Northwest suburban mayors look back on 2019
Every year around this time, we reach out to Northwest suburban mayors and village presidents and ask them to tell us something their community accomplished in the year gone by and something they hope to accomplish in the year ahead. Today, we share the accomplishments of 2019. On Wednesday, we'll tell you what the mayors hope to see in 2020.
Tom Hayes, Arlington Heights
A very busy and productive 2019 and decade was capped by a number of special holiday events that once again reflected the family focus of our community. We thank our residents for their support of our new police station, which was up and running all year and will now serve our community for many decades to come. With the completion of our municipal campus, our focus turned to the continued delivery of high quality services to our residents and businesses. Infrastructure improvements included two important stormwater control projects in the downtown and the Cypress Street areas. We thank all those impacted by the construction associated with these improvements for their cooperation and patience during this much needed work.
Karen Darch, Barrington
It was a very exciting year for Barrington in 2019. We were thrilled to receive news that funding for our underpass of Route 14 at the CN tracks was achieved and we can continue to move forward on a project that will provide one train-free route through the village -- especially significant for hospital-bound ambulances. While we said goodbye to wonderful long time staff, including Village Manager Jeff Lawler, our new staff, led by Village Manager Scott Anderson, has hit the ground running, building on the legacy of their predecessors. We began our 2020 Comprehensive Plan neighborhood meetings, and lots of neighbors and those from far and near enjoyed many terrific downtown and Barrington White House cultural and special events this year, like the first half of a Year of Courageous Conversations.
Martin McLaughlin, Barrington Hills
The Village of Barrington Hills is on track to, once again, lower the levy, making it the sixth consecutive year. Since 2013, the village Levy has been reduced by more than 24%. We will continue to lead by example, responding to our residents' desire to see tax relief. In 2019, the Village of Barrington Hills approved a revitalized Comprehensive Plan, which was recognized by the Barrington Area Council of Governments. The innovative format allows residents and those interested to explore the unique property rights and freedoms available within our 30-squar- mile village. In conjunction with our continuing efforts to preserve natural habitat and open spaces, the Village of Barrington Hills has been recognized and certified as one of the first Bee Cities in Illinois, which was showcased at The Hills Are Alive Fall Festival this past September with a honey-tasting competition.
Kevin Wallace, Bartlett
On Nov. 16, 2019, Bartlett Police Department formally accepted its seventh reaccreditation award in Covington, Kentucky from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). This was the police department's eighth accreditation award overall. The department was initially accredited on Nov. 22, 1997. The Bartlett Police Department was also awarded the status of "Accreditation with Excellence" for a fifth consecutive time. This designation is awarded to police agencies for continually demonstrating excellence in commitment to the CALEA accreditation process and a willingness to share its policies, procedures, and the accreditation process with all other CALEA agencies. Bartlett is very proud to have attained this prestigious honor.
Beverly Sussman, Buffalo Grove
Buffalo Grove enjoyed a successful 2019 with the completion of several projects such as the Prairie View Metra Station Area Plan. This was a community-driven plan with over 300 stakeholders and community members participating in the process. We also had the opening of the Shoppes of Buffalo Grove and the launch of the Engage BG Comprehensive Plan. Sky Fitness is in the process of adding 20,000 square feet to its existing building. We proudly supported the appointment of Police Chief Steven Casstevens to the presidency of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. We congratulate our former Finance Director Scott Anderson on his appointment as the new village manager of Barrington.
Matt Bogusz, Des Plaines
This has been an incredibly busy year in Des Plaines. In 2019, we're excited to ride the momentum we've worked to build over the past eight years. Everyday decisions are based on very specific goals that address community pride, development and growth, transportation improvements, and financial stability. With the goals and vision set, the city experienced significant downtown streetscape improvements and, even more exciting, the purchase and renovation of the Des Plaines Theatre. As the economy improved, we prepared and strategized what residential and mixed-use development should look like to provide optimal housing, transportation and retail options. This year, Des Plaines enjoyed a surge of development activity -- from the completion of Elinson Apartments to a city block mixed-use project to its west. At the same time, the city created a new TIF District that includes the busy Lee and Oakton streets corridor and a proposed new Metra station.
