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posted: 1/1/2018 6:00 AM

Northwest suburban mayors look at 2017 accomplishments

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  • Miller Park is part of a land swap agreement between the Barrington village government and the park district  meant to help a flood-prone neighborhood.

    Miller Park is part of a land swap agreement between the Barrington village government and the park district meant to help a flood-prone neighborhood.
    Courtesy of Village of Barrington

  • Brad Stephens

    Brad Stephens

 
Daily Herald report

It's become an annual New Year's tradition at the Daily Herald to ask our communiities' mayors and village presidents to share their thoughts on their towns' successes of the past year. Here's what Northwest suburban leaders had to say about 2017.

Tom Hayes,
Tom Hayes
Tom Hayes
Arlington Heights

A very busy and productive 2017 was capped by a number of special holiday events that reflected the family focus of our community, the vibrancy of our business climate, and our volunteer spirit. Highlights for the year included approval of a villagewide Stormwater Improvement Plan, commencement and substantial progress on the new police station project, the opening of multiple new restaurant/entertainment venues, the fire department's achievement of an Insurance Services Office Class 1 rating, the police department's Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies recertification, and the restructuring of village services by joining intergovernmental cooperatives to increase service levels and save money.

Karen Darch,
Karen Darch
Karen Darch
Barrington

One particular success of 2017, which makes us proud to be in Barrington, is the intergovernmental cooperative spirit in working for the public good exhibited in the village of Barrington and the Barrington Park District's "land swap" of Miller Park and Meinhard Park, allowing the village to further address stormwater management issues and the park district to continue to provide excellent recreational opportunities for residents.

Kevin Wallace,
Kevin Wallace
Kevin Wallace
Bartlett

This past year, the village board worked to streamline our site approval process and speed development in Bartlett. And we are very encouraged by the resulting commercial and industrial investment in the village, especially at Brewster Creek Business Park. Nearly 1 million square feet of new construction was added at the business park this year. Brewster Creek is currently home to 90 businesses in 39 buildings and includes an emerging food cluster, high-precision manufacturing firms and several auto supply chain companies.

Beverly Sussman,
Beverly Sussman
Beverly Sussman
Buffalo Grove

The village of Buffalo Grove experienced a tremendous 2017 with the groundbreaking for the new 242,000-square-foot Woodman's grocery store at Milwaukee and Deerfield, the grand opening of ThermFlo/Zonatherm Products and Knipex Tools, and expansions of existing businesses such as Connection and Burdeen's Jewelry. Buffalo Grove continues to strengthen its position as an economic hub in the Northwest suburbs with more than $62 million in new construction in 2017. We also focused on building our community for the future, embarking on the Lake-Cook Road Corridor Plan and Market Study. Working together, this project will result in a thoughtful and deliberate plan to benefit all of the residents of our community and develop our potential for a central gathering place. We celebrated building additions at several community facilities, including additions to Aptakisic-Tripp Junior High School and Stevenson High School, and the stunning renovation of the Indian Trails Public Library.

Dale Sands,
Dale Sands
Dale Sands
Deer Park

Deer Park celebrated its 60th anniversary with a carnival at the Vehe Barn July 15, which many members of the community participated. The village completed the first villagewide stormwater assessment to define projects needed to minimize flooding. We completed another large street resurfacing project in 2017, whereby 83 percent of the village streets have been resurfaced in the last eight years. Deer Park Crossings opened in October as a luxury rental community of 236 one- and two-bedroom units within three, four-story podium buildings with underground parking, plus 44 three-bedroom townhouse units within six buildings; each townhouse has a private attached two-car garage.

Matt Bogusz,
Matt Bogusz
Matt Bogusz
Des Plaines

2017 marks the seventh year without a local property tax increase and more economic development!

Craig Johnson,
Craig Johnson.
Craig Johnson.
Elk Grove Village

This past year has been an incredibly successful year for Elk Grove Village. We are now experiencing the lowest recorded industrial vacancy rate in village history, at just 3.17 percent. This year the village experienced nearly $300 million in private sector construction activity, more than double the construction value in 2016, and exceeding by $100 million or more every year in the past decade. The village has also experienced enormous growth in sales tax revenue in the past few years. This past fiscal year, the village collected $20 million in sales and use tax receipts, up $1 million from the previous year, and up $5 million since 2008. The modernization of the village's business park continued this year, with the tear down and rebuild of seven industrial buildings comprising more than 1.7 million square feet. Moreover, the village approved the annexation and development agreements to pave the way for a new Elk Grove Technology Park, which will span 85 acres, including the long-vacant Busse Farm property. The Technology Park is planned to include more than 1 million square feet of clean, high-tech industrial, with an estimated investment of more than $1 billion.

Rod Craig,
Rod Craig
Rod Craig
Hanover Park

I am proud to say that, for the second year in a row, the village board approved our levy with a zero percent property tax increase, as well as no increase to water and sewer rates for the third consecutive year, with no reduction to village services.

