2013 looking bright in Romeoville, mayor says
By Janet Lundquist firstname.lastname@example.org January 11, 2013 2:22PM
Romeoville Mayor John Noak gives his state of the village address in the JFK Sports Center at Lewis University Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, at One University Parkway in Romeoville. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 15, 2013 6:14AM
In the last year, more than 90 new businesses have set up shop in the village of Romeoville, bringing 800 new jobs along with them.
“Over the last three years, over 3,600 jobs have been created in Romeoville,” said the village’s mayor, John Noak.
He’d like to see that number continue to grow, and has a plan to boost local business.
The local business entrepreneur incentive program, which would give local residents tax breaks for opening new businesses in town, was one of several ideas and statistics that Noak mentioned during his annual State of the Village presentation recently at Lewis University.
Another plus for Romeoville: Village officials have the municipal finances in check, Noak said. The village finished the last fiscal year with a $1.5 million surplus, and expects a $400,000 surplus at the end of this fiscal year.
Noak attributes the village’s financial security to sound budgeting and penny pinching.
“Business development is key,” he added. “A lot of that success comes from being able to grow our community and new jobs.”
The next big project on deck: reviving the village’s Route 53 business corridor.
In the 1960s, Route 53 was the village’s first commercial district. As time passed, business shifted to Weber Road, Noak said. Now the village wants Route 53 to be the vibrant retail corridor it once was.
As part of that task, the village held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new 65,000-square-foot sports and recreation center that will be built on the site of a former shopping center.
Recently, the village began to demolish part of a retail site at the former Spartan Square shopping center at Phelps and Route 53.
The village also has demolished the building that housed the Crazy Rock gentleman’s club at 135th Street and Route 53.
Officials have hired a marketing firm to draw users to the site, which they hope sparks a sweeping revitalization.
Besides planning for the future, the village also has taken care of more pressing needs.
Crews finished more than $2 million in street resurfacing projects, more than $2 million in lift station upgrades, and finished several subdivisions, including Creekside, Fieldstone and Green Haven, Noak said.
Now officials are looking forward to 2013 and some new business development, such as Sam’s Club, scheduled to open this fall on Weber Road, as well as new homes being built in subdivisions like Misty Ridge.