Craig Johnson, Elk Grove Village
Looking back over this past year, it's incredible to remember everything Elk Grove Village has achieved in 2019. We have spent the year investing in the future of our community through an unprecedented long-range infrastructure program; a public health program addressing the disease of addiction; and an innovative marketing program designed to attract economic development to our Business Park. As part of the Elk Grove 2025 long-range infrastructure plan, the village completed construction on three major village facilities in 2019. The new James Paul Petri Public Works Facility on Devon Avenue, which was selected as the American Public Works Association Project of the Year, replaced the former facility on Landmeier Road originally built in 1960. The two new fire stations replaced counterparts that were over 40 years old and had outlived their useful life. Elk Grove Village Cares, a program launched in 2018 to address the disease of addiction, was recognized as a Governor's Cup Finalist in the 2019 Hometown Awards. After the tremendous success in 2018, the village once again sponsored the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl in 2019. This marketing strategy, which continues to provide an incredible response in the media, drawing attention to our business-friendly community.
Rod Craig, Hanover Park
I am proud to say that for the fourth year in a row, the village board approved a zero percent property tax increase with all essential services maintained, as well as no increase to the water and sewer rate for the fifth consecutive year. The success of the Hanover Park Education and Work Center continues to strengthen our community by providing integrated basic skills training and employment services. It was an exciting inaugural year at our new Hanover Park Sports Complex Music Pavilion with a summer full of fun with our Wednesday Night Live! concert series. I was honored to accept the Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors' Annual Climate Protection Award- Honorable Mention for the village's Solar Installation Permitting initiative which took quick, bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development in the community.
Bill McLeod, Hoffman Estates
In 2019, the village continued its focus on improving neighborhoods, completing reconstruction of four streets plus resurfacing another 30 street segments and a portion of bicycle path. Planning for the future was also a major emphasis, with the completion of a new Sustainability Plan, as well as an area plan for the western portion of the village. The village's Health and Human Services Department provided over 3,200 hours of low-cost therapy and more than 3,900 nurse visits to the community, including affordable vaccinations. Public safety was supported through intergovernmental emergency operations exercises, increased community engagement and the addition of a Police Community Service Officer program. The village also continued to promote public transportation options through partnerships with Pace and other regional entities; Pace Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and on-demand bus service are now offered at I-90/Barrington Road, and the new "Kiss-n-Ride" facility is set to open shortly.
Jack Tatooles, Inverness
This past year, the Inverness Police Department celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Over the past 10 years, Inverness has saved over $7. million compared to its previous contractual services, with future annual savings of over $1 million per year.
Kevin C. Richardson
Kevin Richardson, Lake Barrington
The Village of Lake Barrington's 2019 accomplishments recognized and reflected the premium that our residents place upon our being "an oasis of gracious countryside living." The hard work of our residents expanded our commitment to publicly-accessible open spaces while also creating new community-building events for residents and their families and friends. Equally important, the past year saw important recognition for the work of the Veterans of Lake Barrington Shores as they spearheaded our successful effort to win a Governor's Hometown Award in the category of Veterans and Military Families. As part of our focus on community beautification, the village completed its Healthy Hedges project, which replaced the buckthorn trees on Old Barrington Road adjacent to Village Hall. In addition to our annual fall "Barn Stomp," 2019 saw Lake Barrington's first-ever "Concert in the Park" at Freier Farm this past July.
