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Committee Notes: Village Officials Make Exception to BB Gun Rule, Review Guidelines for Towing Company

Cub Scouts will be allowed to shoot during a summer day camp program behind the Lemont Township Community Center.

The Lemont Village Board in a committee of the whole meeting Monday night agreed to allow Cub Scouts to shoot BB guns and discussed a standardized code of conduct for towing companies in town.

Ciara Crowther, a district executive for the Des Plaines Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and Mark Huegelmann, a director of camping programs, asked the board to consider an exception to the ordinance that prohibits the firing of air guns in Lemont.

During an annual summer camp program, Cub Scouts learn archery and BB gun shooting, among other activities.

The camp is moving from a Park District location to an area behind the new Lemont Township Community Center, which is in the 58-acre Heritage Woodland Sanctuary, just north of 127th Street near the Veterans Memorial Tollway.

Crowther told the board that the new location offers a more natural setting for the Scout programs and has a tree line that screens homes in the area. Another important consideration for the Scouts is the presence of the community center, which can be used in the case of a weather emergency.

Crowther and Huegelmann said the Scouts receive a high standard of training, based on National Rifle Association guidelines.

“The last couple years, police officers have taught the Scouts,” Huegelmann said. 

The BB gun training is “not just for the fun of shooting, but about safety around guns,” he added. Scouts are taught to stop when a cease fire order is given and also learn what to do if they ever find a gun.

Police Chief  Kevin Shaughnessy said he is satisfied with the safety record of the camp, and the Lemont Police Department has no problem with the program.

Mayor Brian Reaves said the camp is a great program that his own two boys enjoyed.

The board agreed to allow the exception. The camp will be held in June, and 120 boys will participate.

Lemont Towing Regulations

Also at the meeting, Shaughnessy told officials that the police department is following state police guidelines concerning the professionalism of tow truck companies.

“The tow companies sort of represent the police,” Shaughnessy said, because the police are the ones who call a truck to come and get a vehicle.

The chief said about 300 vehicles a year are towed in Lemont.

A major issue in finding a tow company to work with the village is the proximity of the tow lot and hours that cars can be retrieved. Two companies have expressed interest in servicing Lemont.

Trustee Debby Blatzer said people whose vehicles break down or have to be abandoned — as was the case in the February blizzard — shouldn’t have to pay exorbitant charges when  circumstances are out of their control.

Shaughnessy said the police are always willing to work with residents to resolve a towing issue. Reducing or dropping fees is a matter that has to be worked out between the tow company and the Police Department.

Vehicles in the way of the St. Patrick’s Day parade were towed at no cost to the owners, Shaugnessy noted.

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