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Rumor vs. Fact

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Elk Grove Fact Checker - Eliminating Misperceptions in Elk Grove Village

Have a rumor you'd like to report, or a question to ask the Village?  Click here to ask a question!


Phoenix Bar & Night Club   June 25, 2018

RUMOR: Elk Grove Village is attempting to shut down the Phoenix Bar & Night Club through an annexation.

FACT: The annexation in no way prevents the continued operation of Phoenix Bar & Night Club. Other properties are also included in this annexation, such as the existing Jiffy Lube, McDonalds, and Days Inn, to name a few.  

The Village has been informed that the ownership of Phoenix Bar & Night Club may have recently changed.  It is solely the decision of the new owners on whether to continue operating the Phoneix Bar & Night Club. 

The properties being annexed are already commonly assumed to be a part of Elk Grove Village, as they exist in a small strip between the Village’s corporate limits and I-90.  This annexation will help the Village maintain its reputation as an affordable community with high quality services and Beyond Business Friendly customer service by providing consistent fire and police protection, as well as enforcement of health and safety regulations to these areas.

The annexation will mean that these properties will receive services such as fire and police protection, local 9-1-1 emergency dispatch, and health and safety code enforcement through the Village of Elk Grove, rather than Cook County. 

Police Pension Funds   February 7, 2018

RUMOR: Elk Grove Village was among 25 police pension plans in Illinois that performed much worse than police pension funds in Naperville, Rosemont, Elgin, Hoffman Estates, Hanover Park and Winfield in the same year.

FACT: On Wednesday, February 7, the Daily Herald published a story regarding shortfalls to the Police Pension funds based on data collected from 2016.

In an effort to tell a story, the Daily Herald did not provide readers with important factual data.  First and foremost, not every municipality follows the same fiscal year.  Elk Grove Village’s fiscal year runs from May 1 to April 30 – meaning that the data the Daily Herald used in the article on 2016 returns did not capture the investment growth from May 1 to December 31, 2016.  By contrast, communities that were touted as successful such as Naperville, Rosemont, Elgin, Hoffman Estates, and Hanover Park all have fiscal years that run from January 1 to December 31. 

If the Daily Herald had assessed the Elk Grove Police Pension Fund on a calendar year basis (January 1 through December 31), the Police Pension Fund would have been comparable to the top earners with a rate of return at 7.5% in 2016 and 13.5% in 2017.

For the past ten years, the Elk Grove Village’s Police Pension Fund has had an average rate of return of 7.4%. 

Another important fact missing from the article is that the State of Illinois allows the public safety pension funds to make their own independent decisions separately from the Village.  Due to legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly following 9/11, the State reallocated the membership of the Public Safety Pension Funds so that the majority of members on those Boards are determined by the Police and Fire membership, and are not Village controlled representatives.

Elk Grove Town Center   February 2018

RUMOR: The Village is preventing some tenants from filling vacancies in the Elk Grove Town Center.

FACT: The Village has heard some concerns that we are preventing users from moving into the Elk Grove Town Center shopping center (SW corner of Biesterfield and Arlington Heights Rd). The shopping center is privately owned and controlled. However, the Village continues to work closely with the property owner to bring new uses to the Town Center.

The Village has actively reached out to several potential tenants and provided those leads to the property owner. Ultimately, however, landlords and tenants are free to make their own decisions based on any number of considerations, including rent, customer base, site traffic and location, just to name a few.

We understand some residents have expressed interest in a number of uses, including fitness centers and a variety of general retail stores, all of which are permitted uses which require no special approval from the Village. Again, however, any use requires a business who has interest in the site and can come to an agreement with the property owner.

The Village looks forward to seeing the shopping center filled and will continue to work with the property owner toward that goal.

Village Water System   January 2018

RUMOR: The Village has a sub-standard water supply system that has prevented the Fire Department from earning a higher ISO rating.

FACT: Public Protection Classification ratings from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) range from 1 to 10, with 1 being the highest. The Elk Grove Village Fire Department has consistently been awarded a Class 2 Public Protection Classification rating from the Insurance Services Office (ISO).

