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Local News

Joliet council agrees to take over Country Club Villas' streets

JOLIET – The city will take over two streets in the Country Club Villas despite a warning from staff that it could lead to other private subdivisions seeking the same treatment.

The City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously without discussion to take over maintenance and plowing for the two streets. But comments made at a workshop meeting Monday suggested council members agreed with residents that Country Club Villas was unique because the development was cut short by the recession and never became the gated community originally designed.

Joliet attorney Michael Hansen, who represented the residents, said later that he believed the city could make a distinction between Country Club Villas and other subdivisions that might want the city to take over streets.

There are seven attached homes in two buildings in Country Club Villas, where construction started shortly before the recession.

“I think the city did the right thing accepting the streets given the circumstances,” Hansen said.

Resident Randy Bushen said after the vote the he was “shocked” to by the council vote after having heard staff opposition at a committee meeting in October.

“That was overwhelming,” Bushen said. “It seemed a couple of weeks ago we were going in the wrong direction.”

Houbolt Road bridge

Mayor Bob O’Dekirk said he is confident that a proposed Houbolt Road bridge that would cross the Des Plaines River to connect the CenterPoint Intermodal Center with Interstate 80 will be built.

O’Dekirk told a developer planning a distribution site with a barge facility for quarry operations at an industrial site at Route 6 and Houbolt Road that the project could be delayed by bridge construction.

“What we’re hearing is that bridge is most likely going to be a reality,” O’Dekirk said. “It’s going to happen in the next few years.”

Council members said they could support the Ketone Partners project as long as the developer understood the plans could be delayed by bridge construction.

Work Order system

The council voted 5-3 in favor of a Work Order Management System that would use GIS mapping designed to improve efficiency in the utilities department but cost $964,000 to implement.

The council had twice before delayed votes on the system because of concerns about operating costs in the utilities department and proposed hikes in water and sewer rates. Utilities Director James Eggen said the system is needed, would save $40,000 a month in operating costs, and would be used by other city departments.

Voting no were John Gerl, Larry Hug and Jim McFarland.

Walgreens liquor

Liquor licenses were approved for four Walgreens stores at 1163 W. Jefferson St., 2101 W. Jefferson St., 1514 Essington Road and 4822 Caton Farm Road.

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