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Brewing, broadcasting and branding: 4 things to know from Monday's Lemont Village Board meeting

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 3:56 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:43 a.m. CDT

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LEMONT – Throughout the four hours during which the Lemont Village Board met Monday, several topics besides the Lemont Sports Complex were discussed.

1. Microbrewery coming to town

The board approved a new Class A-8 liquor license that will allow for the opening of the Pollyanna Brewing Company, a microbrewery to be located at 431 Talcott Ave.

Lemont Mayor Brian Reaves said the brewery is waiting for state and federal licenses, but hopes it will be open by October.

"It goes along the line of making Lemont a destination place," he said.

To learn more about the brewery, visit www.pollyannabrewing.com.

2. What's in store for Channel 6?

A discussion about getting additional funding for the Lemont Community Television Organization, also known as Channel 6, turned to the future of the channel, which broadcasts Lemont events.

Village Administrator George Schafer said that since the village entered an agreement with the Lemont Video Access League in 1998, the nonprofit has seen its volunteers dwindle.

Some of the remaining volunteers, who attended the meeting, said they no longer have the energy to tape all the events they used to.

One idea was to make the channel a Lemont High School program.

Schafer said he has talked with Lemont High School District 210 Superintendent Mary Ticknor, who is open to the idea but would not able to add it to the curriculum in time for next school year.

Schafer said continuing the channel would require upgrades to its decades-old equipment.

The village budgeted $11,000 for the organization for fiscal year 2013-14, which would not be enough to pay for even basic-level new equipment, he said.

One funding option is to use Public, Educational and Government Access fees from AT&T and Comcast, Schafer said.

The village is already receiving such fee funds from AT&T Uverse but has not utilized them with Comcast, he said.

The fee would be a maximum 35-cent addition to monthly Comcast bills and would collect an estimated $13,000 each year.

3. Lemont defining its brand

In October, a group of community leaders, led by brand strategist Laura Pelen, started discussing a unified brand strategy for Lemont's taxing districts.

She said the group came up with one word it feels essentializes the village: "real."

The group started by determining six key attributes of Lemont: pioneering spirit, sense of community, small-town charm, rich history, recreation and scenery.

From those attributes, the group selected common themes: vivid experiences, authenticity and forward thinking. "Real" was chosen as the word that best summed up those themes.

Pelen said "real" is not meant to be a slogan, but something used internally to remind taxing bodies of the common message when promoting Lemont.

The next step is for representatives from all tax bodies to meet in order to fine tune the brand strategy and decide how to implement it.

For his part, Reaves seemed on board.

"That ties everybody's strategic plans together," he said. "I think it's real."

4. State Street property rezoning approved

The board formally passed an ordinance rezoning the properties at 604-606 State Street to allow a business to open in the commercial space there while protecting the residential space.

Carol Newton, a neighbor of the property who had been concerned about what kind of business would move in, attended the meeting to thank the village for facilitating the compromise.

"We all got about 80 percent of what we want and we're very happy about it," she said.

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Save the date

Lemont's State of the Village address will be held March 5 at Crystal Grand Banquets. To reserve a space, contact the Lemont Chamber of Commerce at 630-257-5997.

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