Bill McLeod,
Bill McLeod
Bill McLeod
Hoffman Estates

Hoffman Estates has seen significant economic development in 2017, including the opening of the TRUMPF Smart Factory in the Huntington 90 Business Park. TRUMPF's award-winning, high-tech facility is visible along the Jane Addams Tollway. Muller's Woodfield Acura relocated its new car showroom to the corner of Golf and Gannon roads, and the new Burlington store opened in the redeveloped Hoffman Plaza at the corner of Higgins and Roselle roads. Residential development continues, with new, single-family homes available in the Bergman Pointe, Amber Meadows and Devonshire Woods subdivisions. The Sears Centre is completing one of its most successful years to date, with the Windy City Bulls starting their second season in the NBA's G League, as well as near-record event income from bookings such as Cirque du Soleil, USA Gymnastics, a craft beer festival, and IHSA Super Sectional basketball and many other quality events.

Jack Tatooles,
Jack Tatooles
Jack Tatooles
Inverness

In 2017, the Village of Inverness celebrated its 55th anniversary, growing from a community of nearly 1,000 residents to nearly 7,500. This past spring, Standard & Poor's credit rating agency reaffirmed the village bond rating as "AAA," the highest granted to local governments. As a result, the village refinanced $5.25 million in bonds for roads and drainage improvements, resulting in more than $400,000 in savings.

Kevin Richardson,
Kevin Richardson
Kevin Richardson
Lake Barrington

2017 saw four important accomplishments. First, the recent opening of the new Speedway Cafe at the corner of Route 14 and Kelsey Road represents an important economic addition. This wonderful new facility will provide a variety of valuable services and amenities to our residents and those of nearby communities. In addition, it will provide a substantial economic contribution to both the village and to area schools through its generation of significant new levels of sales and property taxes. Second, for the fourth year in a row, we passed an annual tax levy ordinance that reflects a freeze in the village's property tax levy while simultaneously continuing to successfully provide the important day-to-day services that our residents deserve. Third, the plan commission and board of trustees completed the update of our comprehensive plan. We look forward to having the board officially approve the new plan at our February meeting. Finally, we successfully recruited a new village administrator with deep roots in the community and exceptional professional experience.

Arlene Juracek,
Arlene Juracek
Arlene Juracek
Mount Prospect

Mount Prospect celebrated its centennial in 2017 with a bang, including shooting fireworks off the village hall parking deck! Residents, descendants of our founding visionaries, schools and business sponsors supported a host of activities throughout the year. A robust business economy and the announcement of major development throughout the village contributed to the celebratory mood. New retail and commercial development is underway at Randhurst Village, and we have seen significant reinvestment in the Kensington Business Center. We have welcomed newly incorporated residents and business owners totaling more than 223 acres on the south side of our community. The increase in equalized assessed value from these properties has helped lower the village tax rate. We are ending 2017 well-prepared strategically and economically for the challenges ahead.

Jim Schwantz,
Jim Schwantz
Jim Schwantz
Palatine

In 2017, the village of Palatine was once again able to secure federal funding for a local road improvement project. The village's effort resulted in obtaining a federal grant of $1.8 million for the resurfacing of Plum Grove Road (from Northwest Highway to Palatine's southern border). This grant improved a major road within our community and allowed the village to direct our local funds toward other road improvement projects. I wish everyone a safe holiday season and a happy 2018!

Nick Helmer,
Nick Helmer
Nick Helmer
Prospect Heights

2017 heralded a new beginning with the investment of more than $100 million by developers and owners alike. The Ramada Inn became our sixth hotel by adding 140 new rooms, while Grand Briar added $40 million to construct a 103-room assisted living facility. You can now store your "extra stuff" in the new 700 unit storage place, and you will soon be able to buy your gas and sundry items at the soon to be built Thornton's. We honored our veterans with the public display of 8-foot banners and put up exterior holiday lighting throughout the city for the first time in our history.

Len Prejna,
Len Prejna
Len Prejna
Rolling Meadows

In 2017, the city of Rolling Meadows continued to take steps to make the city have a more business-friendly attitude. This was done by the consolidation of Community Development and Public Works departments as one operation to be more efficient, and the hiring of a business advocate to work with the business community in developing economic growth in the city.

Al Larson,
Al Larson
Al Larson
Schaumburg

I was very proud that the village of Schaumburg was ranked No. 9 out of 100 cities across the U.S. in Money magazine's annual "Best Places to Live" list in October 2017 for offering a healthy economy, affordable homes and a high quality of life to its residents. The village was the only Illinois community ranked in the top 25. Schaumburg was recognized for being an economic and manufacturing powerhouse, and we received praise for many of our village's amenities, such as the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts, Trickster Art Gallery, Legoland Discovery Center, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg Township District Library and newly opened Bison's Bluff Nature Playground.

Billie Roth,
Billie Roth
Billie Roth
Streamwood

The village of Streamwood celebrated an important milestone in 2017 -- our 60th anniversary. We celebrated our community throughout the year at each of our events. We updated our historical timeline in the village hall. We hung banners throughout the community to mark the event. We also started an update to our comprehensive plan to ensure our community continues to be a great place to live, work and play for the next 60 years.

Coming Tuesday in Neighbor, mayors and village presidents look ahead to what they expect the new year to bring in their towns.

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