Future lookes bright in Morris, mayor says
By Sarwat S. Ahmad For The Herald-News May 3, 2012 8:04AM
Updated: June 10, 2012 8:04AM
MORRIS — With Morris’ new fiscal year having started on Tuesday, Mayor Richard Kopczick praised the proactive efforts of the city’s leaders during his tenure for keeping the city moving forward and highlighted new plans for the city’s development.
In his annual state of the city address during the city council’s first meeting of the new fiscal year, Kopczick cited the Brisbin Road interchange construction project as one that has become a reality due to efforts by previous city councils since he took office in 2001. The development of the east side sewage treatment plant not only attracted businesses and created jobs, but also provided the water and sewer infrastructure needed to serve the interchange and develop the Brisbin road area, he said.
“When we look back on numerous projects that the city has completed, sometimes the history of how we arrived here today is often forgotten,” Kopczick said. “The hard work, tenacity and dedication necessary to plan for a major project and then see it through to completion is a long and arduous process.”
Kopczick also cited the 31 annexations of property into the city limits in 11 years, including the recent annexation of the AT&T property on Gore Road, as significant in increasing the city’s equalized assessed value by 70 percent since 2001.
“This is the type of progress that will insure that your municipal tax rate will not increase in the city of Morris, which few other cities can claim,” he said.
Kopczick also reminded the city of his recent action to vote against an expansion of the Environtech landfill as a fulfillment of his campaign promises. Another action in favor of the health and safety of the city’s citizens was the council’s passing a strict ordinance against the sale and purchase of synthetic drugs, he said.
The development of the blighted Federal Paperboard property into homes by Habitat for Humanity as well as the continued development of Morris Airport are also steps toward progress, Kopczick said.
Future projects Kopczick highlighted included a four year construction project that will eliminate the permitted sewer overflows in order to come into compliance with state mandate.
The city also plans to widen Route 6 to three lanes between Lakewood and Edgewater and also place traffic signals on the Lakewood intersection. Also in the works are plans for the Illinois Department of Transportation to widen Route 47 north to four lanes.
“Even through these tough economic times, the city has been able to maintain revenues and limit spending, all while continuing to provide the services that our constituents expect,” Kopczick said. “This success is due to a team effort of city employees and elected and appointed officials.’