On August 15, 2022 The State of Illinois and the Lake County State's Attorney filed suit against CHDS, LLC for conducting a waste disposal operation in violation of a permit and for violations of a Compliance Commitment Agreement.
See 2019 Documents Below for Reference
CHDS Mulch Fire
On the night of 10/22/22 a fire broke out in the mulch pile at CHDS. A Round Lake resident drove by the area and provided video of the fire and emergency response. This is the second mulch pile fire at CHDS, a previous fire in November 2021 had forced Baxter to have issues with their clean room air filtration system. Why does this keep happening at CHDS? We do not know. But with a large Round Lake employer across the street who is dependent on clean air, and because CHDS operates on Village owned property, it may be worth investigating.
In an effort to provide transparency to our community, we spent hours in partnership with Kenneth Ashman of Ashman Law to explore any means available to stop the Village of Round Lake from approving Dan Powell's Ski Hill proposal. The first step was the annexation of the property. If the board had voted to annex the property at Fairfield and Route 120, it would have come with Dan Powell and CHDS, LLC as the developer of 85 acres of the parcel.
Here you will find links to all of our documents, from the Snowflex website and emails exchanges with the company, to screen shots of publiclly available tax and property information. We have also included the FIOA documents we received from the Lake County Health Department as well as the FOIA request itself. Please know that personal email addresses and phone numbers have been redacted for privacy.
You will also find Mr. Ashman's letters and exchanges with Village of Round Lake officials including supporting evidence involving the "pay to play" politics side of the past. Other pertinent information includes the fact that current Mayor Kraly was the Village Administrator under former Mayor Dan MacGillis until the spring election of 2015 when Mr. Kraly became a Trustee, and then finally Mayor himself in 2021 when Mr. MacGillis stepped down.
On September 19, 2022 Mayor Kraly made reference to two documents he had received from Snowflex to prove Dan Powell had been in contact with their US representative based in Wisconsin for the past 10 months in relation to the design of his proposal and that size of his planned retention pond was adequate according to their calculations. You can listen to the audio from the meeting (1:09:35).
The Original Purpose of Wilson and 120
We want commercial development in the Village of Round Lake.
We need to be prepared for CHDS to walk away from Wilson Rd. and leave us with the clean up bill.
Read the FOIA Documents Regarding Village Inspections
When CHDS, LLC violated its original permit in July 2019, it sent an apology to the Lake County Health Department, but it did not fix what was wrong. By December 2019, CHDS entered into a Compliance Commitment Agreement (CCA). The failure of CHDS to abide by the terms of the CCA is one of the reasons the State is now suing CHDS.
According to the CCA, the village engineer is to inspect operations at CHDS at least monthly. The village does not employ an engineer and outsources this responsibility to engineering firm Baxter & Woodman.
The Cost of Doing Business with CHDS
As Round Lake residents and taxpayers, we need to ask our village leaders to answer the following questions:
How much of the $11,000 per year spent on paying Baxter & Woodman to monitor CHDS is part of normal village operations and how much is due to monitorning necessitated by the failure of CHDS to follow their compliance agreement?
Should CHDS bail and walk away from their lease at Wilson Rd if their permit is not renewed in 2024, how much will it cost to restore the site to its original condition in order for it to be ready for commercial use?
Has the village or Baxter & Woodman ever issued CHDS a violation, fine, citation, stop work order, or any kind of corrective or punitive reprimand for its operations on the property at Wilson Rd?
According to the village's 2022 Budget, Round Lake's operating expenses start exceeding revenues after 2023 (page 8). On the following page, rent payments from CHDS increased from $60,000 to $125,000 for 2022. Any potential replacement for business on Wilson and 120 should generate $125K without costing $11K in monitoring. Our community should be working together with village officials as a committee to explore and expand our resources to bring in ACTUAL developers, not impersonators.
Also, requests were made for documents pertaining to potential clean up costs relating to the CHDS site at Wilson and Rt. 120. A memo was completed by Baxter & Woodman and submitted to the Village on July 2, 2022 (20 days before the public hearing with the Planning & Zoning Commission regarding the Ski Hill project).