Looking back and ahead

“It’s been quite a ride,” Plainfield Mayor Michael Collins said to enthusiastic applause during his 2014-2015 State of the Village address.

Over 160 civic and business leaders and area Chamber of Commerce members attended the event Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the White Tail Country Club in Yorkville. The luncheon was hosted by the Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Touching on the many major accomplishments during 2014, Collins began by saying he was starting on a positive side by listing the many awards and recognitions from various reporting groups around the country.

“We are ranked 67 as one of the safest cities in the country in a national poll,” he said. “We are in fifth place for friendliness by the Illinois Healthiest Employer Finalist poll, and we received a ‘Magnet Status’ by Edward Hospital, the only one in Will County to have this honor,” Collins said. “Plainfield is a fabulous place to live.”

Commercial renovations continue in the downtown area. Collins reported that the Trolley Barn restoration will become the commercial anchor on the west side of the village. “I am pleased to see this happen because that building sat vacant for some 20 years,” he said, “And new businesses have filled up vacant store fronts.”

How is 2015 shaping up? The Mayor reported on the bid letting for a bridge across the DuPage River to Renwick Road on the River Front Trail, and a 135th Street Pedestrian Crossing plan. Roadway resurfacing and maintenance will include adding bike paths.

Presence St. Joseph has decided to build a medical office complex on Dayfield Road south of Renwick Road. “We are on the comeback trail,” Collins said.

Collins added that there has been an increased demand for custom built homes, bike and foot paths around subdivisions. “We have no straight line streets in new subdivisions because the roads then become raceways,” he said.

The Route 30 and proposed TIF District redevelopment area is ready to attract commercial interest in the corridor. “I believe businesses and customers will find this an important and viable corridor,” he said.

“2014 was a success, and 2015 will get more building and housing and should become a very prosperous year for us,” he said.

One of the highlights of the luncheon was the Community Service Award plaque presented to Larry Kachel, was recognized for his assistance in apprehending a bank robbery suspect in August. “He followed him until the arrest was made,” Collins said.

Chamber Chairman of the Board and Plainfield Library Director Julie Milavec said she was pleased to see so many businesses represented at the luncheon. “The event is an indicator of how well Plainfield did in 2014 and will continue to do in 2015,” she said.

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