Broda says he's 'as enthusiastic as ever about Lisle's future'

With a municipal election months away, Lisle Mayor Joe Broda says the village is making progress on downtown redevelopment, welcoming new businesses and maintaining a strong financial position.

"Over the years, many significant, positive changes have occurred as our community has grown and evolved," Broda said Thursday during his State of the Village address at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville. "It has been an honor to have been part of this journey. And I remain as enthusiastic as ever about Lisle's future."

This year's speech came as Broda is bidding for a fifth term. He's being challenged in the April election by Christopher Pecak, who is part of a slate of candidates called Prosperity for Lisle.

Pecak released a statement after the speech in which he accused Broda of leading the village into "a financial nightmare."

"Businesses are leaving, village debt continues to mount, all while Lisle homeowners have had to suffer massive property tax increases every year of Mayor Broda's almost two decades in office," Pecak said. "Lisle residents deserve leadership committed to freezing property taxes, cutting wasteful government spending and returning trust and accountability to our village."

Broda said the village's most important recent accomplishment is the redevelopment of the former village hall site in downtown.

As part of the project, Naperville-based Marquette Companies is constructing a $50 million development with apartments, restaurants and retail at Main Street and Burlington Avenue.

In addition to bringing new residents to Lisle, Broda said the two multistory buildings - expected to be completed this fall - will be "the catalyst" for other development.

Meanwhile, the village is working on a new downtown master plan. It also received a $64,000 grant for a downtown parking study.

Progress also has been made on the cleanup of a former gas station at the southeast corner of Main and Ogden Avenue. Broda said more than 3,800 cubic yards of dirt were removed and replaced with clean soil. The property will be monitored for the next nine to 12 months.

He said developers are looking at the gas station site and an adjacent shopping center.

Down the street, the 16-year remediation of the former Lockformer plant at 711 Ogden Ave. has been completed.

Broda said the site is "clean" and drawing interest from developers. While the property is zoned industrial, he said officials want it redeveloped with "retail or some kind of commercial or mixed use."

Broda also highlighted the Science of Spirituality's plan to construct a new meditation center on its grounds along Naperville Road and the Ashton Place development that will bring 14 duplexes, 12 townhouses and a 3-acre park to Warrenville Road and Leask Lane.

He also listed new businesses, including Euro-Crepes restaurant, Next Whiskey Bar and Gran Agave, an upscale Mexican restaurant.

The mayor briefly touched on petitions circulated in Lisle, Warrenville and Woodridge to get a question on the April ballot asking if each of those communities should be annexed to Naperville.

"Lisle will stay Lisle if I have anything to say about that," he said, drawing applause.

When it comes to finances, Broda said the village is in a "very strong position" with six months of operating funds in reserve. He said Moody's Investors Service raised Lisle's credit rating to Aa1, just one step below the highest grade.

Christopher Pecak
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