February 10, 2021
Dear Village Resident,
This letter was recently sent to all village residents regarding a sales tax question being placed on the April 6, 2021 ballot. Included was information to help you understand how this question came to be and the outcome that can be achieved through additional sales tax revenue. In 2019, the Village asked for your input on updating the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. When surveyed about transportation preferences, the highest ranked preference was focusing on neighborhood road repair. Based on this feedback, the Village Board approved an ordinance directing the County Clerk to place a referendum question on the ballot asking voters to choose whether or not they support raising the local sales tax by 3/4 percent on goods purchased in the Village. As a result, the following questions will appear on the April 6, 2021 ballot:

Shall the corporate authorities of the Village of Spring Grove be authorized to levy a sales tax at a rate of three quarters percent (3/4%) for expenditures on municipal operations, expenditures on public infrastructure, or property tax relief?

The board’s decision to place the question of a sales tax increase on the ballot was also based on the following key factors:

  • The Village’s need to establish sufficient revenues to support road resurfacing and other underfunded capital items.
  • This tax will be shared by ALL people who shop in our community, not just our residents, raising approximately $483,750/year of additional revenue to help pay for our road maintenance and infrastructure.

At the current time, only 1 percent of the 7 percent paid in sales tax comes back to the Village; the remaining 6% is retained by the State of Illinois. If approved, shoppers will pay a 7 3/4 percent sales tax, (the same as we pay in McHenry) for goods purchased within the Village of Spring Grove, of which 1 ¾ percent will be disbursed back to our community.

We encourage you to get out and vote on April 6, 2021. Should you have any comments or questions after reading my letter and information sheet please email info@springgrovevillage.com.

I also want to share that over the past year with your help through letter writing, public comments, and surveys, we have been making progress on other funding opportunities and grants. Trustee Mike Lee and I have been working with local representatives and organizations, such as the McHenry County Council of Mayors and the McHenry County Council of Government, bringing Spring Grove a voice at the table. I believe we will have opportunities in the future for more funding towards our roads and infrastructure needs that will also help our program. I want to thank all of you for participating in my call for action.
The Village Board will continue to look at every grant opportunity to help fund our large infrastructure needs. We are a small community with needs and working as a team we can do much more.

Mark Eisenberg
Village President
Survey Deadline Approaching
If you haven’t filled out the short McHenry County Connection Public Survey for the planning of a pedestrian, bicycle and trails master plan, please go to this link and take the survey located on the top of the the page. One major trail idea is to connect the Richmond Prairie Trial through Spring Grove to the Chain of Lakes State Park. Please help get us included in this new trail system by taking the survey and having your voice heard. This survey ends February 19.
RBBA 2021 Registration Now Open
RBBA Registration for the 2021 Season is now open for T-Ball (both boys and girls) Softball (girls) and Baseball (boys) from the ages of 4 through 14.  Currently, due to COVID-19, RBBA is not requiring payment at the time of registration; however it will be required by March 15.  You can register your child at the RBBA website here. If you have any questions, please contact RBBA Player Agent, Brittney Bowman here.
 
