Lake County mayors face key issues in 2019
We recently asked Lake County mayors to tell us what important issues will face their towns in 2019. Here's what they had to say ...
Larry Hanson, Antioch
In 2019, we hope to see completion of the Rivalry Ale House, a major new business in our downtown. The village's facade program will continue to attract new investment to our downtown. Antioch continues to attract new homebuilders and we are working on several new commercial projects on Route 173. One of the most exciting projects is the creation of a new business district that will include downtown, Route 173 and Route 83. This new business district will allow the village the opportunity to attract even more commercial development to the community.
Donny Schmit, Fox Lake
As 2019 approaches, we will continue to complete projects that are prioritized within our strategic plan and will provide our annual update on accomplished tasks. Infrastructure projects will continue with the Grand Avenue Reconstruct and Phase Two of Sayton Road.
Rhett Taylor, Grayslake
In 2019, we will continue to maintain a balanced budget and our debt-free status, while investing more than $1 million in capital improvements in our downtown. Investments in our Town Center have attracted businesses and encouraged development. One example is First Draft, a new restaurant that will open in our downtown next year. Based upon recent interest and discussions, we anticipate additional development in our town in 2019.
Bernard Wysocki, Green Oaks
Expect major roadway redevelopment in 2019 for the village of Green Oaks. The village will be investing millions of dollars in local neighborhood road reconstruction. Upcoming developments are to be expected for the improvement and expansion of the Bradley Road and Route 176 intersection that will add signalization, widening lanes and utility relocation. This improvement is made available by the redevelopment of the Inland Property. These and other future projects within the village of Green Oaks will continue to serve as a positive impact to the future growth of our community for many years to come.
Kristina Kovarik, Gurnee
Looking ahead to 2019, we will finish the water tower and undertake road and sidewalk rehabilitation across the village. We also have several new projects in the early stages along the east Grand corridor which will be great timing with the completion of the Grand/41 interchange. Police Chief Kevin Woodside will retire in January after 30 years of selfless service. We will receive the Sports Tourism Market and Feasibility Study we undertook in the fall of 2018 and, depending on the strength of the report, the plan commission and village board will work on updating the Comprehensive Land Plan to reflect new development opportunities on property contiguous to Six Flags for new venues.
Gerry Daley, Hainesville
Beyond the continuing of our positive interactions with our residents, Hainesville's goals include: maintaining fiscal responsibility while we complete our wetland stormwater drainage repairs, continuing our infrastructure upkeep including road resurfacing and curb repairs, developing and improving our public areas including the Gathering Place and Cranberry Lake, and advocating for Route 120 improvements.
Joe Mancino, Hawthorn Woods
2019 goals include becoming a prominent municipal leader in Lake County environmental efforts. Hawthorn Woods will be working to earn the Dark Sky Community and Audubon Sustainable Community designations. These environmental recognitions will build the foundation we are engaging as part of the Chicago-area greenest region compact. The village will also pursue a sustainable funding source for the streets maintenance program -- Hawthorn Woods Paves the Way. This initiative will seek the advice and consent of the residents as we seek funding alternatives for our infrastructure. Additionally, the village plans to open a new park and tree walk called the Meadowlark Park and Arboretum in fall 2019. With the assistance of the Morton Arboretum Urban and Community Forestry grant and the ComEd "From the Ground Up" grant, this project will plant 45 diverse tree species, adjacent to an innovative, fully-accessible new park designed with an outdoor education classroom.
Charles Amrich, Island Lake
The most critical issue for 2019 -- and has been in most recent years -- is to stretch our residents' tax dollars to meet our needs and to get the greatest value for each dollar. Since Island Lake is largely a "bedroom community" without a lot of commercial and industrial development, we need to watch our spending and to look for other revenue sources beyond real estate taxes.
Nandia Black, Kildeer
In 2019, the village is looking forward to a new medical office facility opening and a gated community to be built on the Kemper Lakes Golf Course consisting of 61 new single family houses. We are thankful for the progress made by the village in 2018 and the I am looking ahead to 2019 for the good things that the new year will bring to Kildeer.
Jim McDonald, Lake Villa
The village has been working for more than a decade to obtain a sustainable water source and in 2019, the village will connect to the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency to obtain a new water source from Lake Michigan. This project will provide an improved and sustainable water source for businesses and residents in Lake Villa for a long period of time. In 2019, the village will also be completing streetscape improvements to the remaining areas on Cedar Avenue. This project will provide an enhanced appearance for the business district, will provide additional amenities in the area and will provide additional parking. These improvements will help to recruit additional businesses to the business district.
