Machesney Park wins another distinguished budget award
By Bob Balgemann
The village of Machesney Park again has been recognized by a state organization for the qualify of its presentation of the annual budget.
Since 1984, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has presented the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to governments that have prepared and distributed budget documents of the highest quality. Those documents reflected both the guidelines established by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting and the GFOA.
It is the third consecutive year that the village of Machesney Park has received this award.
Budget and Human Resources Manager Michelle Johannsen presented the GFOA plaque to Mayor Steve Johnson at the village board’s Jan. 22 meeting. She said only 1,600 governments from around the United States received that award for the 2018-19 fiscal year, with just over 100 of them being in Illinois.
She said she believed the village’s 2019-20 budget, which must be adopted on or before May 1, 2019, would continue to meet requirements connected with that award.
Mayor Johnson commended her and Village Administrator Tim Savage, who prepare the budget, for their continuous hard work in that area. “Very few people are getting this” award, he said.
Business update
Also Jan. 22 Community Development Director James Richter II updated the board on what was happening in local economic development.
Forest Hills Diner recently opened “and on behalf of the village, we want to welcome them to Machesney Park,” he said. “The owner of the building is working to find another tenant, who will lease the banquet hall and bar area.”
The BP gas station and convenience store at 11225 N. Second St. was about to receive its occupancy permit, and currently is working with the health department on getting its food and beverage permit.
Also, Carlitos Tacos is taking over the space formerly occupied by Huskie’s Deli, 7828 N. Second St., and currently is finalizing kitchen improvements and working to obtain health department approval.
Village Clerk Lori Mitchell advised the board of the passing of two men who had been a presence in the area for many years.
Bob Edwards died at 90 years of age. He and his wife, Betty, founded what evolved into a destination, the Edwards Apple Orchard in nearby Poplar Grove, in 1964. He was a graduate of Harlem High School and an active member of the Harlemites, a group of more than 100 grads that meets monthly for breakfast in the Machesney Park-Loves Park area. It was created in 1974 on the occasion of the 50th reunion of the Harlem Class of 1924.
He also was active in the Poplar Grove Lions Club, serving as president in the 1980s, was instrumental in construction of the tennis courts behind Poplar Grove Village Hall and helped build the new Poplar Grove United Methodist Church off illinois 173.
In addition, he spearheaded the production of photographs of each graduating class of Harlem High School and placement at various locations in the complex.
“Whether it was for school, community or church, Bob was the first one to step up,” Poplar Grove Village President Owen Costanza recalled.
Webbs Norman died at age 85 and in his 34 years as executive director of the Rockford Park District, he oversaw the district’s dramatic growth. During his tenure the district acquired hundreds of acres of park land and added such attractions as the Sinnissippi Recreation Path, Magic Waters, Carlson Ice Arena, Riverview Ice House and Sportscore I and II.

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