To put the Village’s ISO rating into perspective, of the approximate 42,000 fire departments in the United States, only 305 have achieved the Class 1 rating and only 1,482 have attained a Class 2 rating. This places our Fire Department into the top 4.3% of the nation.

The Village also has an excellent water supply system, with more than enough capacity to meet the needs of the Village’s fire protection services, as well as the day-to-day usage of residents and businesses. Our water supply comes from Lake Michigan, which is among the largest sources of fresh surface water in the world.

The lake water is treated and purified by the City of Chicago Water Department and then pumped to the Northwest Suburban Municipal Joint Action Water Agency (NSMJAWA) reservoirs near O’Hare Airport. NSMJAWA then pumps the water to the Village of Elk Grove Village and six other northwest suburban communities via large water transmission mains. Elk Grove Village has four connection points to the NSMJAWA transmission mains.

The Village regularly inspects and tests our hydrants to ensure they receive the necessary maintenance and meet operational requirements.

Yellow Ice   January 2018

RUMOR: Yellow ice has fallen onto rooftops from planes flying over the Village.

FACT: Since local news stations reported on the experience of a local resident who heard a chunk of yellow ice fall onto her roof, the Village has heard from many residents explaining they have similar ice which fell from their chimney as the temperatures rose above freezing. 

The Village spoke with HVAC professionals who explained that as heat leaves the furnace and heating system during freezing temperatures, it will condense into ice, gradually creating a large patch of ice on the chimney. 

We recently experienced a long stretch of extremely cold temperatures, followed by warmer than average temperatures.  This weather likely cause larger than usual patches of ice to form on the chimney, and a quick thaw that resulted in a large chuck of ice falling onto the roof.  The discoloration can be caused by residue on the interior of the chimney or heating system.  

Elk Grove 2025  June 22, 2017

RUMOR: The Village has forced Berthold's Nursery to vacate their property and close their business.

FACT:The sale of Berthold's Nursery was a mutually agreed upon transaction, which was beneficial to both parties. Both the Village and the owners of Berthold's Nursery were extremely satisfied with the outcome of the agreement.

RUMOR: The Village has no good reason to sell Fire Station #8 on Oakton.

FACT: The sale of Fire station #8 is anticipated to tie into a larger redevelopment. This proposed redevelopment, information on which will be shared as it becomes available, provides an opportunity for the Village to consider combining Fire Station #9 on Greenleaf and Fire Station #8 on Oakton into a new, consolidated Fire Station. This consolidation will not only allow for improved operations, but will save money long-term on maintenance and upkeep costs.

The value of the land under Fire Station #8 alone is almost equal to its original construction cost approximately 20 years ago, without considering the value of the facility, which will be taken into account in the sale price. Additionally, the Village is saving money that would otherwise have to be reinvested into Station #9, which is over 45 years old, has reached the end of its design life, and is generally manned by one (1) engine and only (3) staff. This consolidation will also return two properties to the tax roll.

Leona's  January 12, 2017

RUMOR: The Village is causing delays to the opening of a Leona's restaurant in the Village.

FACT: Leona's had serious issues with a franchisee who intended to open a Leona's Restaurant on Devon Ave in Elk Grove Village.  As a result of these issues, Leona's has taken back direct control of the restaurant from the franchisee and is currently working to get the restaurant ready to open in February of 2017.

Vehicle Stickers  August 16, 2016

RUMOR: Other municipalities do not require vehicle stickers

FACT: Many communities in the area collect revenue through the use of vehicle stickers, as can be seen in the list below.

Vehicle Sticker Cost - Passenger Car

  • Elk Grove Village: $25 ($3 for Seniors)
  • Park Ridge: $45 ($0 for Seniors)
  • Mount Prospect: $45 ($36 for Seniors)
  • Schaumburg: None
  • Des Plaines:$30 ($3 for Seniors)
  • Arlington Heights: $30 ($12 for Seniors)
  • Hoffman Estates: None
  • Rolling Meadows: $30 ($20 for Seniors)
  • Palatine: $30 ($6 for Seniors)

RUMOR: It costs more to administer vehicle stickers than the Village collects in revenue.

