ROMEOVILLE – Romeoville Mayor John Noak delivered the State of the Village address Thursday afternoon and highlighted the economic well-being of the community of about 40,000 people.
Noak highlighted the numbers that showed continued growth in the village. There were 1,056 jobs created and 103 new business licenses granted in 2017. The village received multiple awards for financial reporting. He added that the crime rate also went down by 8 percent last year.
“Since 2008, the workforce in Romeoville has more than doubled,” Noak said. “We’re very proud of that.”
One specific sector in the economy Noak spoke at length about was the rise of the industrial business benefiting the village’s financial situation. As an example, he showed how Valley View School District 365U’s 2016 property tax levy took in about 41 percent of its revenue from industrial business, and Noak said that percentage will continue to rise. Amazon is the largest employer in the village, with more than 1,600 people working at the Romeoville fulfillment center.
That economic success helped the village end 2017 with a budget surplus and the use of about $1 million in reserves on projects such as the new Metra station. This happened despite state revenue reductions and major retailers like Target and Sam’s Club in town shutting their doors. The village also was able to reduce its tax rate for both the 2016 and 2017 levy.
There also are a number of big projects already being worked on, including building the 25-acre Discovery Park, which would help the village double the number of athletic fields it has.
There also is the Weber Road interchange at Interstate 55, which finally is getting going with contracts awarded to R.W. Dunteman Co. and Judlau Contracting. The village entered into an agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation, Will County and the village of Bolingbrook for the reconstruction of the interchange.
Also in 2017, the Joliet Junior College satellite campus in the village opened its doors on the new 49,000-square-foot expansion. Construction on a new 26,000-square-foot student center also started at Lewis University.
The speech took place hours before Noak was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, improper lane usage and operating a vehicle without proof of insurance.