March 10, 2021
Dear Village Resident,
It’s budget season for the Village board.  February and March are the months the board and staff work to put together our fiscal budget, which runs from May 1 to April 31. Our goal is to provide the quality of life our residents have come to expect while spending within our means and keeping added costs and taxes in check. This goal gets harder and harder to accomplish every year due in part to a little trick the State of Illinois gets to play on us all.

The Village’s second largest source of revenue is a percentage of the Income tax you pay to the state. The state returns a portion of that tax back to communities so that we can provide services to our residents. The problem is that we do not have control over what that portion is. When the state needs more money and cannot raise your taxes directly, it simply cuts the percentage of income tax revenue it gives back to the communities. Over the years the state has taken little bites of this revenue source and has never returned it back to the amount we were supposed to receive. This year, the proposed reduction is 10% which is a lot of money for a small town like Spring Grove. This policy forces the local governments to be the ‘bad guy’ in raising local taxes or cutting services.

For us, a 10% cut in this revenue source translates to cuts in programs like road resurfacing, parks and recreational programs, and capital improvements.  We are working with other communities through the McHenry County Council of Governments to let Governor Pritzker know how this cut will hurt us and encourage him to drop this cut to revenue.

On the April ballot you will see a referendum to raise the local sales tax by .75% ($0.75 per every $100.00 spent). As I have mentioned before, this is comparable to what you pay when you shop in other communities such as Johnsburg and McHenry.  If this referendum passes, the extra revenue cannot be touched by the state.  It allows the Village to raise revenue without placing the burden solely on the backs or our residents, but rather on everyone who comes to town to shop, eat, or purchase gas.

Your Village Board and Staff are committed to maintaining the quality of life for which we moved here. We will continue to do the best we can to provide the services you need while spending within our means and working with the state to get our fair share of your tax dollars.

Mark Eisenberg
Village President
Easter Bunny Car Parade
The Village Easter Bunny will be smiling and waving to children and adults from the Horse Fair Park Gazebo on Saturday, March 27, from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m! Families must remain in their vehicles and drive by slowly through the park. View details of the route to take in the flyer.
Nippersink Library Reading Challenge
Register now for the Spring Into Reading challenge on Beanstack! Download the Beanstack app or register here. Keep track of your time spent reading and you'll earn badges for time logged and activities completed. All reading counts! Register before Friday, March 12, at 11:00 a.m. and you will be entered into a drawing for a gift card. The winner will be drawn at noon on Friday. Spring Into Reading will run from March 1 to April 30. All ages may participate!
Salon Jevee Spring Blowout Sale
Salon Jevee is having a Spring Blowout Sale! Save 20% on all Keune Care & Style Line products. Located at 2207 Route 12 in the Spruce Point Center. Visit or call 815-675-6000.
Wild Bird Seed Seminar
If you are curious about what to feed wild birds and how to attract certain types of birds to your yard, get your answers at Nature's Feed Wild Bird Seed Seminar hosted by Jeff Miller, from the Delong Company. All attendees receive a free suet!  To be held on Saturday, March 20, at 10:00 a.m. at Nature’s Feed as well as via Zoom. Call them at 815-675-2008 or email them here to register and reserve your spot.  Also, from March 22 -27 receive a FREE 11oz suet with any purchase of wild bird seed. Limit 1 offer per household while supplies last. Located at 2440 Westward Drive.
Photo of the Week
Images of winter that is quickly fading (hopefully). If you have a photo of Spring Grove you would like to share, email it here.
Ready to take a polar plunge? Sharon Halstead, was contemplating that while looking out her back window in Oak Valley Estates.
Patty Anderson took this picture of beautifully formed snow crystals on last year's Queen Anne's Lace.
Fire District Blood Drive
The Spring Grove Fire District is sponsoring a blood drive on Thursday, March 25, from 1:30 - 6:30 p.m. View ways to schedule your preferred appointment time here, facts about blood and donating blood here and about safety guidelines in place to due COVID-19. Thank you for supporting our local communities and helping to reduce the risk of local blood supply supply shortages.
Public Works Department Hiring
The Public Works Department has seasonal maintenance positions available. View more information here.
Welcome a New Business and Help Wanted!
BB.Q Chicken – (Best of Best Quality Chicken) is coming soon to 2020 N US Highway 12 Suite D! BB.Q Chicken is a national chain and are super excited to become part of our community. They are looking for members to join their team! Prior experience is most welcome and preferred, but what they are really looking for is great attitude, responsible, friendly mannerisms and excellence in customer service! View details here!
Nicor Air Sealing and Insulation Rebates
Nicor is providing rebates to residents who make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes in 2021, offering up to $400 for air sealing, up to $300 for attic insulation, up to $500 for duct sealing, and up to $400 for wall insulation. The work must be performed by a Nicor approved contractor who will apply an instant rebate to your invoice. For more details, go to Nicor Rebates or call Nicor at 877-886-4239. View more energy efficiency and emergency assistance tips at the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus website page here.
St. Patrick's Day Plan Before you Party
drive sober
Please plan ahead for a sober ride home to keep St. Patrick's Day celebrations from turning deadly. Designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive impaired can help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for DUI. View more important tips here. The Spring Grove PD will also be stepping up seat belt enforcement. Speed limit and distracted driving laws will also be strictly enforced. The St. Patrick’s Day campaign is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation. It runs from March 12-18.
COVID-19 Vaccine
Illinois has administered more than 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccinations so far. There are approximately 12.6 million Illinois residents.

