Crete is a great place and it is on its way to becoming even better. We have lots of assets that are yet to be realized and fully developed. We have an abundance of open space, a large amount of Village owned property, the IL 394 corridor, heavily forested areas, the potential for an extensive trail system, a well defined downtown area, abundant land for industrial development, a wide variety of housing options, including senior housing, the possibility of a Metra station and excess sewer and water capacity. Not many towns can make these claims. My goal is to develop and utilize these assets in the best way possible for the long term benefit of our residents and in keeping with our planning objectives that have been defined with citizen input. This is a process not an event.
You will hear about what other candidates are dreaming about, what they claim they are going to do without regard to reality or costs involved, using comments intended to create suspicions that something is wrong or something has been mismanaged. They will also bring up items that have already been effectively handled and are really old news. The governance of the third airport, Illiana Expressway and the intermodal facility are prime examples. I will tell you what I want to accomplish, at a minimum, during the next couple of years, and I have a “wish list” of several other things that would be nice to accomplish if the funds are available.
- Assist in the completion of the Holland Company’s major office expansion and the Al-Amin Brother’s refrigerated warehouse development totaling an $11M investment in Crete.
- Implement a new parking plan on the west side of Main between Exchange and Cass.
- Encourage more property owners to do façade changes in the downtown area, such as Aurelio’s and Cal’s.
- Finish the downtown “Time Square” project so that area is completed.
- Investigate the possibility of making major changes to the east side of Main between Cass and Exchange that will open up more Main Street retail opportunities. We need new retail space in the downtown area if we expect to attract any additional new businesses.
- Create a new street off of N. Main Street across from Speedway that would go east. This would create an access point to a new mixed use area that could provide new retail opportunities. The traffic count at this location is double that of properties south of Burville Road and the land is less expensive.
- Build Old Monee Road east through to Hartmann Drive to open up more industrial property ready for immediate development and create marketing plans for the TIF #3 industrial area.
- Build on our successes in the 394 corridor. We did well even during a down economy, so as the market turns we should do even better. There are users out there; we just need to identify them. One retailer I have identified is currently reviewing the area for a possible project.
- Encourage CenterPoint Properties to consider redefining their focus to include a wider variety of potential users. This project needs to move forward.
- Create an easy to use property inventory list on the Village web site featuring available residential, commercial, retail and industrial development sites.
- I will again explore the creation of a train horn quiet zone, if we can secure a funding source. It appears that I have just identified a possible condition change, which could reduce the overall cost to a point where it may be possible.
- Work with the park district on finalizing the master trail plan for the entire village. I drew one up several years ago and presented it to the Crete Park District. Because they are under funded, it has never been finalized or been officially acted on by the district. This will give everyone a vision for what needs to be accomplished as the village grows.
All of these items are realistic, attainable, and within the area of responsibility of village government operations. All of these items will move our economy ahead, provide growth opportunities and enhance our quality of life.
Mike Einhorn, Village President