Tensions Ease as Both Parties Agree to Iron out Differences
Byline: Heather Ryndak
Struggles between Village President Rick Zirk and the South Elgin fire protection district seem to have calmed.
After a 15-minute meeting, Zirk and Ken Cornelissen, president of the South Elgin & Countryside Fire Protection District, have come to agreements concerning fire inspections of new and existing business and public buildings, dispatch services, and the district's free use of village water.
Those practices and policies in place will not change.
But the fire district will be installing a water meter this year at the district's building and working with the village to ease congestion in the village parking lot, which both government bodies use.
"The fire district wants to cooperate with the village 100 percent and work with them to iron out concerns," Cornelissen said.
The meeting came about after Zirk had blocked the inspection of the village public works building for about five months. Zirk agreed to let the district inspect the building two weeks ago after he met with South Elgin Fire Chief Louis Oine, who said the district would work with Zirk on various issues.
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Planning in advance: Riverfest Express ended two weekends ago, but event organizers already have set the date for next year.
The stage also has been secured, and the same fireworks company is scheduled to return.
"Everything went so well this year," said Riverfest chairman Gary Hyman. "As soon as it ends, you start thinking of what to do next time."
Riverfest attracted a record crowd of about 27,000 people during the four-day village festival - largely due to the greater variety of carnival rides, longer fireworks display, constant entertainment and trolley rides, event organizers say.
"We also set up the carnival one week early, and I think that got a lot more people excited about Riverfest and waiting in anticipation," Hyman said. …