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Forest Preserve Board OKs Romeoville And Crest Hill Projects, Accepts Foundation Donation

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By Jess Samson | WJOL

The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Board of Commissioners approved two contracts and accepted a donation during the June 13 monthly meeting.

Isle a la Cache preserve improvements: A contract totaling $794,907 was awarded to D Construction for improvements at Isle a la Cache preserve in Romeoville. The work includes construction of a 150-person picnic shelter, a new latrine, parking lot rehabilitation, new walkways, landscaping and other amenities.

Renwick Road sidewalk addition: Also approved was a $62,081 contract with PT Ferro Construction Company for the creation of a sidewalk on the south side of Renwick Road in Crest Hill. The sidewalk will connect Borio Drive and the Arbor Glen subdivision with the trail at Prairie Bluff Preserve. The new connection will create a safer route for subdivision residents who want to access the preserve’s trail. The City of Crest Hill contributed to the cost of the project and the sidewalk is being built on Arbor Glen Homeowners Association land.

Pollinator garden donation: The board accepted a $10,000 donation from The Nature Foundation of Will County to help pay for a pollinator garden at Isle a la Cache preserve. The money was raised during the non-profit group’s seventh annual “Bringing Nature Home” native plant sale held in May. The garden was installed recently and unveiled June 8 at the preserve’s annual “Island Rendezvous.” The garden will not only benefit monarch butterflies and other pollinators, it will provide “beauty, enjoyment and endless learning opportunities to the museum’s visitors for years to come,” said foundation Chairwoman Jamie Donovan. This is the third check presented by the foundation so far in 2019. The two previous donations totaled $15,780 and are being used for nature education and arts and interpretation programs.

Business

Naperville gas station fires clerk accused of telling Hispanic customers ‘to go back to their country’

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By Suzanne Baker | Naperville Sun

The clerk who spurred protests outside a Naperville Mobil gas station Wednesdayafter video showed him telling Hispanic customers “they need to go back to their country” and “ICE will come” has been fired, company officials said Thursday.

“Thank god. I am so happy,” said Nicte Buitron, who was with her family at the gas station when the incident occurred Tuesday. “What he said to my family was wrong.”

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Business

Despite resident opposition, Naperville commission endorses zoning for new stores on Washington Street

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By Alicia Fabbre | Naperville Sun

Naperville Planning and Zoning commissioners Wednesday threw their support behind the rezoning needed for a new commercial development on South Washington Street, despite the opposition of neighboring property owners.

The commission’s unanimous recommendation for approval will be forwarded to the Naperville City Council for final action.

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Community

What Does Will County Get from the Capital Bill?

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By Will County Board Press Release

JOLIET—Will County is in line to get funding for several major projects after Governor Pritzker signed Illinois’ Capital Bill in Joliet on Friday. Those projects include I-80 bridge replacements and widening and improvements to I-55.

“We’re glad to have a capital bill from Springfield that addresses some of our most pressing regional needs,” said Will County Board Speaker Denise Winfrey (D-Joliet). “Funding for I-80 improvements to repair bridges and widen the interstate through Joliet is critical to our region as the largest inland port in the nation.”
The state is prepared to invest $1.2 billion on I-80. Multiple bridges are in desperate need of replacement including the highly trafficked bridge over the Des Plaines River. Because of the rapid growth in population and industry in Illinois, I-80 will also be widened through Joliet.

I-55 improvements include $23.5 million to resurface the highway from I-80 south to Weber Road as well as $4.7 million for resurfacing and bridge repairs between U.S. Route 30 and Illinois 126 in Joliet and Plainfield.
“With the new State infrastructure bill passing, we are happy to see some of the money used for projects in Will County,” said Will County Board Member Ray Tuminello (R-New Lenox). “Will County is one of the fastest growing counties in the region and we’re glad to see the state invest in our local infrastructure.”

Other road improvements include $75.7 million for widening and reconstruction of U.S. route 52 from River Road to Houbolt Road in Joliet and Shorewood. Illinois Route 53 will also see $50 million of investment between Arsenal Road and U.S. 52 including pedestrian and bicycle improvements.

Also included in the capital bill is $400,000 for traffic light improvements at Weber Road and South Carillon Drive. Population growth, a new interchange at I-55 and the widening of Weber Road over the last few years has created a need for a new traffic light to increase safety.

 “Will County is a booming metro area,” said Winfrey. “We’ve become a major economic driver in Illinois, and we appreciate Governor Pritzker’s attention to our region. These investments will pay big dividends to the entire region’s economy.”

The state is prepared to help Will County with the demolition of the old Will County Courthouse by providing $1 million for the project. The county looked into repurposing the building but investigations into the feasibility of renovating the structure were cost prohibitive and the County Board decided that the best option was to demolish the building once services were transferred to the new courthouse.

Will County is also slated to get $5.1 million for improvements to Spring Creek and Hickory Creek which will help the county in flood mitigation. Both creeks funnel into the Des Plaines River and have long been a source of flooding. The resources from the new capital bill will continue the improvements that have been ongoing for decades.

“Things are changing and Will County has a lot of infrastructure projects that need to be accomplished to keep up with the growth we’re experiencing,” said Will County Board Member and Capital Improvements Committee Chair Herb Brooks. “Businesses and families are investing in Will County and it’s great to see the Illinois do the same.”

The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center will also receive $312,500 from the capital bill. The Children’s Advocacy Center is a nonprofit that relies on a blend of donations, and funding from all levels of government to provide counseling services to children who have been abused. With help from the Will County Board, the Children’s Advocacy Center recently expanded services to Eastern Will County, opening a satellite office in the Village of Steger.

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