St. Charles, Algonquin leaders reflect on last year
Editor's Note: Two Fox Valley mayors were omitted from our Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 stories in which town officials looked back on the last year and ahead to 2019. Here's what they had to say about their communities' greatest accomplishments from 2018, and some of the greatest challenges and projects they're facing in the next year.
St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina
St. Charles finishes 2018 with a variety of accomplishments and looks forward to an outstanding 2019.
Development was in high gear (with the) near completion of First Street, Phase 3 with two new buildings housing Sterling Bank headquarters, condominiums, office and retail space. The current plaza will be extended east to the river in 2019.
Prairie Centre has started at the former St. Charles Mall site with senior affordable housing (Anthony Place) as part of the plan.
Prairie Winds along Bricher Road completed 250 apartment units with most being occupied. Anthem Heights is in the midst of development of 78 single family homes on West Main in the Corporate Reserve.
TJ Maxx, Ulta Beauty, Ross Dress for Less, and Five Below were added to the east side's Main St. Commons.
Wahlburgers announced a St. Charles location in an outlet near the Meijer store slated to open in 2019.
The city made improvements to the former George's Sporting Goods, clearing the way for commercial development.
In 2019, we anticipate a new building that will house retail and office (with rooftop amenities) as part of the First St. development at the corner of Illinois and Second, across from Francesca's
Our new police station is under construction at the old Valley Shopping Center site (1515 W. Main St.); once occupied in the fall of 2019, opportunity will exist for riverfront development at the old site.
St. Charles procured $1.3 million in grants for Seventh Avenue creek flood mitigation.
In the honors category, St. Charles was named "Best of the Best" in the National America in Bloom competition winning circle of champion honors for the 25,000 to 75,000 population category.
We continue dialogue about a variety of concepts and ideas looking to maximize our mission: heritage, opportunity, community and service. And … we will maintain strong performance in the city's operating funds, a balanced budget and strong reserves despite revenue reductions from the state.
Algonquin Village President John Schmitt
2018 was a very big year for us. We began and have substantially completed phase one of our downtown rehabilitation with Main Street near complete. Several new businesses have already opened, with more coming on Main.
The widening of Randall Road has begun. The construction will be difficult, but our businesses are pleased with better access to their produces. Major improvement.
Longmeadow Parkway is moving along. The final phase of the bid awards and bond sales went far better than expected. Costs came in lower than expected, as did bond sales. Construction of the bridge will start in the spring, and we should see this very important infrastructure complete in a couple years. That will help bring much needed commerce to our corporate campus and help our east side business attract west side residents. Already, the Town Center is nearing completion of a $5 million renovation anticipating this improvement.
Algonquin's future is bright with sound fiscal position with a AAA bond rating and new businesses opening. New residential construction and improved home values are making for a good future.