Northwest suburban mayors look ahead to 2021
The pandemic that created so many hardships in 2020 is far from behind us, but with vaccines already being distributed to millions and the calendar turning to a new year, there's reason for optimism as we begin 2021. We asked mayors and village presidents in the Northwest suburbs what they hope to see their communities accomplish in the year ahead.
As we begin a new year in 2021, we look forward to working together with all of our community partners to return to a new normal in Arlington Heights as soon as possible. In particular, I am hopeful that our restaurants and businesses will be fully open and that we can bring back a full slate of community events that contribute so much to the quality of life we enjoy in the City of Good Neighbors. While we understand that the post-pandemic economic and social challenges will be great, our goal in the months and years ahead is to ensure that a welcoming and increasingly diverse Arlington Heights remains a great place to live, work, and play.
Next year, we are looking forward to leading the community "back to normal" after the pandemic and beginning work on our Route 14 Metra access project as well as engineering work on the Route 14 underpass.
The village is currently testing the use of cameras to create a "virtual gated community," which if approved, will be implemented in 2021.
I look ahead with optimism, because when I glance back over my shoulder, I see how the pandemic has not only challenged, but also strengthened Bartlett. It didn't take long for our faith organizations, our civic groups, our restaurants and small businesses, and all our other municipal partners to pull together with our residents to beat this crisis. These groups form the finely woven fabric of our community and as the vaccine is rolled out in the new year, I am hopeful for a healthy and quarantine-free 2021 for Bartlett's amazing organizations, businesses and families.
In 2021, we have many exciting projects on the horizon, with the highest-priority project being the Town Center Redevelopment Project. Kensington Development Partners seeks to redevelop the 20-acre property with a mixed-use development including new shopping, dining, housing and public spaces. The creation of a central gathering place has been our highest-ranked community priority since the completion of the Lake-Cook Road Corridor Plan. The village has also received an application to redevelop the existing building at 700 E. Lake-Cook Road. This will include over 19,000 square feet of new retail and services. Residents can see the results of the five-year, $175 million Infrastructure Modernization Program, including the newly opened lanes of Buffalo Grove Road, Weiland Road, ongoing work on Lake-Cook Road, reconstruction of Brandywyn Drive and Thompson Boulevard, as well as multiple water, sewer and street projects throughout the community. Finally, residents celebrated the reconstruction and reopening of Green Lake Park in 2020, with new amenities to serve the public. In 2021, I hope the COVID-19 pandemic is over and our lives go back to normal. Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and safe holiday season and 2021.
In 2021, we will execute our plans for the newly created TIF District at Oakton and Lee Street. This initiative will serve as a foundation for potential transit upgrades and economic development, revitalizing the corridor. I'm profoundly grateful for the opportunity to serve my neighbors for the last eight years as mayor. I believe that the council and I cultivated a fiscal approach that will propel the incoming elected officials and the next chapter in Des Plaines' history. I look forward to seeing the continued success of the City of Des Plaines.
Elk Grove Village
While our community has many things to look forward to in 2021, what I most anticipate is being able to gather together once more with family, friends and neighbors. We are excited to bring back many of our popular events in 2021, including the Mid-Summer Classics Concert Series! It will be a joy to welcome residents and visitors alike to our community for concerts by Daughtry, KC and the Sunshine Band, Loverboy and The Beach Boys in July. We're not just looking forward to a return to normal, we're also working to ensure our community stays strong in years to come. In Elk Grove Village, we pride ourselves on planning for the future during difficult times. This past year, many U.S. national sports teams were looking to fund an extra year of training for their trip to Tokyo in 2021. Elk Grove Village saw this as an opportunity for a unique partnership that would help us showcase our 'Makers Wanted' brand nationally and internationally, while helping American athletes achieve their dreams. We are proud to be sponsoring USA Track & Field, USA Wrestling, and USA Triathlon as they prepare to compete in Tokyo next summer. The village will be able to leverage the popularity of these sports to both increase our visibility and attract world-class manufacturers and businesses. Additionally, we're looking forward to the opportunity for our whole community to be a part of these athletes' incredible journey.
In 2021, the village board will update our strategic planning process in order to dedicate village resources to meet set goals for the next three years. The police department plans to formally adopt the "Ten Shared Principles" established by a joint partnership of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) State Conference. This historic collaboration -- the first of its kind in the nation -- seeks to establish a relationship of trust and mutual support between law enforcement agencies and the diverse communities they serve by formally recognizing 10 principles to guide these efforts. Formal adoption of the principles is conducted at a village board meeting in which a signing ceremony will take place. It has been a long-term goal of the village to obtain an ISO Class #1 rating for the fire department. We are hopeful that we will be able to receive this rating on the next inspection. The fire department, in cooperation with the public works department, will also begin work in early 2021 on the design of a replacement of the southside station, Fire Station #2. The Public Works Department will continue with our street resurfacing program supplemented with anticipated capital dollars from the state.
