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Claar announces re-election bid at state of village address

Brock A. Stein | 1/19/2015, 10:12 a.m.
The 29-year mayor also talked about Bolingbrook's new home starts, residential and commercial developments, road improvements and the continued success ...
Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar gave his State of the Village address Thursday at the Bolingbrook Golf Club. Brock A. Stein

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Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar

Roger Claar used his Bolingbrook State of the Village address Thursday to announce plans to seek an eighth term as mayor in 2017.

That was just one of many topics Claar touched upon during his free-ranging speech, delivered to an estimated crowd of 600 guests of the Bolingbrook Chamber of Commerce at the Bolingbrook Golf Club.

Among some of the highlights, the 29-year mayor noted that new housing construction continued its upward trend in 2014, going from 20 permits issued in 2009 to 124 new home starts in 2014. He said the village expected to issue about 400 permits for new homes in the coming year.

The village will also get new apartments with the construction of a new upscale Tapestry Apartments complex south of Bass Pro Shop. In addition, the 500-unit Promenade Apartment complex will receive an upgrade with interior remodels and balconies added to the units, Claar said.

Capital projects in the coming year will include a new 95th Street bridge and a roundabout at Kings Road and Rodeo Drive. Claar also noted plans to improve the intersection at Weber Road that will reconfigure the roadway to a diverging diamond interchange.

The village is also still looking ahead to improvements that will be completed on the Route 126/I55 interchange near Airport Road, which is a joint project with the villages of Romeoville, Plainfield and the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Claar said the village will continue with its lawsuit against Illinois-American Water Co. in its efforts to take over the water distribution infrastructure from its Lake Michigan water supplier.

In addition to the lawsuit, Claar told the audience the village would continue to wage its war on the Emerald Ash Borer, a pest that has decimated the ash tree population in the village and could cost millions to taxpayers. The mayor noted that with other municipalities removing hundreds of trees each year, the village is having a difficult time finding new replacement trees.

The village continues to develop a diverse business environment for the village, providing a robust tax base being generated from its 32.7 million square feet of industrial space in the village, Claar said. Large employers like WeatherTech, which employs more than 1,000 employees and occupies 661,000 square feet of industrial space, continues to grow.

The car mat manufacturer, he said, will gain a larger audience when it airs a commercial during the Super Bowl in February. The employer is an example of the type of employer the village has worked to attract to the village to provide a tax base for residential services.

“That is comparable to just about any place in the United States,” Claar said.

Portia Gallegos, a customer service manager at Quasar Design 3D in Plainfield, attended the luncheon as a guest of Bolingbrook business owner Toni Greathouse of Custom Community Creations.

She came away impressed by the friendly business environment fostered in Bolingbrook and said she appreciated the opportunity to network with other small business owners. Gallegos said she and her husband have been working with the business incubator at the University of St. Francis in Joliet to establish their business, which provides product design and creation services.

“I met some people who share the same interests as our company, and I learned some very useful information that will help us with our marketing,” Gallegos said. “I was impressed by the diversity of businesses in the Bolingbrook area.”

Claar’s State of the Village address kicks off a spate of similar programs around the suburbs in the coming months. They include:

  • Romeoville Mayor John Noak will present his State of the Village address at 11 a.m. March 24 at the Romeoville Athletic & Event Center, 55 Phelps, Romeoville.

  • Plainfield Mayor Michael Collins will present the State of the Village Address on Jan. 21 at the Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at Whitetail Ridge Golf Club, 7671 Clubhouse Drive, Yorkville.

  • Shorewood Mayor Rick Chapman will give his State of the Village address at an 11:30 a.m. March 10 luncheon at the Troy Township Center, 25448 Seil Road, Shorewood.