Elburn trustees: Time to get serious about economic future

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

ELBURN – Village Board members discussed getting serious about their economic future at their meeting Monday. They targeted problem areas of the Blackberry Creek subdivision.

There was no discussion on the plans for the Elburn Station development. Village President Dave Anderson has said there will be no vote on the annexation of the land for the ShoDeen development – which would bring more than 2,200 homes, including 1,300 apartments, to the village over the next 20 years – unless all board members were present, and with Bill Grabarek out, a vote won’t take place until Oct. 15 at the earliest.

However, there was much talk of the future because board member Jerry Schmidt brought up economic development. And fellow board member Jeff Walter agreed it was essential to address the topic.

“We’ve got to get some plan to paper,” said Walter, adding that while officials have talked about the subject, he was eager to see the subject move forward, “or we’ll keep talking about it, and the next boom is going to pass us by.”

What exactly the village may do was the subject of debate. Schmidt asked about bringing in an expert to assist the village or looking into establishing an economic development corporation. He pointed to one in Rochelle as an example.

Anderson said such an endeavor would need to be financed.

Ultimately, board members talked of working with the members of the village’s Chamber of Commerce and possibly attending the group’s meetings. Walter said steady dialogue would be beneficial. And Schmidt said he was pleased that there was serious talk on the topic.

“I think that was a big step forward,” Schmidt said.

As for the Blackberry Creek area, village attorney Bob Britz said he was drafting a template of a complaint to address more than 30 ordinance violations that are evident in areas of the subdivision. He said the letters will be sent to banks that own the properties and are responsible for maintenance.

“We think it’ll get their attention,” Britz said.

Among violations are weeds, detention pond issues and overgrown areas. Walter said if something isn’t done to address the problems, they will continue to build.

“It will become overgrown, and it will stay that way,” Walter said.

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Jan Schlictmann at a Geneva law firm.

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