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Water, Route 52 focus for Shorewood in ’15

Richard Chapman
Richard Chapman

SHOREWOOD – The water supply will be watched by the village of Shorewood in 2015.

“Even though it’s not in a dire situation right now, we can see in this region there is going to be some pretty major changes,” Mayor Richard Chapman said.

The new year also will bring an increased focus on developing the Route 52 corridor and expanding recreational programs.

Several developments and improvements marked 2014 for the village. A renovated West Shore Park was the fruit of the village’s labor after years of waiting to buy out property in the floodplain around the DuPage River.

A Mariano’s grocery store opened over the summer in place of what was Dominick’s, becoming a staple in the community.

Chapman said he hopes the village builds off its accomplishments during the past year.

Water supply

Chapman said he recently met with surrounding communities, including Joliet, Channahon and Minooka, to talk about the region’s water situation.

“[Shorewood has] been studying the water situation probably for the last five years,” Chapman said. “We’ve just completed a study that shows the aquifers are depleting. We’re going to have to make some changes.”

Chapman said residents should pay attention to the water situation, because a switch in water source could require voter approval and could include bonds that would have to be paid off with taxes.

“We’ll have to decide whether it is feasible to go after Lake Michigan water,” Chapman said. “We have to decide whether to go after that, or drill for our own water. It’ll be a major infrastructure decision.”

Route 52 corridor

The Village Board in November hired The Retail Coach to hunt for commercial developers to fill the Town Center and Route 52 corridor near Route 59.

The board also bought the old firehouse on Route 52 to prepare for future development.

“We’re slowly accumulating properties in that area,” Chapman said. “It will give us leverage in the future.”

Chapman said he hopes the hiring of The Retail Coach will bring major retailers to the village.

In addition to commercial development, Chapman anticipates home building to continue.

Recreation expansion

Denise Schmidt, Shorewood’s parks, business and recreation planner, said participation in recreational programs didn’t just pick up in 2014. It boomed.

“We changed our programming a little bit,” Schmidt said. “The library sponsored our movies, we tweaked what bands came, and with advertising, the stars aligned. It really appealed to people in a different way.”

Schmidt said residents can expect increased recreational programming that appeals to residents and non-residents, including partnerships with more businesses and private entities.

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