In 2021, work will continue at Bell Works, the "metroburb" will eventually feature office, retail, hotel, services and residential components. Many projects initiated in 2020 will be well underway, including the construction of a data center on Lakewood Boulevard and the opening of both Burlington and Dollar Tree at Poplar Creek Crossing. A new Popeye's restaurant will also open in 2021, and Zeigler Automotive Group is planning to expand its operation along Higgins Road. Infrastructure will remain a strong focus, with $5.5 million budgeted toward the resurfacing or reconstruction of 32 street segments. Planning will also be underway for a Roselle Road storm sewer project and an update to the village's Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan. As we look forward to 2021, Hoffman Estates anticipates continued growth and success in the new year.
Looking forward to 2021, the village will continue to reinvest in its road and drainage infrastructure while remaining fiscally responsible by operating on a conservative financial plan with a healthy fund balance to withstand the State of Illinois' fiscal challenges and avoiding any service reductions.
Lake Barrington will continue its efforts in 2021 to expand its economic base and encourage thoughtful business development. These efforts not only bring new amenities, services, and restaurants to our residents, they also help strengthen the village's already strong financial position. Lake Barrington's financial plan has long started with the premise that residential property tax funds are not the village's money but, rather, the residents' money. A sound and growing retail and commercial tax base works to keep pressure off of residential property taxes, helps finance needed village services, and enables residents to keep more of their hard earned money. Lake Barrington will also continue to create new accessible open spaces for our residents. This year's plan to beautify Fetherling Park on Kelsey Road was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but the village plans to restart the project in 2021. In addition, we are looking forward to being able to come back together as friends, neighbors, and a community to enjoy both concert nights and our annual Barn Stomp at Freier Farm.
In 2021, we are poised to complete important downtown construction projects that are underway, and are looking forward to the associated new residents and businesses that will provide a critical mass essential to further completion of the downtown strategic plan. Simultaneously, our attention is focused on revitalization of Randhurst Village and the surrounding area, the South Mount Prospect Subarea Plan, and critical stormwater infrastructure projects. The Village of Mount Prospect's foundation of long-term planning, risk management and fiscal conservatism will prove important as we navigate the uncertain waters of the COVID-19 recovery. Building on our first Community Conversation held in 2020, further conversations conducted under the auspices of our Community Engagement Committee will play a role in helping us to further equity and civic inclusion dialogue and action. The spring elections are certain to bring new faces to the village board, but a strong set of core values and a proven ability to execute on our plans will ensure Mount Prospect's reputation as a great place for all to feel welcome and to call "home."
Eleanor Sweet McDonnell
The village is planning to invest more in its infrastructure maintenance and, in addition, will be developing a capital asset policy and other financial policies to ensure the village maintains a strong financial footing into the future.
As we have learned, the American public and government are very resilient and equipped to deal with adversity, but also had to suffer loved ones dying and children becoming very sick. With our several vaccines now deployed, it is reasonable to believe that this will also bring normalcy back some time in 2021.
The city's ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) program is scheduled for completion in 2021. All modules will be implemented and running by year's end. The city secured a federal grant to partially fund an additional Social worker position in the Rolling Meadows Police Department as part of our efforts to transform the city's interactions and assistance within the community. Expansion of Police Department Social Services Outreach Program -- the city now has two certified social workers helping the community.
With the recent approval of a vaccine, the village is hopeful state restrictions will eventually be eased so that the village can return to a more normal state. This includes restoring programming and other activities at the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts and our outdoor activities like Septemberfest that are so cherished by residents and visitors alike. In addition, the village will continue to assist and support businesses, such as restaurants, retail, and other establishments, so that they can safely reopen to the public all the while trying to rebuild a budget that has been deeply impacted by the significant loss of revenue this past year. In 90 North (former Motorola property), the village looks forward to the continued development of DR Horton's Northgate at Veridian rowhomes, MedProperties office development, and Harbor Chase's high-end senior housing development. Construction on the first phase of the 90 North District Park, with its planned outdoor auditorium, is also anticipated to begin in 2021. In addition, the village is working with Kensington Development Partners on the design for the exciting Entertainment District to be built in front of the highly successful Renaissance Hotel and Schaumburg Convention Center. Lastly, with the help of grant funding, the village will begin several major road construction projects, including the resurfacing of Meacham Road, Summit Drive, and Weathersfield Way, as well as intersection improvements at Meacham and Algonquin.
In 2021, we are looking forward to working on an increase in development and new business, as well as the completion of our serenity garden in our Village Conservancy.
We are continuing our focus on implementing our Comprehensive Plan, which promotes connecting and investing in our community. We will open our new Fire Station #31 in March, and unveil the renovations to our Public Works facility in the fall. We are undertaking some major water and sewer infrastructure projects, and continuing our annual roadway program. We are working on a significant bicycle and pedestrian connection as a key to a larger villagewide effort to connect our community with a robust pathway system. We will also work with our intergovernmental partners to improve communications to our community. We're proud that, once again, we are able to accomplish these goals with no new taxes or fees.
The end of the pandemic, obviously, is what we're most looking forward to -- and preparing for, as well, by making investments in our infrastructure that include the complete reconstruction of Fire Station 23, among other projects. The village's long-standing commitment to flood control will soon have a direct benefit for many Wheeling residents and businesses: we anticipate federal approval of new maps that will remove about 750 properties from the regulatory floodplain. For these and many other reasons, businesses and developers continue to be drawn to Wheeling even during these difficult times, recognizing it as a great place to do business.