RBBA is also looking for sponsors.  If you are interested in sponsoring RBBA's 2021 Season, please contact Brad Kranich here.
Rotary Spaghetti Dinner Tonight!
There is still time to order tonight's R/SG Rotary spaghetti dinner! The Annual Spaghetti Dinner will benefit the R/SG Community Food Pantry. Order on-line below and pickup your take-out dinner tonight, Wednesday, February 10, from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Richardson Adventure Farm located at 909 English Prairie Road. All dinners - $12 - include spaghetti, salad, bread, and dessert. View more info and pre-order online here!
Valentine's Day Flowers & Gifts
Valentine's Day is this Sunday, February 14. Birds of Paradise Flowers and Gifts has beautiful roses, tropical bouquets, blooming plants, sweet treats, and hot cocoa for your Valentine. They deliver, or pick-up your order. Walk-ins welcome! Extended hours this Friday 9:30-6:00, Saturday 9:30 - 4:00 and Sunday 10:00 - 2:00. Visit their Facebook page or call 815-363-8568. Located at 2404 Spring Ridge Drive.
Smooch a Pooch Valentine's Day Pawty
Come and get a smooch from a rescue dog for a donation that will benefit L.E.A.R.N. (Labrador Education and Rescue Network). Nature's Feed owner, Dorothy, has adopted many of her fur kids from L.E.A.R.N.! For every donation made, you will receive a Valentine’s Day goody bag (including a bag of Fromm Crunchy O’s treats!) valued at $8.00. Limit 1 goody bag per household. You can also bring your pooch in for a photo op in the Dog Kissing Booth! Nature’s Feed will be offering 30% off ALL (dogs and cats) Weruva products the entire day! It’s a great time to stock up or to try something new! Located at 2440 Westward Drive.
Photo of the Week
Last week's snowstorm was perfect for building ice castles and igloos! If you have a photo of Spring Grove you would like to share, email it here.
The Vigder and Wicinski families teamed up to make this awesome ice castle in the Wilmot Farms subdivision. They invited their friends, the Millicans, Jensens & Van Everys over for some fun!
The Mailfald family building their igloo.
The completed igloo with an umbrella top was cozy at night!
Salon Jevee Gift Cards
Get that someone special a Salon Jevee Gift Card for this Valentine's day! Located at 2207 Route 12 in the Spruce Pointe Mall. View the flyer here and visit them here to see a complete line of services.
New Leaf Home Hidden Hearts Event
It's that time of year! New Leaf Home Furnishings has hidden paper hearts throughout the store with monetary values to apply to purchases from February 1 - 28.  Also in the month of February they have double punch days. Loyalty Card members must check their email the first week of February to find out which days! Located at 2449 Pierce Drive. Join them and see what's new on Facebook.
February Fundraiser for Schools
Richmond Motor Sales and Service is donating 10% of any bill for service or maintenance in February to the Spring Grove Elementary PTO and the RBCHS National Honor Society. View the flyer here and present it at time of service to give back to your school! Richmond Motor Sales and Service is located at 10400 Main St. in Richmond.
COVID-19 Vaccine
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If you are in Phase 1B and Phase 1C, complete the enrollment form and once a clinic becomes available to each group, additional information on how to schedule an appointment will be directly emailed to you. 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
McHenry County advanced to Phase 4 mitigation!
 
That means indoor dining can expand to parties of up to 10 people (with at least 6 feet between groups), and bars that don’t serve food can reopen under the same guideline. Capacity of meetings and gatherings can increase to 50 people or 50 percent of room capacity.
 
But, now is not the time to let up our guard – 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 about COVID-19, call the hotline at 800-889-3931 or email questions here.
Blast from the Past
May farmhouse
Close-up of family (Frank May is the young boy sitting on porch step).
Playful photo showing beer being pumped out of the family well!
Only the men are enjoying the German stout.
Frank May, the silo builder, was one of ten children raised by Mathias and Margaretha May. Mathias was born in the Mayen-Koblenzer area of Germany where the Rhine River runs through. Around 1842 when he was three years old, he left with his father, Peter May and step-mother Gertrude Thelen (his mother Gertrude Retterath having died in 1840). Leaving from Le Havre, France, they boarded a ship, which took about six weeks to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and landed in New York. The family made their way west and settled in the Johnsburg area. Margaretha (Freund) was also born in Germany.

Often, relatives who first settled here contacted family & friends in the "old country", or those who lived out east, asking them to come join them. In that way, areas were settled with mostly people with the same nationality. The area north of downtown Spring Grove was called English Prairie as mostly the English settled there, and the area south, all the way to Johnsburg, where the Mays settled, was called German Prairie.

In 1862, Margaretha and Mathias married, and settled on the border of Spring Grove and Johnsburg to farm. Of course, all the immigrants brought their customs from the countries of their birth and along with the skills of farming, Mathias was taught the art of German beer brewing.

Typically, farmers eventually gave their farms over to their children or sold them and settled in town in their old age. Mathias and Margaretha were no exception, and gave up the farm for village life when they retired in 1900. That year, building was booming in Spring Grove, and they purchased two lots from blacksmith Nick Freund and had a new house built for themselves at 2114 Main Street.

Now with many grandchildren, they posed for the photo below in front of their new house. On the occasion of their daughter's wedding in 1902, they took another group photo in front of the house. They enjoyed many years there as Mathias lived until 1917 and Margaretha until 1921. The house, although "updated" on the exterior, still stands, as does Tamarack trees, almost 120 years later.

A piece of lumber stamped "Tibbits and Cameron Lumber Co Spring Grove" was found in the attic and donated by Ben Orbeck to the village. It is on display at the Village Municipal Centre in a small historical display in the vestibule.
Family and friends surround Margaretha and Mathias at their new home - 2114 Main Street - circa 1900 with son-in-law and blacksmith Nick Freund squatting in center.
A wedding celebration photo of Frank Tonyan and daughter, Lizzie May, in 1902 in front of the Main Street house. Mathias and Margaretha are at right in photo.
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