Mayor, Residents Relieved Plan For Morton Grove Waste Station Was Nixed

Lakeshore Waste Services announced late Friday it was dropping plans to build a waste transfer station on its property in Morton Grove.


After Lakeshore Waste Services sent out a press release late Friday announcing it was dropping plans to apply for a waste transfer station in Morton Grove, the mayor and an organizer of a citizens' group expressed relief.

"This has been a very tumultuous three weeks," said Mayor Dan Staackmann. "I am happy that Lakeshore has decided to relent on building a full blown transfer station. I hope whatever they decide will be palatable for the community."


Tom Maddex, who helped galvanize neighbors near Lakeshore's property into the Citizens to Stop The Morton Grove Transfer Station, said, "We weren't surprised, because we received communication from Josh Connell (of Lakeshore Waste Services) last week. He said he wanted to meet with our group."

When the citizens' group inquired why, Maddex related, Connell replied that he was considering not applying for a waste transfer station, and might go with a recycling center instead.

While they were in the process of trying to set up a meeting, Lakeshore issued the press release saying it was not going to apply for the transfer station.

Maddex said his group is interested in finding out more about alternative ways Lakeshore might use the site, and still wants to meet with Connell.

"Depending on what's being done, we have to decide whether to continue our battle or not," Maddex said. 

On Friday evening, Maddex forwarded the following letter, which the citizens' group planned to send to Connell at Lakeshore:

Dear Josh: 

 On behalf of the Citizens to Stop the Morton Grove Transfer Station and fellow community members, we would like to thank you for listening to the concerns of everyone and deciding not to pursue plans to develop a Waste Transfer Station.   It is important that you know, we never wanted to chase you or your company away. We welcome businesses to our community and we do our best to provide support where we can.  We realize Waste Transfer Stations are located near residential areas in Chicago and Cook County, but that doesn't mean that they are accepted by their surrounding communities. This Community choose to speak up against the Transfer Station, not Lakeshore Services or Josh Connell. We know that you took the heat on behalf of your company, your company is one of the most important things in your life, we can certainly appreciate that, but we stood up (to) the Transfer Station for the same reasons.   We are still interested in meeting with you next week to discuss your alternate plans.   


