LOCAL NEWS – FRIDAY DECEMBER 20th 2019

Jim Leach

The DeKalb County Forest Preserve District has signed on with other local taxing bodies to support an intergovernmental agreement for the Project Hammer development. According to the Daily Chronicle, the commissioners approved the proposal by a unanimous vote at Wednesday’s meeting. Project Hammer is the name of the development project, which would bring an international confection company to the ChicagoWest Business Center to DeKalb. The vote is for an incentive to abate 50-percent of the development’s property taxes for 15 years. DeKalb City Manager Bill Nicklas has said that the development could bring 1-thousand jobs to the area, as well as 69-million in property tax dollars over the next 15 years. The name of the company has not been revealed. DeKalb is competing with a similar-sized city in Wisconsin for the development.


The statewide unemployment rate has hit a historic low. The Department of Employment Security says Illinois’ jobless rate fell in November to a record low of 3.8 percent, even though Illinois had 17-thousand fewer jobs than it did a month earlier. Overall, since last year, the state has gained more than 40-thousand jobs, and unemployment is down one half of one=percent year to year. The biggest job growth was in leisure and hospitality, while the sharpest decline was in construction.


Applications for the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Citizen Police Academy are now being accepted. The academy begins in January. According to the Daily Chronicle, the academy began in 1996 and is designed to give residents a view of the county’s criminal justice system. Topics covered in the academy include arrest procedures, criminal law, investigations, domestic violence, traffic stops and more. The academy begins January 9 and ends March 19. Classes will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 pm on Thursdays at Sycamore’s legislative center. The registration deadline is today.


State Representative Jeff Keicher offered his support to Governor JB Pritzker when he signed a bill to consolidate local pensions this week. According to the Daily Chronicle, the bill will consolidate the investment funds of 649 suburban and downstate police and fire pensions into 2 systems. The consolidation will help grow investment returns while lowering administrative costs. Both could help taxpayers pay less to support some local pensions. Keicher said in a statement that both parties worked together on the legislation to consolidate. The pensions are underfunded by 11-billion dollars.


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