Minooka board again debates tag days at busy intersection
By Kris Stadalsky For The Herald-News September 5, 2012 8:08AM
Updated: October 7, 2012 7:53AM
MINOOKA — The Minooka Knights of Columbus received approval to hold a tag day donation collection Sept. 22, but not before the issue was batted around the village board a few times.
Each time a request is made from a non-profit organization to collect donations at one of Minooka’s busiest intersections — Ridge Road and Mondamin Street — it opens a barrage of concerns and feelings from board members.
“I still believe we should not allow this on Ridge Road,” said Trustee Terry Houchens. “You are asking for something horrible to happen.”
The board has considered eliminating the practice altogether, but in a compromise last year limited collections to times that pedestrians can stand in the road to Saturdays and Sundays only.
When the Minooka Lions moved their normal collection from the intersection to the sidewalk in front of Jewel-Osco on Ridge Road, donations were down by 30 percent, Trustee Barry Thompson said.
“The Knights said it’s going to be a big loss if they can’t go on that road,” Village President Pat Brennan said.
The controversy centers on the safety of the practice, say opponents. And while most trustees agree, they have been reluctant to take away what some organizations use as their biggest fundraiser.
The Knights of Columbus has donated more than $50,000 to community organizations over the years, such as Minooka High School’s REACH program, said Trustee Rudy Martin.
“It’s huge, the money that stays in the local community,” said Martin. “(You would) cut them off at the knees when other groups have already gone out (this year).”
Houchens said he agrees that the groups are worthwhile and their causes are good.
“You are putting people on a five-lane highway and something bad is going to happen,” Houchens said.
The motion to allow the Knights to hold their fundraiser was approved with Houchens being the only opposing vote.
“I am going to sleep a little better, not much, knowing I tried to stop it,” he said.
Business center repairs
The village of Minooka will not need to pull the letter of credit, held by MB Financial Bank, to make repairs at Heartland Crossing retail center now that all the involved parties have reached an understanding.
Developer TDC Minooka, also referred to as Tucker, had not completed a punch list of items since the development was completed so the village refused to release the letter of credit, or insurance policy, until the repairs were done.
A letter outlining the problems was sent to Tucker in March of 2010.
The credit is in the amount of $27,750.
Trustees entered into a letter of understanding with TDC and MB Financial last week, agreeing to when the work will be complete and the cost.