Joliet mayor wants to revisit Crest Hill agreement

Brock A. Stein | 11/8/2017, 1:52 p.m.
In October, the Joliet City Council denied the approval of an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Crest Hill for ...
The City of Joliet has denied approval of an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Crest Hill for intersection improvements at Gaylord Road and Division Street. Google Earth

“We’ve always had a great relationship with the city of Joliet and we hope that we can work through this and that the improvements are made for the safety of the entire region.”

He said that the confusion over when the agreement was made may be due to the first plans for the business park which started in the late 1990s, early 2000s.

He said that Crest Hill first started planning for the Crest Hill Business Park at that time when he was still an alderman on the city council and that the developer at the time filed a lawsuit when Joliet sought to restrict west bound truck traffic on Division to I-55.

He said that two courts ruled in favor of the developer at the time and that during a meeting Soliman attended with Joliet’s former Mayor Art Schultz, Councilman Joe Shetina, and former city manager John Mezera, that the government bodies would abide by the court’s legal rulings.

“We talked through it,” said Soliman, “We said that we would let the court decide the fate of the future of the corridor.”

“We felt strongly about the need for the business park in Crest Hill and I’m sure that Joliet felt the need to fight for the residents along Division Street,” said Soliman who noted that the land where the business park now sits has been zoned for industrial use since he first started as an alderman in 1993.

Mayor Soliman said that the city has continued to make safety improvements. In addition to the intersection alignment and traffic lights he said that the city also spent $1.5 million to construct a new access road “to accommodate traffic at the business park.”

He emphasized the “great conversation” he had with Mayor O’Dekirk last week to discuss the agreement.

“There’s no hard feelings there,” he said, “We just want to make sure that we improve the safety of that intersection for everybody who passes through there.”