Crest Hill OKs resolution opposing diocese relocation
By Erin Biesen For The Herald News June 8, 2012 10:24AM
Updated: July 11, 2012 10:19AM
CREST HILL — Despite controversy, a resolution passed regarding the relocation of the Diocese of Joliet.
Several council members had expressed their concerns during a May meeting regarding the diocese relocating to the strip mall on Weber Road. This sale will cause the city to lose out on sales tax and property tax for that location.
Last week, Ward 2 Alderwoman Claudia Gazal stressed the importance of looking at the available land in Crest Hill to ensure that something like this would not happen again.
Ward 3 Alderman Neal Sternisha called it an “epic failure.”
Mayor Ray Soliman, in collaboration with Joliet Mayor Tom Giarrante, brought a resolution before council stating that Joliet and the city of Crest Hill would work with the Diocese of Joliet to find a different site in Joliet.
After reading the resolution Monday night, Gazal reiterated that her concern was focusing on the available land in Crest Hill.
“The damage is done, we are trying to put a Band-Aid on it. We are not going to fix it,” said Gazal.
Soliman said the closing date is Friday and therefore, “it’s not a done deal.”
Sternisha said he felt that council did not receive the information in a timely manner to make an informed vote.
“You guys are trying to force my hand on voting on something by not letting me see material prior to the vote. I’m kind of uncomfortable at this point,” said Sternisha.
While council members did not receive the resolution until Monday, they did receive a memo Friday stating that Giarrante and Soliman were working on a joint resolution regarding the relocation of the diocese.
Sternisha said the city needs to focus on what went wrong and how the city can work to prevent it from happening again.
“I am trying to do something to rectify the situation, I’m trying to do something as the mayor to help our residents and bring the sales tax and property tax back to Crest Hill,” said Soliman. “As far as I’m concerned until the actual closing is done, I’m going to do everything in my power that I can to work with the city of Joliet and keep the dialogue open with the Diocese of Joliet regarding this issue.