Tom Poynton, Lake Zurich
Some of the more significant initiatives planned for the 2017: We will continue to focus on reinventing government by slashing through needless bureaucratic red tape and antiquated regulations that do more to shackle progress than enhance the quality of life for the community; fine-tune our initiatives to provide permitting, planning and licensing services more efficiently; continue delivering high-quality core services to the community while keeping costs minimized; we will continue to focus on actively pursuing new business opportunities in the admittedly very competitive local retail market place. This is a community task. We all need to be involved in it.
Terry Weppler, Libertyville
The most important issue facing the village is the issue of flood relief. In 2018 the village completed a Master Stormwater Management Plan. The plan provides for protecting all residents of the village from water damage in the homes in the event of large storms. The cost for protecting all village residents in the future is in excess of $45 Million in today's dollars. Determining how to fund this vital service will be the most important decision made by the village in 2019. Maintaining services while keeping village property tax rates reasonable will continue to be a village board priority.
Liz Brandt, Lincolnshire
The biggest issue in 2019 will be the redevelopment of the 41-acre property at Half Day Road at I-94. The gateway property was formerly occupied by the Hewitt Corporation and owned by Medline Industries. It was purchased by TSJ Properties in 2018. The site will host the St. James, a 400,000-square-foot premier regional recreation and wellness complex. A hotel, restaurant and other uses are proposed to accompany the St. James Club. The village will be thorough to ensure the development is compatible with nearby residential areas.
Dominic Marturano, Lindenhurst
In 2019, we'll continue to focus on infrastructure improvements and bringing new development to our community. For new development, we have business owners who are interested in bringing a brewery and restaurant to the village; we have an investor who plans to present his concept to develop a subdivision for 55 years and older residents to our Plan Commission before the end of 2018; and we have had discussions with an investor who is interested in putting up a small strip mall on Grand Avenue. 2019 is shaping up to be another busy year in Lindenhurst.
Bill Jacob, Long Grove
As we look forward to 2019, completion of the Old McHenry Road project in the heart of our downtown in collaboration with Lake County and the further extension of our public water main, including reconstruction of Robert Parker Coffin Road, are key priorities. Additionally, we have before us the tasks of funding and renovating the iconic 100+ year-old Long Grove Bridge that was damaged by a box truck over the summer. Finally, attracting economic development throughout our village to grow sale tax receipts which support our infrastructure improvements will remain top priorities as well.
Casey Urlacher, Mettawa
The village is in the process of a comprehensive review of our zoning ordinance which will be completed in 2019. In addition to modernizing it for easier use with graphics, tables, etc., there are several policy decisions to be made regarding permitted and special uses in the community. It has been an interesting process and has garnered a lot of community interest and dialogue.
Steve Lentz, Mundelein
Mundelein's most important issue in 2019 centers on commencement of stormwater management improvements. In 2017, Mundelein experienced one of the worst floods in its history. The area hardest hit has experienced flooding for more than five decades. This year, the board of trustees took action to correct it by approving a $10 million flood mitigation project. Engineering has already begun and construction begins in 2019. The project includes a detention pond that will incorporate a park for the enjoyment of the community and will anchor the south end of downtown.
Dan MacGillis, Round Lake
Looking ahead to 2019, we will continue our focus on economic development and refine governmental operations for maximum efficiency. We will be implementing recently approved initiatives like a residential rental license program, Lake County Land Bank participation, and foreclosure and vacant property registrations. We will continue our investment in public infrastructure improvements such as the second CLCJAWA interconnection, sewer repairs, and street improvements.
Terrance Lumpkins, Round Lake Heights
There are a couple issues the village of Round Lake Heights will face in 2019. The first issue is the concept design plan located at Fairfield Road and Rollins Road. This is the property that was annexed into the village and we would like to develop it soon. The village is also working on improving the infrastructure on our current water system, with putting a new water line in and some day becoming more independent.
Linda Lucassen, Round Lake Park
We plan to continue to grow the vacant properties' program as we feel there are too many abandoned properties in the community. Another area of importance is the Main Street business district. SDB Products, Main Street Cafe and Tacos el Compadre are new establishments. Our goal for the future is to attract new businesses to our downtown. Both the Building & Zoning and Public Works departments will address improvements to public areas in the village such as our beach and parks.
Stephen Henley, Volo
Completing the improvements required for delivery of Lake Michigan water in the second or third quarter, which will ensure a sustainable high-quality source of drinking water.
Lincoln Knight, Wauconda
For 2019, one of our bigger goals is to complete the 12-year process and have delivery of Lake Michigan water, and complete it within the price point promised to the residents and business owners prior to the 2012 referendum.