FACT: Annual administration of the Vehicle Sticker program cost $40,000 and brings in $715,000 in revenue, for a net of $675,000.  This fee on vehicles is put toward the cost to maintain Village roads, which includes not only resurfacing and construction of roads, but also plowing, salting, pothole repair, and other maintenance needs

Elk Grove Vehicle Sticker Revenues

Vehicle Sticker Revenues:         $715,000

Vehicle Sticker Program Cost:   $  40,000

Net Revenue                              $675,000

All communities use a variety of methods to collect the necessary revenue to operate government functions and services.  While some communities may not require vehicle stickers, Elk Grove Village finds charging a tax on vehicles in the Village to be an equitable way to raise funds that help pay for the maintenance for Village streets.

Shopping Centers  August 16, 2016

RUMOR: All of the businesses in the Elk Grove Town Center are moving out.

FACT: No mass exodus of businesses is expected from the Elk Grove Town Center.

The Village has heard some concerns from Facebook that businesses are leaving the Elk Grove Town Center shopping center (SW corner of Biesterfield and Arlington Heights Rd). 

 The Town Center Shopping Center is owned by a company named Brixmor.  We spoke with a representative of Brixmor regarding the Facebook posting.  They assure us that there is no mass exodus from the Elk Grove Town Center and said:

“We have leases in place with existing tenants, plus we continue to actively negotiate renewals as well seek new tenants for the center.  We are committed to providing a shopping venue that is relevant to the community we serve.”

Despite this, there is always the possibility that some tenants may choose to close or relocate their business.  The Village cannot dictate the terms of agreements made between private businesses in the free market.  Landlords and tenants are free to make decisions based on any number of considerations, including rent, customer base, site traffic and location, just to name a few.

However, residents can do their share to support local businesses.  Concerned residents are encouraged to patronize local stores and restaurants.  Customer support, by way of frequenting local stores and restaurants, is the best way to ensure the businesses you love stay in town!

We are also aware that many residents are eagerly awaiting new tenants at the former Food 4 Less (901 Meacham) and the former Dominick’s (980 Elk Grove Town Center).  Albertson’s (Parent company of Jewel) and Kroger (Parent company of Food 4 Less) have current leases on these properties and are choosing to continue to pay the full rent at these sites rather than see a competing grocer move in.

In other words, corporations are utilizing their profits to maintain empty spaces to limit competition.  The Village is working cooperatively with the owners of these shopping centers to find viable tenants, but we face limited options due to the terms of the current leases.   

Snow Removal Operations, 

December 29, 2015

RUMOR:Elk Grove Village is responsible for plowing and maintaining all roads in the Village.

FACT: Several major roads in the Village are maintained by Cook County and the State of Illinois, who have their own snow removal operations. A complete list of County and State maintained roads can be seen below:

Cook County Roads - To report hazardous conditions on these roads, please call Cook County at 847-397-4145.

  • Arlington Heights Road (south of Higgins)
  • Devon Avenue
  • Landmeier Road
  • Meacham Road
  • Nerge Road (west of Rohlwing Road)
  • Plum Grove Road

State of Illinois Roads - To report hazardous conditions on these roads, please call the State at 847-705-4171 or 847-705-4162.

  • Arlington Heights Road (north of Higgins)
  • Busse Road
  • Elmhurst Road
  • Higgins Road (Route 72)
  • Rohlwing Road (south of Biesterfield)

The storm on December 28 brought 13 hours of nonstop sleet/ice/snow. All Village streets were worked on throughout the day, but with 330 lane miles of road to maintain, it takes time to complete snow removal operations. Throughout a winter storm, but especially during and following the heaviest part of the storm, snow can pile up.

