FOX RIVER GROVE – The village plans to continue concentrating on economic development to bring in additional revenue to help keep a balanced budget, Village President Bob Nunamaker said at his annual state of the community address.
“We’re focusing on economic development because business as usual is not going to work,” Nunamaker said. “This village needs some other streams of revenue.”
Fox River Grove has set up a downtown tax increment financing district to spark redevelopment in the area, and the Village Board will regularly discuss economic development updates, including improving downtown parking and running a facade grant program, Nunamaker said.
“These things all take time,” Nunamaker said at the Cary-Grove Chamber of Commerce event.
Nunamaker also said the village would not forget about the area of Route 22 and Route 14. Officials want to look into marketing efforts for the area, especially along Doyle Road.
“We know how important that is,” Nunamaker said.
At the event, Nunamaker also introduced the village’s new finance manager, Jennifer Menz, and the new village administrator, Karl Warwick, who has been with the village since September.
Menz, who previously worked in Zeigler, replaced Penny Toppel, who recently retired. Warwick replaced Art Osten, who was fired by the Village Board last year.
“Both are excellent additions to the village,” Village Trustee Suzanne Blohm said.
Some Fox River Grove businesses have closed, including LA Tan and the Mattress Store, in the past year. However, Nunamaker added that the Cary-Grove Animal Hospital, a Pep Boys and a Sherwin Williams, among others, came into the village.
The village is building a new website that will list available commercial properties and help address business concerns.
“It will be 100 percent more user friendly than we had before,” Nunamaker said.
Nunamaker said developers are inquiring about available village locations.
“Things are starting to happen,” he said. “People are calling. ... People are coming to town, talking about redevelopment.”
The new Metra train station is expected to be completed by September, Nunamaker said. He said that even though a parking garage is desired along with the new train station, funding has not been allocated yet.
“They want to do it, they know they want to do it, because they don’t have the parking they need in Barrington or Cary, and this is the place where they could get parking,” Nunamaker said.
Some in attendance asked about the village’s red-light camera at the intersection of Route 22 and Route 14. Many people have been ticketed for making a right turn from Route 22 onto 14 without stopping.
Village officials say it is in place because it makes the intersection safer for pedestrians crossing Route 22.
Jim Burke owns Car X close to the intersection of Route 22 and Route 14.
“I personally drive down Doyle when I leave, so I don’t have to drive past that red-light camera, so I know I’m not the only person driving around our businesses in town,” Burke said. “The stripes on the crosswalk are faded away. If we’re really concerned about safety, we’re not even doing the bare minimum. We’re just there ... collecting revenue.”