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Noak looks back on a year of positive growth in speech

Pakced house for Romeoville mayor's State of the Village Address

3/7/2014, 8:17 a.m. | Updated on 3/7/2014, 9:25 a.m.
In an auditorium packed with fellow mayors, state, county, local elected officials, educators, business owners and other dignitaries, Romeoville Mayor ...
Romeoville Mayor John Noak (standing) prepares to give his State of the Village speech Thursday at Lewis University. Photo by Rex Robinson

In an auditorium packed with fellow mayors, state, county, local elected officials, educators, business owners and other dignitaries, Romeoville Mayor John Noak highlighted a year of positive economic growth Thursday in his annual State of the Village Address held at Lewis University.

During the hour-long speech, Noak touched on everything from the 86 new businesses – including a new Sam’s Club – that came to Romeoville in 2013 to the completion of a new 76,000-square-foot Athletic and Events Center in the village’s downtown.

“This center has been a catalyst for development in this area,” Noak said as he highlighted some of the commercial development now starting to sprout up around the new Athletic and Events Center.

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Romeoville Mayor John Noak's State of the Village Address 2014

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It was a packed auditorium at Lewis University Thursday for Romeoville Mayor John Noak's annual State of the Village Address.

From the economic growth to infrastructure improvements and new parks, Noak highlighted a number of positive developments that came to fruition in Romeoville in the past year.

The mayor pointed to the resurfacing of Taylor Road and the nearly $2 million in improvements made to other roads in the village and also touched on the progress of plans to bring a Metra train station to the village. Construction of the new station is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2015.

“We also continue to work with Metra and other entities to enhance the services along the Heritage Corridor…,” Noak said.

The village has been able to reduce the amount residents pay for electricity with help from the Will County Governmental League, and for the third in a row Romeoville has rebated the village’s portion of property taxes back to resident, the mayor said.

“During this time, we’ve also instituted new ways to communicate and connect with our residents,” Noak said, adding that the village started a “Coffee with the Mayor” program as well as another program where he uses a small bus to take residents on tours of the community and keep them abreast of what’s going on.

The village uses a texting system which assists in getting the word out about emergencies, has enhanced its broadcasting of village board meetings and is active with social media, including both Facebook and Twitter, according Noak.

“To say the least, we are a very accessible community,” Noak said.

Noak also handed out awards during the address. Sam’s Club received the New Business of the Year Award. Metropolitan Industries, which has patented more than 30 new products and services, was named Large Business of the Year, while the Brunswick Zone received the Small Business of the Year Award. The Tri-County Special Recreation Association was named Service Organization of the Year and Tom Wilczak received the Citizen of the Year Award for his many hours of community service work.

Noak also spoke briefly about the police and fire departments. The police department, he said, added three new squad cars, upgraded technology and launched a police youth academy in 2013 and plans to initiate a ride-along program this year. The fire department, Noak said, has one of the most successful fire academies in the state, offering more than 165 courses, and last year raised more than $5,000 for breast cancer research and awarded more than $11,000 in scholarships for advanced fire service careers.