March 2015 Minutes


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Historical Society Museum


NEXT MEETING: April Potluck, Fri., April 24, 6:30 p.m. at Lords Park Pavilion



Erin Adame, Chris & Karen Bach, Walter & Veronica Beaudette, Jr., John Boline, Bill Briska, Bob Engelke, Barbara Evans, Patty Harkin, Jim & Kelly Langenberg, Tom Lee, Dan & Pat Miller, Mark Preradovic, Doug Tomsha, Roy & Linda Voss


R.O.P.E. REPORT (Officer Engelke)

Scams targeting the elderly are on the increase. The newest one involves people posing as landscapers who, once they get to work in yards, call the homeowner out for something in order to give an accomplice time to go into the home and take items. Never, ever let anyone unknown into the house! And before agreeing to have anyone do work, ask for their credentials.

Also on the increase in Elgin are car burglaries. (There were seven last week alone.) Of the car burglaries this year, 60% were of vehicles that were unlocked. The moral here should be clear to all. Also, be alert. If you see someone walking along looking in cars, alert the police.

To eliminate the many complaints about noise from a property on Chapel St., a city ordinance that bans drinking alcohol on a private property, if the property owner requests it, was used. This resulted in the problem tenants moving. The Beaudettes subsequently lauded the police for “cleaning up” the 300 block of Fulton Street.

A neighborhood watch group for Ann, Hill and Fremont streets has been established.



Those in attendance were treated to a short video on historic homes in Elgin. Created by The Leadership Academy and Elgin Academy, it is narrated by Mike Alft.



Approval of Minutes and Treasurer’s Report

Both the minutes of the February general meeting and the treasurer’s report were unanimously approved.


Historic District Committee (Dan Miller)

Seven and a half pairs of new street signs to replace those missing in the Elgin Historic District have been ordered. Many thanks to the City for not only agreeing to provide the poles and installation at no cost to GPA but for also donating $600 toward the project.

Dan and Pat spent much time with Milan Shah going over just what he would do for the $4,500 GPA will pay him for the house walk and walking tour apps. Satisfied, a contract was signed. As a part of the house tour app, Milan will be seeking permission from those on previous walks to use his Hovercraft to zoom in on exterior features of the homes from a variety of angles. He will also try to get interviews with as many of the homeowners as possible. If your home has been on a walk, please cooperate with him.

Post-Meeting Note: At Milan’s suggestion, he, Pat and Dan attended a meeting of the Cultural Arts Commission to investigate the possibility of getting a grant for the project from them. Told that a Neighborhood Improvement Grant would be a better possibility, Pat applied for and made the presentation for one from the Sustainability Commission. The result: a grant for $3,700 to help pay for the phone app and the printing of the hard copy . T hat GPA’s application received 92 out of 100 points is due to Pat’s hard work. Thank you, Pat.

Another Post-Meeting Note: Thanks to the hard work of Tom Hokenson and his helper Dan Miller, GPA’s new website is active. Visit it at


Housewalk (Bill Briska)

The next meeting of the steering committee is Monday, April 30, at 7 p.m. at the history museum. All interested in being a part of the planning process for the tour are welcome to attend. The main item on the agenda will be site selection.

All at the last steering committee meeting approved the request from Northeast Neighbors to share our docent list for the Christmas housewalk they’re planning. After all, if it were not for NENA’s people and homes, our tours would not be as successful as they’ve been.

And thank you to Patty Harkin and Laura Anderson from NENA for writing terrific letters about their experiences as homeowners. Being able to give these to prospective homeowners has surely swayed some into agreeing to be on the walk.


Membership (Moe Lee)

Moe will be sending out e-vites to the April 24th potluck. Please encourage friends/neighbors who are not already members to attend, bring a dish to pass and join GPA.



  1. Glenna Preradovic sent a card thanking GPA for sending flowers for the funeral of her mother, life-long resident 94-year-old Cecelia Snider. Mark added that all the kind thoughts and cards as well as the flowers were much appreciated.


  1. “Lost Elgin,” the art projects made from a demolished historic district property, will be on display at Gale Borden Library during Preservation Month (May). Seven have been sold, and seven remain to be.


  1. Patty Harkin, president of NENA, attended to present GPA with a plaque as a thank you for the $500 donation to go toward the restoration of the 17-year-old McKinley School playground. Resembling the card advertising NENA’s first fundraising effort, “Hollywood Gala on the Fox,” it really impressed all.

Aware that more fundraising is necessary, Patty was encouraged to plan to have a table at GPA’s September housewalk.


  1. Over the past 30 years, GPA has participated in 70 salvages of properties to be demolished. One more—of the home behind the Walnut Inn—will take place in April. Dan will send email notification of the particulars to all.


  1. Mark Preradovic will contact the City to make sure GPA is, as it has been for some time, a part of the watering crew during Fox Trot. By being a part of it, GPA gets one free use of Lords Park Pavilion, so please consider helping.



After the meeting was adjourned, many stayed to chat with each other. In short, a good time was had by all.


Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Evans, Secretary