July 2023

Plan Would Allow NIU Quad, Safer Intersection

DeKalb will proceed with planning on a proposal that, if given final approval, would allow Northern Illinois University to complete a long-sought goal to create a campus quadrangle while improving safety at an intersection frequently used by students.

The City Council June 27 supported a concept to eliminate traffic on Normal Road north of West Locust Street to Lucinda Avenue. In addition to the removal of deteriorating speed tables, this would make the campus more pedestrian friendly by allowing the creation of a quad, an idea that has been discussed as early as the late 1980s.

“Now, NIU can have what a traditional university has, which is a quad that is student-centric,” said Mayor Cohen Barnes. “I think it’s phenomenal.”

Also, as part of the proposal, a three-legged roundabout would be created at Normal Road and Lucinda Avenue. City Engineer Zac Gill said this will improve safety for students crossing these roads. While drivers can disregard speed limits and red lights, he noted roundabouts require vehicles to slow to around 15 miles per hour.

“Roundabouts have a physical deterrent there,” said Gill. “They are designed for a certain maximum, what we call, through speed.”

Council members want to make sure emergency vehicles can still access the portion of Normal Road that would be closed. Gill noted brick pavers could be installed on the base of the former road to support emergency vehicles, and an agreement with NIU would include a requirement to maintain emergency access.

Police responses using Normal Road were also addressed. Police Chief David Byrd said officers do not always respond from the Police Department, and more often, the first on the scene are already out on the street on patrol.

Access to the NIU parking garage would remain from Normal Road. One-way traffic would be allowed northbound on Normal between Lincoln Highway and West Locust Street, allowing for entry into the garage from Normal. Vehicles would exit onto Carroll Avenue, which would remain two ways. One-way traffic would remain on Locust between Normal and Carroll.

The support given by the Council allows the proposal to be developed in more detail. More information will be brought back as the plan progresses.

The red line shows the portion of Normal Road that would be closed to traffic to allow creation of a quadrangle on the NIU campus. The green circle shows the location for a proposed three-legged roundabout. The red arrows show the traffic flow on Normal Road (south of West Locust Street), West Locust Street and Carroll Avenue.

In This Issue

City Sharing Cost to Plant Parkway Trees

Celebrate Fourth of July in DeKalb

DeKalb Awarded Two Electric Paratransit Vehicles

Fun Jam in the Park Offers Activities for Kids

Drum and Bugle Corps Show Returns to DeKalb

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Community Shows Pride

Second Ward Alderwoman Barb Larson participated in a march that was held as part of the DeKalb Pride event in downtown DeKalb June 22.

A large turnout was seen for the event's Resource and Fun Fair held in Van Buer Plaza, North Second Street, Palmer Court and the Egyptian Theatre. Thank you to the DeKalb County Pride committee, which organized the event, the vendors and attendees for creating a sense of belonging in our community!

See more photos on the City of DeKalb's Facebook page.

City Sharing Cost to Plant Parkway Trees

The City of DeKalb encourages the planting of trees to enhance the community through beautification and aid environmental sustainability.

To support this effort, the City will cover half the cost to purchase and plant parkway trees. Along with sharing the costs with residents, the City will arrange the planting by a tree service.

For the program, the Public Works Department has selected species that grow well in parkways and will help diversify the community’s tree population. The trunk size at the time of planting is two inches in diameter.

The guidelines for the program and the application, which lists the available tree species, can be found here.

Celebrate Fourth of July in DeKalb

The annual Fourth of July Celebration in DeKalb is synonymous with summer. Families and friends alike have been watching the fireworks show at Hopkins Park, 1403 Sycamore Road, or locations throughout the City for decades as part of their holiday tradition. Visitors bring their blankets, chairs, and picnics to gather to listen to live music and enjoy the fireworks co-sponsored by the City of DeKalb and the DeKalb Park District. 

The holiday kicks off with the annual Independence Day Run/Walk, bright and early at 8 a.m. to beat the summer heat. This chip-timed race starts and finishes at Hopkins Park, providing participants to run a 5K or 10K. Results and the award ceremony are after the last runner returns, or no later than 10 a.m. The Early Bird registration period has ended. Staff will accept day-of-race registration for $45 per person; however, a race bag with a collectible t-shirt and participation medal is not guaranteed. Race day registration and check-in is from 7-7:30 a.m. Participants are encouraged to come dressed to support the red, white, and blue festivities! Thank you to our Independence Day Run/Walk sponsors, Northern Rehab Physical Therapy, and Pepsi Co. 