 Tom Maddex

 Citizens to Stop the Morton Grove Transfer Station

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steve September 09, 2012 at 06:08 PM
You may have heard discussions, but since caucus had majority on the board at the time, the votes fell along party lines, i.e., it was a one-party rule. Caucus pushed its agenda (or should I say the agenda of its puppet-master, the Skokie Caucus party). Like securing bonds to build a museum that isn't even in our town. We'll have that debt to pay off for quite some time.
Mark V. Matz September 09, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Oh Sherwin, there you go again! I hope readers think if anybody from the Action Party said the sky was blue, you'd argue it wasn't. TIF's are an accepted, long established way to encourage investment in communities, not just ours. Some don't agree with their benefits, but it's a way to stimulate growth (and like Waukegan Rd., get rid of seedy motels near grammar schools). I don't think municipalities need to apply and pay fees for consideration in Family Circle, Bloomberg's or others like it. Another one of your usual opinions stated as fact that will be proven wrong? Proof or a correction is needed by you on this one Mr. D! Bottom line, we've had this conversation numerous times; voters elect the people they feel best represent them. Nobody rules as that implies no input from the people. You want to end one party (as long its Action) but have no trouble saying you want the mayor and more than him replaced with a new party (your's I presume)? Just a little hypocritical eh? According to Cook County election records found on their website, in 2007 when you ran for Trustee - you got 5.35% of the vote and all three of your slate combined received 15.83% (rounding up to 16% - OK, but 17% isn't providing the true picture is it?) Trustees seeking higher office? An employer asked an applicant where he wanted to be in five years, the answer was "your job!" Human nature propels us forward or else we keep getting pushed downstream.
sherwin dubren September 09, 2012 at 07:01 PM
More missinformation from Steve. There is no debt on the bonds for the Holocaust Museum. Morton Grove does not owe any money on that. We do owe money on the Waukegan TIF started by the Actioin Party. It was only a few years ago that the village just paid off the interest on the bonds we took out for that TIF. We still owe millions on the principle amount. Action supporters keep bringing up the shady motel that was taken down. First of all, we did not need a TIF to do that. The overall result of the Waukegan TIF was to buy up a lot of land on Waukegan Rd. to put in movie theaters and large grocery stores, etc., that never happened. The village finally had to sell off this land for peanuts to car dealerships. This is what happens when the village gets into the real estate business. What they should have done was made a bigger effort to keep ABT on Waukegan, but they dropped the ball there again. The Action Party would like us to forget about Waukegan Rd., but it won't go away so quickly. Instead, they started the Leheigh Ferris TIF buying up land with hopes of selling them to condo investors. We all know what happened to the condo market. Not having learned their lesson from these two prievious TIF's, the Action Party is again starting a TIF on Prairie View. The millionaire owners of Prairie View do not have any big customers in line that we know of, so this is again a big risk for the village. I say, enough of these TIF's and let's stay out of real estate.
Mark V. Matz September 09, 2012 at 07:35 PM
We know that Sherwin doesn't like TIF's, probably some others don't either. But they do work and if you asked the parents of kids at Golf School or saw the massive reduction in Police/EMT calls once Waukegan was cleaned up, many would have a positive opinion of what was accomplished with the Waukegan TIF. Far from forgetting Waukegan, we should look at the street as it is today, remembering how bad it really was. Did you know that car dealerships produce tremendous amounts of revenue for the village? As for ABT; once again for those new to this site: ABT wanted to stay, we didn't have enough open land for them to build what they wanted (anybody visting them at their store on Milwaukee can plainly see that). Mr. Abt stated all this ipublically. Sherwin, time to stop spreading your prejudice wrapped in false data on this one, simply put...you're dead wrong!. Prairie View will be a huge improvement for Morton Grove and the revenue generated will benefit the village and pay for itself. You sat in on the presentations for this project, but did you hear what was said? Seems like that is a "no". That's all for now...going back to watching the Bears' game, we're winning 34 to 14 over Indy!
sherwin dubren September 09, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Mr. Matz, Golf School is not in the Waukegan TIF. Again, it did not require a TIF to shut down the seedy hotel. If you ask about Waukegan Rd today, it looks like Western Avenue in Chicago, full of car dealerships to which you unsuccessfully tried earlier this year to add another in place of the Golf School. The Village lost a bundle of money in selling land to these car dealerships. Auto sales have not been stellar lately, so revenue from them could be better. We could have found room for ABT had we crossed both sides of Waukegan Rd. Action Party did almost nothing to keep them here, a loss of millions every year in tax revenue. I sat in on the presentation and no prospective tenants were named to be queued up to move in. This is pure speculation that we should not have got involved with.
sherwin dubren September 09, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Sorry, those last two sentences refered to the Prairie View TIF.
Mark V. Matz September 09, 2012 at 08:48 PM
