Improvement seen in Minooka’s fortunes
By Kris Stadalsky For The Herald-News May 7, 2012 8:14AM
Minooka Village Administrator Dan Duffy gives the state of the village address. | Kris Stadalsky ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 11, 2012 8:31AM
MINOOKA — While the village of Minooka has not been exempt from the economic recession, things are steadily looking better, said Village Administrator Dan Duffy during the state of the village address.
“We’ve seen steady movement returning to normal,” Duffy said.
Duffy spoke to a roomful of local business people and authorities last week at Chapin’s East in Minooka, providing a rundown of how the village fared over the past fiscal year. Duffy spoke in absence of Village President Pat Brennan, who is recuperating from foot surgery.
For the third consecutive year, Minooka has seen a growth in residential home building, at a steady pace of about 30 homes per year, he said. In the past year, 35 new homes were built in Minooka with 16 of them just since the beginning of 2012.
This can mostly be attributed to the village’s stimulus program, he said, which provides a rebate of $10,000 on a single-family home to the buyer upon completion of construction and occupancy. Participating developers kick in $5,000 and the village supplies the other $5,000.
Unemployment has dropped for the third straight year as a result of new businesses in the village.
“In spite of the continued harsh economy, Minooka has added new businesses including Electrolux, Chapin’s Pub and the Shrimp Barn,” Duffy said.
Eight commercial projects began in during the 2012 fiscal year. The Poor Clair’s Monastery was completed and Grainger plans to be in full operation later this calendar year.
The 2013 fiscal year budget, just recently completed, is in the black and balanced, Duffy said.
By refinancing two bond series this past year, taking advantage of lower interest rates, the village was able to save in excess of $41,000 over the life of the bonds.
A new $1.6 million bond issue, the majority of which will be used to reconstruct Twin Rail Drive, was taken at an interest rate of 2.1323 percent.
The completion of a water leak detection survey resulted in identifying five leaks in the village’s water system. The savings from water loss repair will be about $90,000 annually.
Various village streets were repaired to a tune of $310,000, with the money coming from the Motor Fuel Tax fund. Approximately $40,000 worth of sidewalks were repaired or replaced.
The public works staff completed stormwater system mapping data, locating several thousand manholes, inlets and catch basins. The project was part of the village’s geographic information system.
The police department has seen a decrease in traffic crashes and crime again this year, Duffy said. It also seized approximately $126,000 worth of illicit drugs.
“All of this is due to the officers’ commitment to providing quality police service and continual effort on building a strong relationship with the community,” Duffy said.
Duffy lauded the village’s parks and recreation department, pointing out the many family friendly programs and events for children, teens and adults.
The goal is to have 20 percent open space within the village, he said. One way the goal is being accomplished is through the installation of neighborhood parks and improvements.
“We are thankful to be part of such a great community,” Duffy said, “and we look forward to growth as the economy continues to climb out of the struggles it has been subjected to.”