An annexation agreement between the village of Channahon and developer Ridgeline Property Group was approved Monday, with Trustees Mark Scaggs, Sam Greco, Chantal Host and Scott McMillin, and Village President Missey Moorman Schumacher voting for the measure, and Trustees Scott Slocum and Patricia Perinar voting against.
The agreement involves 28.7 acres of property on Route 6, just east of Interstate 55. The developers plan on building a 440,000-square-foot industrial building at the site.
Ordinances for annexation of the property into the village limits, changing the zoning and granting a special use permit for a planned unit development were tabled until the developer closes on the property.
Schumacher said the development will benefit Channahon residents through the property tax dollars it will bring, as well as with the infrastructure the developer is putting in, such as extending a large water main and helping with the cost of a traffic light at the reconfigured southeast frontage road.
The water main, Schumacher said, “is not only making other properties developable, but is improving life safety for residents east of I-55. They are paying a substantial amount of money toward putting in a stoplight at the rerouted frontage road at Route 6, so that will improve the traffic flows for everybody, so I am happy to say the board approved this agreement.”
“I see jobs, I see infrastructure that they help pay for, and I see a diversified tax base,” Greco said. “That’s what I see. ... I’ve been on this board 24 years, and we’ve worked hard and long to get to where we are today.”
Host said she is excited about the opportunity of the development for safety and infrastructure reasons.
“Our goal was to develop that particular intersection with safety first,” she said. “Having that stoplight there is essential to make it safer for all of us.”
Perinar’s concern was the proximity of the building to Route 6, and Slocum’s objection was the aesthetics and nature of the building.
“What we’re charged with is building a community,” Slocum said, “and what this community is going to look like in 50 or 60 years. ... I’m so much more interested in commercial than industrial.”
The building would be constructed just east of the Pilot Travel Center, with a new southeast frontage road in between the two businesses. Vehicles would enter and exit Ridgeline via a reconfigured southeast frontage road, which will have a traffic signal to access Route 6.
A new 12-inch water main would bring village water to the complex and would surround the building for appropriate water supply for fire emergencies. The developer will not receive any tax abatements or incentives for the project.
Residents in the audience voiced concerns, mostly about increased truck traffic the development would generate, especially added to the two larger industrial developments currently under construction south of Ridgeline.
The construction on Route 6 now, Schumacher said, will open up additional lanes for traffic, and the light at Route 6 and the southeast frontage road will allow trucks coming and going from Ridgeline to easily make turns without blocking traffic.
Channahon resident Don “Doc” Gregory, President of Will-Grundy Building Trades, said he estimated 200 people would be needed to build Ridgeline, which is employment needed in the area.
“These guys work hard every day,” Gregory said. “We don’t have government jobs. ... We need development. We need to work. ... We want our taxes low, and infrastructure improvements are going to bring in business and keep that low. So I urge you, not only for the jobs, but as a Channahon resident, to ... bring these guys in and let’s start turning dirt.”
Also at Monday’s meeting, the board heard first read on an ordinance to increase fees on video gaming devices at local businesses. If approved at the March 19 village board meeting, the fees will go up $25 per terminal, from $100 to $125, beginning Jan. 1. In 2022, the fees would rise another $25 to $150 per terminal.
Administrators said the increases were to cover administrative costs.
The village also announced it will hold a meeting to discuss the budget at 8 a.m. Saturday at the village hall. The meeting is open to the public.