OK, maybe Golf School isn't in the TIF, but parents were walking through it with their chilren. You can shut down a seedy motel, but without some investment capital the village might have been left with abandoned buildings, how attractive! As for the car dealerships, luxury cars like Acura, popular brands like Honda and a high-end exotic pre-owned dealership that is by far one of the most elegant dealerships I've ever seen; are hardly the images of Western Avenue that Sherwin is trying to paint for everyone here. Again, car dealerships mean more tax money - don't believe me? Feel free to look it up. Now the big one. Does anybody think ABT would want to have their products and customers in two buildings, having them cross a busy major road? No Sherwin, your idea of finding room on both sides is plain illogical and commercially impractical. ABT needed more continuous land which did not exist here. As for the Prairie View TIF presentation, you forgot to mention (or did you leave early and not hear it) that the names of stores being approached is proprietary for now. But why would the mall owners want to put in stores that will fail. Let's remember, they operate other malls in Illinois and I would imagine have a few good prospects in mind, just not yet for public consumption. They did say the expectations were Dominick's would be staying in an upgraded store though. On another note, Bears 41 - Colts 21 Maybe not such a long season afterall?
sherwin dubren September 10, 2012 at 12:34 AM
The village did not need a TIF to condemn that seedy motel. Even so, don't compare the problem of the motel against all the other disappointments with the entire TIF. The seedy motel was not the end of the story, as we had a prostitution problem after that just across the street in another motel. Nice try on glorifying the car dealerships on one of our two most prestige streets in the village. Compare the main shopping street of the Glen or the shops in Old Orchard. Car dealerships cater to people mostly outside the village and except for revenue, do nothing for entertainment and enjoyment of the residents. A former fancy restaurant on Waukegan near Dempster was torn down and never replaced. Not one movie theater or banquet hall in Morton Grove. The lots occupied by the car dealerships would have been more than adequate to handle ABT. Overflow parking could have been on the West Side with a traffic signal to ease crossings. Lot;s could have been done, but the Action Party just threw their hands up and let go one of the biggest revenue makers in our area Proprietary occumpants sounds like another excuse for the village to hide the true facts like they did with the garbage transfer station. The village is willing to invest our money in a venture without telling us who the intended occupants will be. Evidently, we had no say in the matter. Would any investor put his money into such a project without some guarantees of who will be moving in?
Mark V. Matz September 10, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Can you substantiate that the village did not require the TIF to solve problems with 2 motels on Waukegan? Sorry you don't like cars - but those dealerships are providing revenue in attractive facilities. Don't forget about tax revenue from those working or buying cars spent on, gas, food, etc. Never had the land available for a development like The Glen or Old Orchard, a simple look at a map confirms that - so the comparison is invalid. As for fancy restaurants, it takes diners going consistently and the owners' finding the right location. Who would you suggest we invite? Let's also remember Culver's - whether YOU like the food or not, a great addition. Movie theaters? The trend is to mega-complexes, again - where? A banquet hall would be great, but same problems. Now back to your ABT idea. Your bias against the Action Party seems to cloud logic as you're trying to defend a bad idea. Why would ANY retail establishment want the plan you propose making people cross Waukegan? Since you are obviously not a member of the Action Party, I find it interesting that you KNOW so much how they threw their hands up and let ABT go? Again, facts check - the statements confirming you're wrong were made by Mr. Abt during the last election when you brought this up before. If the owners at Prairie View didn't want to reduce their leverage with new tenants by announcing them in public, most understand that reasoning. Anything else?
sherwin dubren September 10, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Just a bunch of flimsy excuses from Mr. Matz. Everything seems to be a problem for the Action Party. Their biggest problem is that they have nobody with the brains to fix them. ABT probably could have made it work with a multi-storey garage like they do at Old Orchard and other places where they kjnow how to handle these problems. Investing resident money in a questionable venture for people who have million's of dollars smacks of stupidity and carelessness.
sherwin dubren September 10, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Not sure about his work experience, but the guy lives in Glenview and doesn't care what kind of c**p he brings to Morton Grove. I would like to see how successful he would be bringing a garbage transfer station or titlted kilt to Glenview.
Mark V. Matz September 10, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Not excuses Mr. D. - but realistic answers to questions that have been asked and answered time and time again here and elsewhere....but which you alawys choose to ignore or disregard because of your anti-Action bias. I've enjoyed our exhange this weekend, but I've grown tired trying to crack thru concrete and have no more time for your inane viewpoints...for today. Too bad, you could be a positive force in the village but you've chosen another path...but it's your life. One last point, why would ABT spend the money on this mult-story garage and still have people cross the street to shop? One last time....THEY chose to leave because we had no land that met their needs! Good night Sherwin!
Mark V. Matz September 10, 2012 at 02:39 AM
You might want to check his biography that was printed in the Champion or Patch when he was appointed....after serving as Finance Director for some years and winning awards for the village in that capacity. You could also try sending a note to village hall and asking them directly, their website is www.mortongroveil.org. As for losing out to other surrounding communities, there's a lot of factors there not so easily answered in this venue. I hope you have more of an open mind then Mr. Dubren. Again, best to contact village hall directly instead of getting what might be incorrect information here from others who really don't know or have other agendas. Good luck on your research, hope you keep an open mind!