Once the race ends, the public can claim their favorite spot and enjoy a day of family fun in the park. There will be on-site activities such as a magic show at the Bandshell from 2-3:15 p.m., games, relay races, and strolling entertainers from 2-6 p.m., food vendors from 2-6 p.m., Final Say (Live Band) at the Bandshell from 3:30-5:30 p.m., and the DeKalb Municipal Band Concert at the Bandshell from 7:30-9 pm. The fireworks start approximately 30 minutes after sunset. Thank you to our Fourth of July Celebration Sponsor, Sport Clips Haircuts.

To keep both our two-legged and four-legged friends safe, dogs are prohibited in Hopkins Park on July 4 after 12 p.m.

For more information about the Independence Day Run/Walk or the Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks Show, please visit Park District website or call (815) 758-6663.

Visit the City's Employment Page to view and apply for open positions. For more info, contact Human Resources at 815-748-2398. 

Human Resources Openings

The City is currently testing for Firefighter/Paramedic! Application and testing deadline is 7/16/23. Apply here

DeKalb firefighter/paramedics Sarah Faivre, Josh Norman and Pat Eriksen share why you should join the DeKalb Fire family.

DeKalb Awarded Two Electric Paratransit Vehicles

DeKalb Public Transit is beginning to build an electric bus fleet with two electric paratransit vehicles awarded from the State of Illinois.

The City is one of 23 agencies across the state selected to receive the vehicles and associated charging infrastructure from the Illinois Department of Transportation for a pilot program on implementing electric paratransit vehicles in public transportation. The vehicles are being funded as part of the Federal Transit Administration’s Low to No Emission Vehicle Program.

“City of DeKalb Public Transit is excited to be part of this pilot project,” said Transit Manager Mike Neuenkirchen. “The award of these vehicles is an important first step towards a clean and sustainable transit program for the citizens of the greater Dekalb area.”

With a maximum range of 120 miles between charges, the electric paratransit vehicles (shown in photo above) will allow DeKalb Public Transit to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the quality of life in the community. The vehicles hold up to 13 passengers and offer three wheelchair positions.

The partner agencies in the pilot program will be meeting with IDOT next month to discuss a timeline for implementation of the new vehicles.

Community Service Focus of Addressing Juvenile Crimes

DeKalb will focus on providing community service while addressing recent juvenile crimes.

The City Council voted 7-0 June 12 to approve ordinance revisions in response to recent incidents involving large groups of juveniles. These city tickets give officers an alternative to filing charges under state law as a way to promote accountability while keeping juveniles out of the criminal court system.

Instead, the city tickets are processed through the City’s Administrative Hearing program where the Hearing Officer can assign community service. The City is enhancing its community service offerings, including an option to work at the Barb Food Mart.

Joey Moore, Director of Barb Food Mart, told the Council the organization provides wraparound services to students completing community service. The program begins with a comprehensive intake process which includes a meeting with the student and an adult in the student’s life to set high expectations. There are also check-ins with the adults at the midpoint and end of the service hours to share the strengths the student has shown.

“It’s going to take a community to wraparound families and to have high expectations for youth,” said Moore. “Where we are today isn’t where we need to be, but we can get there together.”

Mayor Cohen Barnes (shown in photo above) believes community service opportunities like those provided by the volunteers at Barb Food Mart will make a difference.

“The fact that you’re leaning in and really want to give kids that are going to be in this process an opportunity to succeed, give them a little love and encouragement, that could be the thing that changes them,” said Barnes. “I just want to say I’m proud to be a DeKalb citizen with you guys doing the mission that you’re doing.”

Another component of the approved measure adopts the Illinois Parental Responsibility Law. This would be a final option if interventions through the existing COMPASS program fail to encourage parental responsibility for a juvenile.

Created in 2016, COMPASS aims to prevent first-time juvenile offenders from becoming repeat offenders through parental engagement. After an offense, the parent(s) receives a notice. A second offense within a year prompts a meeting between the parent(s) and a trained juvenile officer to outline steps to avoid further offenses and the parent(s) attends juvenile intervention training. Only after the third offense by the same juvenile in a 12-month period would the parental responsibility citation be issued and, again, a possible outcome would be community service.

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DeKalb Airport Hosts EAA Events

More than 450 people turned out for the EAA Chapter 241 Fly-In/Drive-In pancake breakfast on June 4 at DeKalb Airport. The annual event in the Community Hangar helps fund flight training scholarships for local students.

The day before, 30 young people experienced flying in the skies above DeKalb during the Young Eagle Flights offered by EAA Chapter 241.

More photos from these events can be seen on the DeKalb Airport Facebook page.

DeKalb Fire Conducts Ladder Training

The DeKalb Fire Department put its training tower to use last week.

