Romeoville Mayor John Noak gave his annual State of the Village address, at Mistwood Golf Club, recapping the village’s successes over the last year and what is to come.
Once again, Romeoville’s financial footing is strong, boasting a budget surplus, lower village property tax rate, a rise in retail sales, and the best pension funding level of the largest 175 municipalities (excluding Chicago) in Illinois.
On the commercial front, new businesses continue to come to Romeoville, including Starbucks, Popeyes, Scene75, and Mercedes-Benz, among others. Romeoville’s retail vacancy rate fell from 18.4% to 5.8%, even during the pandemic. Total retail sales in the village are now $718 million annually and growing. That represents a 70% increase since 2008. Residential development and home sales continue to thrive. New Class A suburban developments such as Village Place Apartments and Seasons of Romeoville Apartments are leasing up quickly. Industrial vacancy is at one of its lowest levels in years, having dropped down to 6.8% from 9.8%. Romeoville has attracted several major employers and e-commerce businesses including Wayfair and Crate & Barrel.
With all this development, the total value of all property in the village has reached $1.35 billion and continues to grow. The number of jobs in the community has grown from approximately 10,130 in 2008 to 25,166 today, representing a 148% increase.
Progress on infrastructure projects was discussed during the presentation by the mayor. Construction is in the final stretch on the Weber & I-55 interchange/widening with substantial completion set for later this year and final completion targeted for first quarter of 2022. IDOT continues to move forward with a new interchange at Airport & I-55. Funding for engineering and land acquisition is programed for the coming year. Other infrastructure projects discussed included the pedestrian improvements near the intersection of Route 53 & Normantown, a frontage road near the former Discount Tire, which will allow Weber Road access to the businesses in that area, major improvements on 135th street between Weber and 53, and the extension of Pinnacle Drive to connect Renwick to Airport (and soon to Taylor).
Various village department accomplishments were covered during Mayor Noak’s speech. The police and recreation departments instituted numerous innovative ideas for socially distanced fun in 2020. The Recreation Department rolled out birthday boxes, holiday grinchings, drive-in movies, three firework shows for the annual Independence Day Celebration, and the new Holiday Lights Festival. The Police Department created a drive-thru snack giveaway and invited community kids to get into a Nerf gun competition with the Nerf & Protect event. Many of these new programs will continue to be held going forward. Additionally, a number of parks and facilities were renovated and plans for new facilities like the aquatic center and dog park were highlighted.
“Romeoville continues to grow despite the obstacles of the past year,” explained Mayor Noak. “We are seeing significant investment in our community and we are outpacing much of the rest of the state.”
There are more projects coming in the year ahead. Follow the Village of Romeoville on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn and keep an eye on romeoville.org for news, projects, events, and everything else happening in town. Residents can view the presentation in its entirety by visiting the village’s website or YouTube channel. The State of the Village is hosted annually by the Romeoville Area Chamber of Commerce.