Mark V. Matz September 10, 2012 at 02:44 AM
OK Sherwin, now you're just being snarky and making assumptions again about someone whom I would guess that you've never met. so time for YOU to take a pill or some hot milk and go to bed too. Again, good night Sherwin...hope the bed bugs don't bite you (well, not too much anyway)!
sherwin dubren September 10, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Mr. Matz, you missed the obvious point. It there were a multiple storey garage together with the store, there would be no necessity to split the site across Waukegan. I don't care about the Administrator's background. When he makes idiodic remarks that any business is welcome into Morton Grove as long as it is legal, he has no place in our village. Are you guys going to bill me for all the medical advise? Just send the bills to Medicare.
Paul Young September 10, 2012 at 03:39 AM
If I may throw one comment in, how did some people get on the topic of teachers in this thread? The comments became a little mean spirited against the teachers in a comment section about a waste transfer station. I, for one, agree that fraud, waste, and abuse are prevalent in the public sector and it needs to be fixed. However, don't let the few dictate your views on the majority. What I mean is this, the vast majority of the teachers, as well as firefighters and cops, do a great job and deserve some respect. Calling teachers turds and worthless creatures (I am censoring some of the comments I read) is uncalled for and disgusting. There is plenty of blame to go around because the negotiators for the school districts agreed to the raises that were given to the teachers and the school boards approved them. Say what you will about greedy, but how many of you would turn down a raise? Frankly speaking, I think the teachers in my school district are outstanding (district 70) and they are definitely not turds or trash. Let's have a little decorum in our posts please.
RIP-Neil September 10, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Paul is absolutely correct. Not sure of any specifics in the last negotiations, but I do not remember any threats of strikes. The past board agreed to the current contracts and why would the teachers not accept them? Now, if they were behaving like the CPS teachers right now, that would be a different story. As of now, the teachers cannot be held to blame for this (unless there are details missing here). They are held to higher expeditions, but in the end, they are people who have "jobs". They need to earn money and probably would like to be paid as much as possible. This all changes next year when the district tells them how much money it has. They will then have to either accept new terms or strike, but that is pointless, since the district doesn't have money trees. If they demand continuation of their current contract, then demonize away.
RIP-Neil September 10, 2012 at 12:27 PM
People also criticize them for their past concessions, since they are still making larger raises than most Chicago residents and more importantly, getting raises. Not sure if you can really blame them for that either. They were offered a pay contract and then asked to give it back to save the jobs of fellow workers. How many of you would voluntarily (and remember anonymously) vote to give back 5-10% of your salary to save someone's job that you may not even personally know? You can say yes, but when the phone rings, everyone is going to say no. You have to think about your own families first. Do it for the kids? We know how some of you feel since stopping the referenda will have more effects on the kids than the teachers. So, you same people would probably not make concessions either.
Mark V. Matz September 10, 2012 at 12:38 PM
To answer your question after looking at the history of this administrator, I would have to say he has more than a satisfactory experience to do the job in Morton Grove.
Mark V. Matz September 10, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Sorry Sherwin, if anyone missed the point again here it is you. I can only imagine your deep frustration that ABT did not consult with you about how they spend their money to operate their business they've run since the 1930's (when ABT opened in Chicago's Logan Square). According to their website, they are now operating on 37 acres employing over 1000 people. Just because YOU think a multi-story garage and store would work; their management and owners apparently thought otherwise and regretfully left our town because the physical site they needed simply does not exist. As for thinking any local government would easily let a major tax generator just walk away is simply ridiculous and suggesting otherwise flys in the face of logic (unless of course one's mission is to take out more frustration at being resoundingly rejected by by voters on those who did win)? As for the medical advice, I would be happy to have you make a contribution to the Action Party's campaign fund to settle the bill. Shall I send you the address twhere you can mail your check?
RIP-Neil September 10, 2012 at 01:44 PM
This ABT argument is plain dumb. It's not like MG had any real chance of keeping them. For one, they wanted more space than MG could offer. Two, they probably wanted to setup shop further north so that they could be more centralized to people that are more likely to spend more money. Sorry, if it was my store, and I was spending all that money to renovate, and I wanted to have the largest number of higher paying customers, and I wanted to have plenty of land so that my facility wasn't squeezed in between a car wash and a party rental store, I choose the new glenview location 1000 times out of 1000. Why do people keep talking about this? Who in their right mind would do this in their current location? It is like proposing to put a driving range on that property. There is a good reason that MG has a problem attracting business, large restaurants. There are better locations within earshot with nicer lots/malls and better traffic. You can love and want to support the community, but these people are thinking with their business sense.
