Fox Valley mayors share hopes for 2019

Posted1/1/2019 6:00 AM
  • Batavia Jeffery Schielke

    Batavia Jeffery Schielke

  • Carpentersville John Skillman

    Carpentersville John Skillman

  • Cary Mark Kownick

    Cary Mark Kownick

  • Elburn Jeff Walter

    Elburn Jeff Walter

  • Elgin David Kaptain

    Elgin David Kaptain

  • Geneva Kevin Burns

    Geneva Kevin Burns

  • Hampshire Jeffrey Magnussen

    Hampshire Jeffrey Magnussen

  • Lake in the Hills Russ Ruzanski

    Lake in the Hills Russ Ruzanski

  • Pingree Grove Steve Wiedmeyer

    Pingree Grove Steve Wiedmeyer

  • Sugar Grove Sean Michels

    Sugar Grove Sean Michels

Fox Valley mayors and village presidents cite their hopes for the coming year and what they are looking forward to in 2019. Here's what some town leaders had to say:

Batavia Mayor Jeffery Schielke

In 2019, the city is anticipating the commencement of development of a large-scale senior living center to be built immediately west of the Walmart store between Fabyan Parkway and Hawks Drive. Also under the approval process as the year begins is a 201-unit residential subdivision to be situated west of the Kohl's store between McKee and Mill streets. The city is also involved in planning and approval processes for at least four new restaurants to be opened either in the downtown area or along Randall Road. In the year ahead, the city is ready to work with both Fermilab, on the far east side of town, and Mooseheart, on the southwest side of town, with previously announced plans to greatly expand and enhance these proud institutions which call Batavia home.

Carpentersville Village President John Skillman

The village has launched its rebranding effort, with a new logo and social media presence, which will draw visitors and businesses to take advantage of the opportunities that the village has to offer. Carpentersville plans to expand its community events, including Burger Fest which will become a multiday event featuring at least one famous band. We will continue to find ways to reduce municipal expenses to keep the tax rates low. We are also looking forward to continued commercial growth and working to provide the best environment for our residents and the surrounding community.

Cary Village President Mark Kownick

The village of Cary has several capital projects planned for 2019. We will be enhancing Three Oaks Road corridor with road resurfacing and the addition of a multiuse path along the road way. We received a grant for $1,590,000 to assist in the total $2 million cost. We will be completing our new Metra station for which we received a $2 million grant to cover a majority of the cost. We look forward to taking ownership of the former Meyer Materiel gravel pit which will become a wonderful 102-acre recreational area for our residents. We will be completing our Unified Development Ordinance as well. We are participating in the Route 31 study to help enhance this corridor. We have a few new restaurants slated to open, along with some existing planning on renovations. These are a few of the great things we are planning on in the village of Cary.

Elburn Village President Jeff Walter

2019 will see the completion of the comprehensive capital improvement plan, including the always challenging financial piece. No major road projects are scheduled but patching will be done in several areas of town as we build out the road replacement schedule. We hope to pave the village-owned parking lot in downtown and will include an electric car charging station for our downtown shoppers. Growth continues in Elburn Station with a new phase being open for sales by early summer. The spring consolidated election will have three open village trustee positions on the ballot as well as a sales tax referendum to support village parks and infrastructure improvements.

Elgin Mayor David Kaptain

As we look ahead to 2019 and beyond, Elgin, not unlike other cities, will face challenges with changes to public safety services and mandated pension contributions, as well as issues related to homelessness, the opioid epidemic and mental health. If there's anything we can be certain of, it's that Elgin will face these challenges head on. Elgin will continue to responsive to the needs of the community and the growing opportunities for education and employment are only the beginning.

Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns

2019 promises to be just as exciting as we welcome new economic development opportunities with the opening of the Fresh Thyme grocery store on Randall Road, development of the old Cetron Site into a lifestyle residential and commercial center knows as Hamilton Place, and the continued improvements of the erstwhile Settler's Hill Landfill into a state-of-the-art and nationally recognized Cross Country course and passive recreation site.

Hampshire Village President Jeffrey Magnussen

We broke ground on two projects in the Interstate 90/Route 20 area. One is going to be a Love's travel center with a tire center and Arby's restaurant. The second building is a new 150,000-square-foot facility for an existing Hampshire business, Pet-Ag. Both will be completed in early 2019. There are two other major projects in the same area that will start in the spring of 2019. The village board has been working very hard to attract new businesses to the village. 2019 looks to be a great year for commercial development in the village of Hampshire.

Lake in the Hills Village President Russ Ruzanski

Grand opening of U-Haul International at Centre at Lake in the Hills is set for the first quarter of 2019. 2019 will bring a senior residence named Melody Living currently under construction adjacent to the village hall on Harvest Gate. When finished, it will provide more quality opportunities for senior housing in McHenry County. The village again delivered a balanced budget for 2019 and for the ninth year in a row, has kept the (tax) levy flat, no increase. The village board along with village staff will continue to pursue more cost-cutting opportunities during the year ahead.

Pingree Grove Village President Steve Wiedmeyer

We annexed a piece of property along Route 47 that will bring us commercial development and some additional residential. We are hoping to see another commercial development break ground in the spring. But the biggest news continues to be our new Municipal Center. The building is moving along on schedule and we are still anticipating an April move in date. The new building will house all village administrative offices including building department, utility billing, village clerk and finance. It will also be the new home for public works, both offices and vehicles and equipment. The center will be a great addition to Pingree Grove. It will help to improve efficiencies between departments and offer our residents a much nicer facility to attend board meetings.

Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels

In 2019, most of Sugar Grove's focus will be on the interchange at Route 47 and Interstate 88. Construction for the ramps is scheduled to begin April 1 to allow for access going eastbound (toward Chicago) and for traffic to exit going westbound onto Route 47. Construction is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 1 allowing for the much anticipated full access to I-88 for the western portion of Kane County. In anticipation of the new ramp access, plans are being drawn up for the development of the property around the interchange. Sugar Grove is also working on additional retail and commercial space. Announcements of new developments will be made as soon as the details are worked out -- 2019 should be an exciting year.

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