Elk Grove Village Public Works began salting early morning on 12/28, salting every street in the Village four times that day and a fifth time in the morning on 12/29. Plowing operations took place throughout the day and overnight hours. The Village targets clearing major roadways with the highest traffic volume first to ensure the largest volume of traffic moves safely. At approximately 2:00 a.m. on 12/29, Public Works was able to focus snow removal operations on clearing residential streets, and as of 9:00 a.m. on 12/29, all streets in the Village have been cleared.

We would like to thank everyone for their cooperation, patience and understanding during the unpredictable winter season. For more information on snow removal activities on Village streets or to report a concern, please feel free to contact the Public Works Department at (847) 734-8800 or click here to use the online service request system.

Hiring Policy  December 2015

RUMOR: The Village Board changed the policy to allow for the hiring of elected officials' family members.

FACT: The Elk Grove Park District changed their policy. The Village does not control or have any oversight over the Elk Grove Park District. The Elk Grove Park District is its own governing entity, with its own board of directors elected by the community. Any questions or concerns regarding Park District policies should be directed to the Elk Grove Park District, not the Village.

Metal Poles  November 2015

RUMOR: The Village is installing metal poles as a traffic/communication/other monitoring device.

FACT: A total of five thick, metal communication poles are being installed to assist in monitoring water levels as part of the Busse Dam Modification Project to help alleviate flooding along Salt Creek. These poles are permanent installations to enable communication for the management and operation of the new dam gates.

Two poles are being installed near Busse Dam (one each at the south and west dams) and additional poles are being installed along Salt Creek, near Arlington Heights Road, John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Golf Road. The poles located in the Village (at Arlington Heights Road and John F. Kennedy Boulevard) will be painted black to match our decorative street lights.

Additionally, you may have noticed some smaller poles on tripods throughout the Village. Civiltech Engineering is performing design studies for the Federally funded rehabilitation of Biesterfield Road from Rohlwing Road to Meacham Road, JF Kennedy Boulevard from Arlington Heights Road to Elk Grove Boulevard, and Elk Grove Boulevard from Arlington Heights Road to Victoria Lane. As part of the project they are collecting traffic count data at key intersections utilizing video technology. 

 I-90 Overpass Enhancements October 2015

RUMOR: Elk Grove Village is paying $410,404 for welcome signs on I-90 overpass bridges over Arlington Heights Road, Busse Road and Oakton Street.


FACT: As part of the I-90 widening project, the Illinois Tollway is reconstructing the bridges over Arlington Heights Road, Busse Road and Oakton Street. Elk Grove Village recognized this unique opportunity and is paying for the inclusion of aesthetic enhancements on these overpass bridges, including façade design, staining and community branding. 

Community branding efforts such as this are an important part of how the Village distinguishes itself from other communities to attract new businesses and redevelopment in order to keep our community modern and strong.

I90 Overpass Enhancements

The cost of the enhancements for all three bridges totals $410,404, which breaks down as follows:

  • $82,595.90   –  Arlington Heights Road Overpass
  • $110,832.50 –  Busse Road Overpass
  • $163,445.30 –  Oakton Overpass
  • $17,843.68   –  5% design charge (required by the Tollway)
  • $35,687.37   –  10% engineering charge (required by the Tollway)
Costs for these projects are primarily funded by the Village’s Busse/Elmhurst Road TIF fund, which is funded by the business community and designated for the purpose of enhancing the business community.

 Sticky Coating on Cars August 2015

RUMOR: The sticky substance is jet fuel being emitted from aircraft flying into O’Hare Airport.

FACT: The sticky substance is called honeydew and is caused by the Lecanium Scale Insect. Honeydew is a sap residue secreted by the insect after they ingest tree leaves and sap and is not harmful. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources confirmed the presence of Lecanium Scale in the Village. 

Lecanium Scale and other scale insects are always present, but due to a long wet spring immediately followed by a hot dry summer the scale (and the residue!) has been more noticeable this year. The dry weather has also caused the substance to become airborne and travel greater distances from the trees it originated from.

You may notice the substance is sometimes grainy and discolored—This is because sometimes mold grows on the honeydew, which gives it a sooty appearance. Additionally, dust and other airborne particles will become stuck to the honeydew and contribute to the grainy texture and coloration.