January 2017 Minutes

Gifford Park Assoc. General Membership Meeting
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Elgin History Museum



Paul and Sue Kuester, Moe Lee, Dan & Pat Miller, Mark Preradovic, Caryl Clement, JoAnne Clement, Jean Clement, Warren Tejes, Officer Lara, Officer Echevaria and Officer Ramirez 

R.O.P.E. REPORT  (Officer Ramirez)

Officer Ramirez mentioned that the new program to have patrol officers use body cameras is being finalized.  He introduced Officer Lara, who is our neighborhood’s beat officer. He has been with the Elgin Police Dept. for two years and is on duty from 2:30 to 10:30 p.m.  If you see a problem, call 911 and they will forward it to him if it is in our neighborhood.

Since our last meeting in November, there have end 600 calls for service to the EPD.  Of those, 142 were officer-generated traffic stops.  One call of note in our neighborhood was on November 29th at 56 N. Channing.  A 56-year-old woman was battered, tazered and thrown in a closet.  The intruders took a PlayStation, watch and i-phone.  The victim did scratch the offender so perhaps DNA can be used to identify the offender.

All crime stats can be found on the city’s web site here.     The Chief of Police made a video talking about the crime stats which can be viewed here

Part I crimes are down by 3% from 2015, but there has been an increase in motor vehicle break-ins: from 271in 2015 to 317 in 2016. Officer Ramirez suggested that we make sure to lock our vehicles because 50% of the vehicle break ins were to unlocked cars.  He also suggested that we keep our GPS out of sight in the car and that purses not be left in them.  Don’t give anyone a reason to break in.

The new ordinance regarding the homeless downtown has gone into effect. Three officers have been assigned to the area for a time to deal with the issues.  If a person causes problems downtown s/he will be banned from the area.  Of the 100 individuals in Elgin identified as homeless, only 15 cause problems, yet they drain our resources.  Officer Ramirez added that the city’s goal is to help the people get the resources they need to get off the street and shared a success story where a long-time homeless couple were found an apartment and the man was helped to get off of alcohol.

Dan Miller praised Ramirez for solving the traffic jam that results at St. Mary’s when parents pick their kids up at 3:00.  He worked with St. Mary’s to get the parents to line up only in the westbound lane so the whole street is not blocked.  Teachers are on the street directing traffic and making sure everyone abides by the new rules.


The minutes of the November 2016 General Membership meeting were unanimously approved.

Pat Miller reported that in CDs and checking we have $105,642.48.  She mentioned that two of our CDs had matured so she moved them to another bank with a considerably higher interest rate. The treasurer’s report was passed unanimously.


Historic District (Paul Bednar, 847-987-7526)

Pat Miller showed several at the meeting the old picture of 105 N. Gifford which was the original home of D.C. Cook




More recently it was the Bowes retirement home as shown above.  Dan Miller informed the group that he has been in contact with the representative from the bank that foreclosed on the property a couple of years ago.  Several e-mails have been exchanged.  In a long recent phone conversation the banker said that they have close to a million dollars in the property with an additional $30,000 in taxes being added every year.  His goal is to be rid of the property in the beginning of 2017.  He admitted that he was given some bad advice leading to a salvage yard from Chicago being sold interior details. Dan informed the group that the huge main fireplace mantel was originally being sold for $15,000 and has come down to $12,500.    The banker said that he was willing to give the home to the Gifford Park Association so they could find an appropriate use for it. Dan added that perhaps GPA should hire a firm to do a feasibility study on the building.  He added that it is in a TIF district so money from that might be able to be used to rehab the building.  Grant money might be available from the Grand Victoria foundation and Kane County.

Dan wrote a passionate letter to the CEO of the D.C.Cook Company in hopes of getting them to participate in its restoration as it is a huge part of their history.   Dan thanked Bill Briska for his help with the letter.

Dan said that his dream for the building would be to take off the mid-century additions as decreasing the square footage would probably cut the taxes in half.  GPA could then market the property to someone with a good plan for a historically sensitive rehab. A very low price might be an incentive for someone to take it on.

Housewalk (Pat Miller, 847-697-3370)

Pat informed the group that planning for the housewalk will begin on Monday January 23rd  at 7:00 pm at the Elgin History Museum at 360 Park St.

Membership (Moe Lee, 708-828-9706)

GPA currently has 176 members representing 118 households. Moe said she is looking into doing something special for membership in the spring.  


Bill Briska made a motion to adjourn and it was seconded by Warren Tejes.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Dan Miller, acting secretary

With help from Pat Miller and Barbara Evans