The weekly training session involved ladders - placement for ventilation and rescues, carries, the structure of the ladder itself, usage of ladders off the truck basket and overall efficiency.

Time is of the essence when ladders are needed on the fireground and training like this makes DFD even that much more proficient.

Facebook Photos

View more photos of the ladder training on the DeKalb Fire Department's Facebook page.


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Users can also text ALERTDEKALB to 67283 to report criminal or suspicious activity and quality of life concerns.

Fun Jam in the Park Offers Activities for Kids

DeKalb Police Chief David Byrd plays Uno with children in Welsh Park at the first Fun Jam in the Park event on June 20.

This summer, DeKalb has something special in store for kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Join us for Fun Jam in the Park, where there will be an array of activities including board games, arts and crafts, sports, and much more!

Every Tuesday, through August 8th, we'll be at Welsh Park, ready to have a great time from 5-7 p.m. Mark your calendars for July 11th, 18th, 25th, and August 8th.

On Thursdays, we'll be exploring different parks across the City. Catch us at Hopkins Park on July 27th, Lions Park on August 10th, Liberty Park on July 6th and August 3rd, McCormick Park on July 13th, and New Hope Church on July 20th. Our sessions will run from 5-7 p.m., so be sure to join us!

Are you interested in making a positive impact in your community? We're currently seeking enthusiastic volunteers to assist us in organizing and managing various activity stations. It's a fantastic opportunity to contribute to your community while enjoying a day filled with camaraderie and connection. Sign up to volunteer here.

Also this summer, we will be hosting water fights! DeKalb Water Wars will be July 23rd at Hopkins and August 20th at Welsh. It will be an hour long event, bring your own water gun, we will have reusable water balloons. More details will be announce on the DeKalb Police Facebook page closer to the events.

Drum and Bugle Corps Show Returns to DeKalb

The sounds of brass and drums will once again fill Huskie Stadium as nine World Class Drum and Bugle Corps visit Northern Illinois University to make an early season appearance. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the contest starts at 7:30 p.m.

“The show this year moves to Friday night, July 7th, to allow more of the national touring corps to compete to establish prominence on the competition side of their performances,” comments Michael Embrey, local Drum Corps promoter.

World and Open Class corps alike will ramp up their tours with very busy schedules including a stop in DeKalb as they make their way toward the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis in late August.

Corps in the competition include: Genesis – Austin, TX, Madison Scouts – Madison, WI, Crossmen – San Antonio, TX, Troopers – Casper, WY, Colts – Dubuque, IA, The Cavaliers – Rosemont, IL, Blue Stars – La Crosse, WI, Boston Crusaders – Boston, MA, and Phantom Regiment – Rockford, IL.

The DeKalb Show is hosted in part by DCI and the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps. This will be a special year as The Cavaliers will be celebrating their 75th Anniversary. New this year will be the new co-ed Madison Scouts, having girls in the corps for the first time.

“This show means a lot to the economy of DeKalb,” according to Jeff Dobie, owner of Fatty’s Pub. “This will be one of our best weekends of the summer.” 

”We started having Drum Corps shows in DeKalb almost 40 years ago,” said Embrey. “The first years the show was hosted by the NIU Marching Band and DCM.” Embrey has been involved in drum corps for many years, including being a member of the Chicago Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps and then the US Air Force Drum & Bugle Corps.

DeKalb Mayor Cohen Barnes recently presented a proclamation welcoming the Drum Corps to DeKalb.

"The Drum Corps show has been both great entertainment and a tourism boost to the City of DeKalb," proclaimed Mayor Barnes. "We enjoy showcasing our city to the thousands of fans that come to DeKalb." 

Mayor Cohen Barnes (left) and Fourth Ward Alderman Greg Perkins (right) presented Drum Corps promoter Michael Embrey with a proclamation welcoming the Drum and Bugle Corps to DeKalb.

City Hall Closure

DeKalb municipal offices will be closed the following day:

  • Tuesday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day
Upcoming Meetings

Citizens' Environmental Commission

July 6, 4:30 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Training Room at the DeKalb Police Department

City Council

July 10, 6 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library

DeKalb Public Library Board

July 12, 7 p.m. in the Bilder Family Room at the DeKalb Public Library

Citizens' Community Enhancement Commission

July 17, 4 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Training Room at the DeKalb Police Department

Planning & Zoning Commission

July 17, 6 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library

Fire Pension Board

July 20, 9 a.m. in the 2nd Floor Training Room at the DeKalb Police Department

City Council

July 24, 6 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library

Airport Advisory Board

July 25, 7 p.m. in the West Community Hangar at the DeKalb Airport

Police Pension Board

July 28, 10 a.m. in the 2nd Floor Training Room at the DeKalb Police Department

Joint Review Board

July 28, 1 p.m. in the 1st Floor Conference Room at DeKalb City Hall

To view agendas for City meetings, please go to the City's Agenda Center here.

