JOLIET — The Will County Board voted Thursday to reduce the speed limit along the county-owned Manhattan-Arsenal Road between Route 53 and Brandon Road to 45 miles per hour in response to residents' concerns about an uptick in truck traffic.
Larry Banis, of Elwood, told board members he appreciates the county's efforts.
He said he is among the 500 who signed a petition calling on the county to turn over jurisdiction of the road to Elwood or reduce the weight limit from 15 to 5 tons to eliminate commercial truck traffic along the stretch near the CenterPoint intermodals.
"At this point, the truck traffic from the commercial facilities has changed our neighborhood. It's basically turned into a truck route," Banis said.
The speed limit reduction is a start, he said, but residents want more done.
However, it appears even Elwood's hands are tied. Banis said he learned from Elwood officials Wednesday night during a Village Board meeting that federal law prohibits the village — even if it were to take over jurisdiction — from reducing the weight limit.
"We want our neighborhood back," Banis said after the meeting Thursday. "We will continue to work to get it back."
Elwood Police Chief Fred Hayes and Village President Bill Offerman did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday afternoon.
In other news, the County Board on Thursday:
• Approved a tax abatement for Cadence Premier Logistics, a company moving its headquarters from Alsip to Joliet. The abatement gives the company a five-year, 50-percent tax break, which amounts to $14,191 annually. The Joliet City Council approved its own tax abatement for the company during a meeting Tuesday.
• Approved replacement hires in the county's Land Use and Geographic Information System departments and the county-owned Sunny Hill Nursing Home. All but one board member — Steve Balich, R-Homer Glen — voted to approve the hires. Balich said he's concerned about hiring with the county's health insurance costs on the rise and uncertainty about the state budget impasse.
• Approved authorization for the Will County Sheriff's Office to spend eviction cancellation fee revenue to bring the county's foreclosure auctions program in-house. For 50 years, the county has outsourced its auctions program to Joliet law firm Dunn, Martin, Miller and Heathcock, but officials estimate considerable savings for the county with the program moving in-house.