DuPage County mayors look back at 2017
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Daily Herald report
We recently asked DuPage County mayors to name their town's greatest accomplishment in 2017 and why it was important. Here's what they had to say ...
Bensenville Village President Frank DeSimone
Our proudest accomplishment this past year is implementation of the new Fly Quiet Plan at O'Hare. We have been working on this issue for years to ease noise issues for our residents.
Bensenville was a leading advocate for implementing the runway rotation plan and we have maintained an active role throughout this process.
The O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission recently voted to approve a plan that would avoid consecutive community impacts. It features an eight-week rotation plan with six configurations arranged to alternate each week between parallel and diagonal runways, and rotating east flow and west flow.
This option will dramatically ease O'Hare noise issues for Bensenville residents and we are committed to continuing to work with the committee to find a sound, long-term solution.
Carol Stream Village President Frank Saverino
In 2017, we broke ground on a village hall renovation. The project, paid with cash, won't impose any debt on our residents. We also successfully relocated services to a temporary facility with minimal disruption. Through a regimented schedule and meticulous bidding, the renovation is under budget and on schedule.
Elmhurst Mayor Steven Morley
In 2017, Elmhurst completed multiple stormwater infrastructure improvement projects aimed at reducing overland flooding in several areas of the city.
In total, the city is anticipated to invest approximately $24.5 million in construction costs from 2015-2018 to complete 10 stormwater projects and will provide nearly 98 acre-feet of stormwater detention to the city's infrastructure. These improvements will provide 100-year flood protection to homes throughout the city.
Glendale Heights Village President Linda Jackson
Glendale Heights strives to live up to our motto of being "A Proud and Progressive Village for All People," and we have numerous accomplishments from all of our departments.
From our CALEA-accredited police department, hardworking public works department and quality recreational programs at the Sports Hub and Center for Senior Citizens, I am proud of what we accomplished as a community.
Development and revitalization of the Army Trail and Bloomingdale Road corridor is one of our most important accomplishments in 2017. As we continue to focus on economic development in Glendale Heights, we welcomed Dunkin' Donuts, Baskin Robbins, a Shell gas station, Burrito Parilla and renovated Burger King and McDonald's.
Glen Ellyn Village President Diane McGinley
One of Glen Ellyn's greatest accomplishments in 2017 was completion of our new police station, on time and on budget. It is important that our community offers a safe and effective working environment for our officers who work hard at protecting us daily. With the new facility, they have the tools they need to perform their job in the safest, most efficient manner.
This also opened up the Civic Center for movement within the employee departments to provide a better experience for our residents and identify a leasing opportunity within the Civic Center.
Deciding to partner with College of DuPage to invest significant dollars in the Civic Center is creative and shows a spirit of intergovernmental cooperation. In short: good government.
COD seems ideally positioned geographically, has the strong founding partners and 20-plus years of actual economic development experience through its Center for Entrepreneurship.
The Civic Center is an ideal location (middle of the county and near COD's Glen Ellyn campus) that provides high visibility, with train access in a vibrant downtown setting.
But, most importantly, an Innovation Center in downtown Glen Ellyn could be a significant economic driver, allowing our businesses easy access to these services, creating a regional approach to business creation, providing some marketing and branding for Glen Ellyn, and creating a strong partnership for the future.
Another achievement is bringing in Pete's Fresh Market, which has filled the largest commercial vacancy and solidified the Roosevelt Road corridor, and will transform this area along with a new Panera and CVS further to the west and strengthen Glen Ellyn's largest commercial district.
Itasca Mayor Jeff Pruyn
On July 21, our village experienced its worst natural disaster in decades when a microburst descended on Itasca, uprooting trees, downing power lines, sparking fires and causing widespread damage to homes and businesses.
Immediately after the storm, 85 percent of our roadways were impassible and 95 percent of the village was without power.
While this is certainly one of those events that you hope never occurs, I couldn't be more proud of our community's response. Thanks to the ingenuity of our public works department, snow plows quickly cleared the streets of downed limbs and trees, allowing police and fire to protect life and property. Thankfully, there were no injuries.
Not only was I impressed with the response of village staff, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of our neighbors who sent resources and manpower to Itasca. Thanks to Addison, Wood Dale, Bloomingdale, Villa Park, Elmhurst and DuPage County, life in Itasca returned to normal fairly quickly.
As I walked the streets in the days after the storm, I was reminded why I love Itasca. Neighbors were helping neighbors remove damaged limbs, patch fences and clear debris from sidewalks so kids could play safely.
In this day and age, with so much divisiveness, this storm brought our community together and demonstrated clearly how much we all can accomplish when we work together.
Lombard Village President Keith Giagnorio:
New development brought big changes to Lombard this year. In August we welcomed a new Mariano's at Roosevelt and Finley, which completely transformed a long vacant Kmart store into a state-of-the-art grocery store experience. The new Yorktown Commons is moving full steam ahead, and we look forward to this new community just north of the Yorktown Shopping Center in 2018.
Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico:
In 2017, we saw the visions of previous years come to fruition. A great example was filling vacant retail spaces, including the old Menard's building along Ogden Avenue, which will soon be a Patel Brothers grocery store. We also saw an encouraging uptick in our building permits to pre-recession levels, and citizens can now access that data on our open data portal, which launched in June.
Warrenville Mayor David Brummel:
The new Duke Parkway intersection at Route 59, which is located less than a mile north of I-88, provides access to Amazon's new fulfillment center on Warrenville's border. This was accomplished because of the extensive intergovernmental cooperation among Warrenville, IDOT, Aurora, Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 and Duke Realty. The new intersection created a flurry of new, high-quality, development activity along Route 59 in Warrenville's new Southwest TIF District."
West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda:
The city is about to unveil its updated Central Main Street Study to the public. This study, which began earlier this year, incorporated substantial feedback from the public, the plan commission, the historical preservation commission and the city council, and is the city's first step toward returning to redeveloping its downtown after the 2008-2015 economic downturn that made the old plan obsolete.
Wheaton Mayor Mike Gresk:
Initiating the first phase of a four-year project in Downtown Wheaton. Included is infrastructure (water and sewer) and amenities (lighting, benches and renovation of Martin Plaza). It has been 30 years since the last renovation and downtown Wheaton will look spectacular when the project is completed.
Winfield Village President Erik Spande:
Winfield's most significant accomplishment in 2017 was development across the village. Our first commercial development proposal on high-traffic Roosevelt and Winfield roads came in, an 84-apartment complex in Town Center for an underutilized parcel by Metra, new trails linking our Town Center to the DuPage County Complex and the regional trail system, and an expansion opportunity on North Avenue. Winfield has seen more positive change in 2017 than we've seen in years.
Wood Dale Mayor Nunzio Pulice:
Our greatest accomplishment in 2017 was the completion of the Wood Dale and Irving Park intersection. This has improved the flow of traffic at the intersection immensely, along with making it safer. Along with the traffic/safety improvements, the aesthetic improvements going in this coming spring give us a cornerstone on which to build our future growth.