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The City of Crest Hill must continue to move forward. This is the rallying cry and goal for the re-elected Mayor Ray Soliman, the City Council, and the city staff. Two new faces join the fight to keep the city moving in the right direction. Marco Coladipietro and Nate Albert were elected as Ward 3 and Ward 4 Aldermen respectively, while Ward 1 Alderman Scott Dyke and Ward 2 Alderwoman Barbara Sklare ran unopposed and retained their seats. Also re-elected where the City Treasurer Glen Conklin and City Clerk Vicki Hackney.
As an elected official, the job requires that the people of the City come first. This is the mindset Soliman and company have always kept while holding office. The current administration has led the city to financial durability while rewarding its citizens by putting in place and delivering the promise of tax rebate checks. Included under this leadership, the City of Crest Hill was awarded the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 2015 and 2016 as well as obtaining over $7.3 million in funds for infrastructure and road improvements and other projects.
Infrastructure improved dramatically in the last eight years with significant projects upcoming in the near future. Nearly 5 miles of water main upgrades and replacements have been made, 28 miles of sewers lined, and over 5 miles of roads built or reconstructed. These are just a few of the projects that have taken place from 2009 until now.
Economic development is moving in the right direction as well. A new economic development program was created in 2016 that includes business retention and façade improvement assistance for businesses. From 2009 to 2016, 262 businesses have come to Crest Hill while 20 new construction projects have been erected, including several in the Crest Hill Business Park. In 2016, the City Council voted to evaluate certain areas of the city to be designated as Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts. TIF districts are a big incentive most developers seek and will help continue to attract business to Crest Hill. Furthermore, several projects are promised along Weber Road in the coming months, including new development for a gas station and car wash as well as a new retail strip center that will house much needed restaurants on that corridor.
Broadway Street, or Route 53, has also seen tremendous improvements with a new used car dealership at the corner of Theodore and the potential of a quick serve restaurant near the opposite corner. There will be constant improvement to existing businesses as well as the addition of national brands that will bring significant employment to the area. Although economic development is a long and arduous task, it will remain priority number one for the City of Crest Hill moving forward.
The next term will surely be some of the best for the city and its residents.