sherwin dubren September 10, 2012 at 05:23 PM
It's easy now to look at the fancy facility ABT put up in Glenview, but at the time they moved, they had a good clientel at the Waukegan Rd. location and probably would have seriously consider staying if Morton Grove had been more aggressive in trying to keep them. As for the administrator, it is HIS opinion that he is qualified. Is he some kind of expert in this field? It takes more than a lot of sheepskin's to be a good administrator. Our current one is too much under the thumb of the mayor, which I think is the reason the former one left. Why did the former administrator leave MG to take a job as an assistant administrator? Joe Wade was a very competent administrator and served the village well for many years.
Mark V. Matz September 10, 2012 at 06:20 PM
So now Sherwin is a marketing and demographics expert for ABT and knows their proprietary income records too? OK, one more time...they moved because our community no longer met their business model. All your permutations in trying to find another reason and blame the Action Party will lead no where. As for knowing what makes a good administrator, why Mr. Wade left, his level of expertise and comments about how a Mayor from a party you are openly biased against does his job; are these all coming from the same source of logic that you are using to explain why ABT moved? If so, I say what you use to process information is not working very well...you should get that checked sometime.
sherwin dubren September 10, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Mr. Matz, you have given no evidence to support your view on ABT. Just a lot of gobely gook about models, etc. They were doing a bang up business on Waukegan Rd. but needed more room to expand, which we did not give them. I don't think the Action Party made a serious effort to keep them. I am not biased about the mayor, just critical. Bias implies opinions without support. I think I have made my case no matter how you dance around it.
Mark V. Matz September 10, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Sorry Sherwin, the word "bias" stands; especially using your own definition of the word. Your writings here and elsewhere over time have clearly demonstrated your viewpoint to the public. As for evidence on ABT - YOU are the one speaking without evidence on their business model, income and other propriety information. It was not the Action Party, but the duly elected Board of Trustees of the Village of Morton Grove who would have worked to maintain a tax generating business. Why wouldn't they? ABT chose to move to a much larger site that didn't exist in Morton Grove to accomdate more employees, showroom floorspace and parking. And exactly what real estate parcels (which are owned privately in America) was Morton Grove supposed to "give them" anyway? Sounds just a little socialistic to me! Mr. Abt clearly stated his reasons for moving, in writing, when all this came up during the last election. I fear you're having another convenient loss of memory about this issue to suit your baseless arguments. You've made NO case Mr. D. but are following your established pattern of trying to spin your opinions as fact. I think the readers and people of Morton Grove know your game...and I really need to say no more on this subject just to entertain you. But I am happy to answer your next batch of fantasies and burst some more of your delusional bubbles!
sherwin dubren September 11, 2012 at 02:09 AM
The land we could have given ABT is the same land we sold to the car dealerships for peanuts. Nobody is talking about giving anything away. I'm sure if we tried, we could have come to an amiable agreement with ABT. Is there any evidence that MG called for meetings with ABT and offered them the same deals they gave to other businesses coming into the current TIF's. Your game is to sweep everything under the carpet and pretend it never happened. I hope the readers of Patch consider what really happened, since the Action Party never even wants to talk about the Waukegan TIF, or always portrays it as some kind of success because of the seedy motel. Surely, there is more to the storey that we never heard of and the Action Party is the last one to tell us about it. I think the facts speak for themselves. ABT decided to move from MG because we could not or would not accomodate them.
Pat Craig September 11, 2012 at 03:42 AM
The facts do, indeed speak for themselves. Unfortunately Sherwin you are deaf to them. You are not a bad person but you suffer from delusions. Delusion is a belief that, though false, has been surrendered to and accepted by the whole mind as a truth; illusion is an impression that, though false, is entertained by the imagination. I feel sorry for you.
sherwin dubren September 11, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Character assasination does not win any arguements in my book. Pretending to feel sorry for me is a stupid arguement.
Sol Fiske September 11, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Sherwin: if you're going to play with fire, you should expect to get burned. By the way, the car dealerships of which you speak (Honda and Acura) are a HUGE sales tax generator for the Village, and their land area combined is much smaller than Abt's 37 acre site in Glenview. Did you have a 37-acre site in mind for Abt? DO you have ANY idea how much land that is? I'll save you the trouble; it's over 1.6 million square feet. I challenge you to find that amount of land in the Village, either 10 years ago or now, that could have been used for Abt. You are entitled to your illogic, but you only embarrass yourself when you try to pass it off as fact.
Pat Craig September 11, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Sherwin, I'm not pretending. I am concerned that you have let your obsession with your hatred of the current administration lead you down the path of delusion. I have known you for a number of years and know that while misguided in a couple of areas, you are, at the core, a good person. I am sorry you see my honest compassion as stupid. Perhaps it is best if I just leave you to your fantasies and hope you get professional assistance.


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