Arlene Juracek, Mount Prospect
In 2019, Mount Prospect has been busy bringing long-term plans to fruition. The momentum of economic development is resulting in brick-and-mortar reality throughout the village. Downtown, the Rand Road corridor, and south Mount Prospect are all benefiting from investor confidence in our local economy and our commitment to our comprehensive and strategic plans. There is a notable spirit of grass-roots community engagement and support that is driving new homegrown efforts like the 56 Music Fix and the Mini Library Project; support for established community events such as the farmers market and Downtown Block Party remains strong.
Jim Schwantz, Palatine
As we near 2020, it is important to look back at what we accomplished during the past year. In 2019, the village negotiated an new garbage and recycling contract with Groot, resulting in a savings to our residents. Over the past year we have also seen the nearly complete development of the new Napleton Mazda and Subaru dealerships on Rand Road. The end of 2019 will also mark the closure of the Village's Dundee Road TIF District, which was created in 1995. This TIF District resulted in the development of the Deer Grove center and other nearby commercial uses, while also resulting in a total of over $18,000,000 being provided to the local taxing districts from 2010 -- 2019 through the declaration of surplus. In closing, I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2020!
Nick Helmer, Prospect Heights
For 2019, Prospect Heights has seen over $30 million in new construction value permitted in the city. This growth in construction value is attributed to strong development across commercial and residential segments that included new and major renovations and remodeling projects. Some of these major projects are: the Conor Commercial Real Estate purchase of a 10-acre city-owned parcel of land for a new 150,000-square-foot commercial/industrial building; the restoration and reconstruction of four fire damaged condominium buildings of River Trails Condominium Association; the major remodel and expansion of the Aldi's store on Rand Road; and the conversion of a vacant hotel to the city's newest brand to join the tourism district, Holiday Inn Express on Milwaukee Avenue. Residents and Businesses are also benefiting from the City's new garbage collection contract with Flood Brothers which is providing saving up to 20% from previous garbage collection fees.
Tom Dailly, Schaumburg
As I look back on the year, I first have to say how thankful I am to the residents of Schaumburg for electing me as their mayor this past April. What a wonderful privilege it is to be able to follow in the footsteps of the great Mayor Al Larson. Since election, it been such an honor to be part of all that has been developing in Schaumburg over the past year, from the opening of the long-awaited Topgolf, to the new Jaguar-Land Rover dealership, to approval of Boler's headquarters at the 90 North District, to the opening of many new restaurants like Phat Phat in the old Easy Street Pub, to Shake Shack, to Raising Cane's, and to fine dining at its best with Capital Grille. All wonderful restaurants that can satisfy any appetite. In addition, it's been another good year for Boomers Baseball. Nothing says summer like eating a hot dog and watching a Boomers baseball game on a wonderful sunny Sunday afternoon with family.
Billie Roth, Streamwood
Our goals for 2019 centered on realizing our comprehensive plan. The first priority was to invest in our community. We renovated Village Hall, planned for the replacement of a fire station and a renovation of our public works facility, sought opportunities to improve pedestrian and bicycle connections, and ways to better inform our residents. We received a grant to develop a pathways plan, and began work on the expansion of Irving Park Road. We also celebrated some milestones. 2019 marked the 50th Anniversary of our fire department. And, we celebrated the 5th anniversary of our Streamwood Career Exploration Program, in cooperation with School District U-46. This program allows students to gain work-related experience in various career pathways. We have helped 125 students connect with career opportunities in the fields of manufacturing, business, and early childhood education.
David Parro, Tower Lakes
2019 in Tower Lakes saw the completion of a 5-year, $260,000 green infrastructure project to demonstrate state-of-the-art best management practices for stormwater management using bioswales and engineered rain garden detention basins. This major improvement was funded entirely by federal, state and county grants, each of which was highly competitive. In addition, the required 50% matching value of the main grant was provided in the form of volunteer hours and public education. The installation has already proven effective at reducing flooding in two key areas and is delivering other water quality benefits. We won a regional award for this work, the Barrington Area Council of Governments' biennial Donald Klein Award for best community improvement project.