McHenry County Health Department's vaccination efforts are hampered by the limited supply of vaccine. They are offering inoculations by appointment only to people who have enrolled through MCDH.They have launched a COVID-19 vaccine locator page to help residents become aware of vaccine opportunities in McHenry County, at

Illinois is also partnering with retail pharmacies such as Walgreens and Jewel-Osco to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. Information about where and how to schedule an appointment with these pharmacies is available at
Those eligible to receive the vaccine under Phase 1b include individuals under age 65 with high-risk medical conditions and those with disabilities. If you are in Phase 1B and Phase 1C, complete the MCHD enrollment form and once a clinic becomes available, information on how to schedule an appointment will be emailed to you. If you get an email to schedule an appointment but you are already vaccinated, please do not forward the email. Every appointment missed because of an ineligible person applying is a setback to getting our communities immunized, and eventually reaching the final Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan.

The Illinois Department of Health has FAQs regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. View information about getting tested here. View more information here.
COVID-19 Update
Face Mask 2
We are still in Phase 4 mitigation. Keep physically distancing, washing your hands, and wearing your mask so we keep moving forward, and not take any steps back. A complete list of Phase 4 guidelines can be found by clicking here.

Anyone who develops loss of taste and smell and has a fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms might be coming down with COVID-19. That person should be tested as soon as possible and contact health professionals for the next steps.

A map and information of the status of every Illinois county can be found on the IDPH website here. View a map of the United States and other countries to view potential risks associated with traveling. Areas with increased risk of COVID-19 are based on case rates. If you have health questions, call the COVID-19 hotline at 800-889-3931 or email questions here.
Blast from the Past - Bliven/Rice Descendants
Dentist Lucius Rice
Josephine M. Rice Voak
James Rice, Tinmaster
Henry Rice, wife Anna & family
Ada Rice Faber
Cousins G. Wesley Voak & Joseph Bliven Rice enjoy a new kind of transportation in 1903. It had been 60 years since their great-grandparents, Joseph Bliven and Rachel Knapp Bliven, came to Spring Grove in a covered wagon pulled by oxen.
The Bliven/Rice family developed our downtown area in the 1840s, starting the grist/flour mill, first hotel/tavern, first general store and the post office. Blivin Street was named after them, but beyond that we didn't know much about them and their offspring until recently. A descendant graciously shared stories and photos, helping us to cement their legacy in Spring Grove/Bliven's Mills.

Last week we learned about the Joseph and Rachel Blivens' oldest daughter, Catherine, who was born in 1813, her husband, Joseph Rice, and one of their daughters, Frances Amelia Johonnott. But they also had five other living children who grew up here. Here are some of their stories:

Lucius B. Rice was born in 1836 and married a widow with one child. He went to New York and trained in a dentist's office for six months before returning and practicing dentistry in Richmond. He lived until 1914.

Next came Frances Amelia, and after her, daughter Josephine M. Rice. She was born in 1844 and married Charles W. Voak who owned and operated a mill in Wilmot, Wisconsin. The mill was eventually purchased by Walter Carey who ran the first electric lines to Spring Grove in 1918. He generated this electricity first for the mill with power furnished by a three-foot waterfall over the dam in the Fox River. The Voaks ended up in Yakima, WA. The Victorian home still stands.

James K. Rice was born in 1846 and never married. He was a tinsmith in Spring Grove, and did carpentry and mechanic work.

Up next was Henry Hiram Rice, born in 1851. He married widow Anna, who had a son Arthur and they had three boys together, naming one Joseph Bliven Rice. They moved to Sheldon, IA to be by Anna's father, where Henry was supposed to run a store. It didn't work out and she divorced him in 1902. She then married Wilson Cole (a descendant of Miles Cole & Sally Bixby) in Spring Grove. Henry ended up with his bachelor brother, James, in a little house in Greenwood where they both died in the 1920s.

Last was Ada Frances Rice who was born in 1855. She married William Faber and they had four children.
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