Minooka in good shape, village president affirms
By Kris Stadalsky Correspondent March 7, 2013 9:02AM
Updated: April 12, 2013 6:05AM
While the village of Minooka has not been exempt from the economic stressors of the last several years, there has been a positive, upward movement in the village.
Village President Pat Brennan shared the optimistic outlook and the past year’s highlights with a roomful of residents and community leaders at Chapin’s East during his state of the village address.
Minooka has been one of just a handful of municipalities that has seen steady residential growth. The village had 29 new homes built during 2012, keeping pace with its three-year average of 30 homes per year.
“There’s probably three villages that are in that (category),” Brennan said. “We have been doing it right along through our (economic) stimulus program.”
On the commercial and industrial side, the village had 10 commercial projects, including the completion of the Electrolux expansion, completion of the Grainger facility and the construction start of an 850,000-square-foot distribution center for Trader Joe’s.
“This will bring new jobs and opportunities to our economy, employing about 400 people,” Brennan said.
The village’s most recent industrial project is the upcoming construction of a 50,000-square-foot facility for Metal Stamp Inc.
Brennan’s announcement that the village received a $4.35 million grant through the Illinois Commerce Commission to rebuild and widen the Ridge Road railway underpass was met with applause.
The village obtained the grant with the help of the Grundy County Highway Department after years of planning and funding research, Brennan said. Along with a grant obtained through the Will County Governmental League for another $2.8 million, officials believe construction costs will be covered.
“During rush hour people try to come home, and (Ridge Road) goes from three down to two lanes,” Brennan said.
The village completed many infrastructure projects. Included are the rebuilding of Twin Rail Drive, street paving projects totaling $310,000, $56,000 worth of sidewalks repaired or replaced, streetlights, playground equipment, rebuilding of storm sewers and installation of 950 feet of new water main on McLindon Road.
“A lot of things are going on to improve infrastructure,” Brennan said. “Minooka is going to be really ready for expansion, which we weren’t before.”
While the village has been making big improvements, it is doing so while keeping its budget balanced and in the black. Property taxes have been reduced the past three years, and the 2012 levy is 16.9 percent less than what was collected in 2009.
“The reduction was achieved even when the village’s EAV has dropped by over $77 million dollars,” Brennan said.