forms are available here or by visiting under Residents/Forms&Applications.
 Blooming Fest - Revisited
Blooming Fest
The Blooming Fest Story - told through the lens of resident and narrative photographer, Sarah Ann Bass.
"The work of the Blooming Fest Committee, City staff, and many volunteers once again resulted in a day that showcased the best of what West Chicago has to offer. This annual event is a great way to celebrate spring and build community. Blooming Fest offers something for everyone and I cannot think of a better event anywhere."
~John Said, Director of Community Development 
City Council
Ward 1 
Lori Chassee (630) 231-8709 

James Beifuss (630) 231-0584
Ward 2 
Jayme Sheahan (630) 330-7972  
Currently Vacant
Ward 3
Laura Grodoski  (312) 925-9241 

Hallett (630) 254-7112
Ward 4 
Sandy Dimas (630) 293-5170

Melissa Ferguson 
(630) 621-0128  
Ward 5 
Kurt Meissner   (630) 235-4725

John C. Smith, Jr. (630) 293-3802
Ward 6 
Rebecca Stout   (630) 293-7335 

Mark Edwalds    (630) 632-6670
Ward 7 
 John Banas (630) 762-9762
Noreen Ligino-Kubinski 

(630) 762-9929
Important Numbers
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

Michael Guttman








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