To check for meeting cancellations and location updates, please check the City website here.

July Community Events

Fourth of July

Hopkins Park

Enjoy a day of family fun as we celebrate our nation’s independence. Brought to you by the DeKalb Park District and City of DeKalb.

Independence Day Run/Walk, 8 a.m.

Magic Show, 2-3:15 p.m.

Games, Activities, & Strolling Entertainment, 2-6 p.m.

Food Vendors, 2-6:00 p.m.

Final Say (Live Band), 3:30-5:30 p.m.

DeKalb Municipal Band Concert, 7:30 p.m.

Fireworks Show, 30 minutes after sunset

Find more information on the DeKalb Park District website.

DeKalb Municipal Band

Hopkins Park Band Shell

For over 160 years, the DeKalb Municipal Band has played on.

Concerts every Tuesday night through August 22, 7:30 p.m.

View the schedule of featured soloists here.

Farmers' Market

Van Buer Plaza

Fresh locally grown produce, bread, baked goods, coffee, pet treats, flowers, handmade craft items and more from over 30 vendors.

Every Thursday through Sept. 21, 10-2

Find out more here.

Fun Jam in the Park

Children's activities including board games, arts and crafts, sports, and much more at parks throughout DeKalb.

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 5-7 p.m.

Liberty Park, July 6 & Aug. 3

Welsh Park, July 11, 18, 25 & Aug. 8

McCormick Park, July 13

New Hope Church, July 20

Hopkins Park, July 27

Lions Park, August 10

Make a positive impact on youth by signing up to volunteer here.

Stage Coach Players

126 S. 5th Street

Bright Star

A sweeping tale of love and redemption featuring the Tony®-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. 

July 6-16

Purchase tickets here, and visit the theater's full schedule.

Drum & Bugle Corps Competition

NIU Huskie Stadium

Nine drum and bugle corps compete as they make their way toward the DCI Word Championships.

Friday, July 7, 7:30 p.m.

View the lineup and purchase tickets here.

Music at the Mansion

Ellwood House

Concerts set against the backdrop of the historic Ellwood House Museum.

Pre-show entertainment on select dates at 6:30 p.m., headliner show at 7 p.m.

July 12, Renegade Wildflower, southern rock and country

July 19, Rosie and the Rivets, Hits from the 50s and 60s

July 26, Jazz in Progress, local jazz

August 2, Serendipity, pop/rock

Find more information here.

DeKalb Public Library

309 Oak Street

African American Composers

A look at composers such as Chris Smith and Shelton Brooks, and also some leaders in the field such as W.C. Handy, “father of the blues,” and Ernest Hogan, “father of ragtime.”

Saturday, July 15, 2 p.m.

Learn more about the event here, and view all of the library's programs on its calendar.

Egyptian Theatre

135 N. 2nd St.

CCT Summer Camp: Pippin

Featuring the Children’s Community Theatre’s Advanced Summer Camp, which are students entering 8th grade through 2023 high school graduates.

Saturday, July 22 & Sunday, July 23

Purchase tickets and find more showing coming to the theater on its events schedule.

Get community news all month long by following the City of DeKalb on social media.

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City Officials

Cohen Barnes, Mayor

Carolyn Zasada, Alderwoman - 1st Ward

Barb Larson, Alderwoman - 2nd Ward

Tracy Smith, Alderman - 3rd Ward

Greg Perkins, Alderman - 4th Ward

Scott McAdams, Alderman - 5th Ward

Mike Verbic, Alderman - 6th Ward

John Walker, Alderman - 7th Ward

Ruth Scott, Recording Secretary

Bill Nicklas, City Manager

Hours of Operation
City Phone Numbers

City Hall          

164 E. Lincoln Highway

Monday - Friday  

8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Police Station

700 West Lincoln Highway

Monday - Friday   

8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Public Works

1216 Market Street

Monday - Friday

7 a.m. - 4 p.m.

DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport    

3232 Pleasant Street  

Monday - Friday     

8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

City Clerk 815-748-2090 

City Manager's Office 815-748-2090

Community Development Department 815-748-2070

DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport 815-748-8102

Finance Department 815-748-2000

Fire/Police Emergency 911

Fire Non-Emergency 815-748-8460

Mayor's Office 815-758-1886

Police Non-Emergency 815-748-8400

Public Works Department 815-748-2040

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