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  • Megann Horstead

Dunkin’ Donuts to open another New Lenox location


The Village of New Lenox is closer to becoming home to another Dunkin’ Donuts before the year’s end.

Trustees decided to approve a series of measures to help advance the development at their Oct. 9 meeting.

This project, as presented, consists of a 2,000-square-foot Dunkin’ Donuts and 1,250 square feet of retail—for which no further information has been disclosed to the Village—at 273 E. Maple St.

The Village has been in talks with the Illinois Department of Transportation seeking confirmation on a proposed curb cut included in the petitioner’s site plan.

“The question we have that’s outstanding that would tie into the site plan is, is the curb cut—whether it be a full access or right in, right out—is that where the placement’s going to be?” Village Administrator Kurt Carrol said. “That’s what we’ve asked IDOT, and we haven’t [received] an answer back”.

The Village’s intent is not meant to control the level of access the curb cut will provide. Instead, it is designed to focus on placement.

If IDOT does not provide approval, the petitioner will need to revise the site plan and return to the board for consideration. They would also need to re-do the placement of curb cut, should they decide to move forward with it prior to receiving confirmation.

The owner wants to open up this Dunkin’ Donuts location before the year’s end.

Trustee Annette Bowden questioned if the Village had at least received a good sense for the way in which IDOT may respond to this component of the petitioner’s plan.

Mayor Tim Baldermann tried to lessen the concern and he went on to say there has been no verbal commitment.

Other issues brought to the petitioner’s attention are concerns for drainage and traffic flow.

Mario Valentini, a principal architect for MRV Architects, spoke on behalf of the petitioner during the meeting and refuted issues raised by IDOT.

“The understanding that we had from the very beginning was that IDOT’s concern was that you’re heading east on Route 30 that if there was a left-hand turn going into the site, that that could potentially back up traffic to [Prairie Road,]” he said. “Going to a right in, right out, that should alleviate that concern. However, even the traffic study that the owners has paid for and provided, those numbers don’t even reflect the ability to have a stack that significant to create a back up off Prairie [Road.]”

Valentini added that the drainage aspect had already been resolved.

Baldermann said he supports the petitioner’s wish to implement the curb cut as proposed, so long as there is an agreement to not indemnify the Village for risk of proceeding without IDOT’s approval.

“This is one of those cases where I want to be supportive of them and what they want to do,” he said.

Carroll said Village staff will continue to push IDOT to make its decision.

The variances, as requested, aim to reduce the number of off-street parking spaces from 32 to 24, lessen the number of required drive-thru stacking spaces after the pick-up window and alter the minimum landscape buffer from 20 feet to 10 feet, 8 inches. Board approval was contingent on two conditions: employees must park in northwest corner of the parking lot and further variances need Village approval to be added in the event the 1,250-square-foot retail development calls for additional parking spaces.

In a series of 6-0 votes, the board approved a site plan—which is meant to advance the development only as it is contingent upon no further requests for variances—established a surety and granted some variances.

Village will offer property tax refund for eighth consecutive year

Also at the meeting, trustees established the criteria for the Village’s property tax refund program for the year.

The rate at which residents can receive payment is valued at 75 percent, which makes it equal to what was offered last year.

“It’s nice that this is a promise that we made years ago that we’ve been able to increase and keep,” Baldermann said. “Last year, I think it was $1.1 million [we returned to residents.]”

Last year, New Lenox reviewed more than 5,000 applications.

Finance Director Kim Auchstetter refuted concern for the program’s future considering the state of the state and went on to say that it is not expected that New Lenox will need to withhold payment due to the idea of losing its local government distributive fund, they’re looking to extend the full 75 percent.

The Village’s property tax refund application will go out to residents at the end of October. Those will need to be submitted by Dec. 15.

Since the start of the property tax refund program, the Village has given back more than $7 million.

Round it up

A brief recap of action and discussion from the Oct. 9 regular meeting of the New Lenox Village Board of Trustees:

  • Trustees passed a measure authorizing the execution of a lease purchase agreement, valued at $523,691, between the Village of New Lenox and BMO Harris Equipment Finance to solidify an arrangement to pay for three 2018 Peterbilt Model 348 Chassis trucks. Each vehicle is to be equipped with snowplows and used by the Public Works Department.

  • The Village entered into a 4-year agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police, which is the union that represents police and patrol officers in New Lenox. Wages are expected to increase by 2.5 percent in each of the first three years and 3 percent in the fourth year.

  • New Lenox officials amended a Village rule outlining the compensation afforded to the chairpersons and members of the Plan Commission and Fire and Police Commission. Prior to the board’s approval, the chairman and members of the Fire and Police Commission received $35 and $30 per meeting, respectively. As for the Plan Commission, its chairman and members earned $80 and $65 per meeting, respectively. The rule, as amended, provides a per-meeting fee of $75 to members of each commission and $100 to the two chairpersons.

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