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Looking Ahead: Batavia eyes energetic 2017

Municipalities share what's in store for 2017

BATAVIA – The City of Energy is expected to live up to its motto in 2017, with intensive development activity in both the public and private sectors.

“It’s going to be a very interesting year, all things considered,” Mayor Jeff Schielke said, pointing first to plans for the long-baseline neutrino experiment at Fermilab.

The new project has the potential to make the laboratory, which was established by the federal government 50 years ago, viable for yet another half century, the mayor said.

Of course, all eyes will be on the massive One Washington Place downtown redevelopment plan, which is still on pace to break ground this spring. The mixed-use project includes apartments, retail space and a public parking garage in the heart of the downtown.

Meanwhile, the city is expected to be engaged in negotiations with Batavia Enterprises to bring the Blue Goose supermarket to the downtown space formerly occupied by the Walgreens, which opened a new store on West Wilson Street last spring.

On the city’s far west side, the Windmill Manor senior housing project will be constructed near the Wal-Mart, while the Crash Champions automotive repair business will remake and remodel the former Aldi store building in the Windmill Lakes commercial area at the southwest corner of Randall Road and Main Street.

Much work is expected to take place along the Fox River this year.

The city and the Batavia Park District are working together to combat riverbank erosion, which is threatening the west bank of the river both north and south of the Wilson Street bridge.

At the same time, the city will begin a five-year project to increase the capacity of the wastewater treatment plant, located on the west side of the river just south of the downtown area.

Schielke, mayor since 1981, is running for a 10th term in the April municipal election. He is being challenged by Batavia School Board member Jason Stoops.

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