Dear Will County Residents and Municipal Officials:
3/2/2020, 1:34 p.m.
During the last 15 years as Will County Executive, I have worked to ensure that Will County balances fiscal responsibility to taxpayers with responsible economic growth. I hope that my successor makes this a priority as well.
Being home to the largest inland port in all of North America has not come without issues.
Undoubtedly, while traveling throughout the county, you see the deficiencies in our infrastructure as a result of the rapid growth of industrial warehousing developments.
With each municipality approving different logistics projects without any multi-jurisdictional planning, our county has been faced with a unique challenge: how do we address the issues we have and how can we accommodate future growth? We need to keep Will County moving forward, but we must come together in order to do so.
To better the quality of life for the residents in the community, Will County recently launched Moving Will County, a large-scale, desperately needed land use and truck routing study. The goal is to create a cohesive solution that proactively addresses the issues that matter most: efficient and safe truck routing, environmental safeguards, and most importantly, responsible land use plans that protect those who live and pay taxes in Will County.
Moving Will County is a taxpayer-funded study that brings together municipalities with other officials, land use planning experts, engineers, stakeholders, and our residents. Because this study is so comprehensive, we expect it to take 18-24 months to complete. This time is necessary to assess the current situation, obtain input, and create a plan that can be successfully implemented.
Municipalities should not consider projects that would compromise the integrity of this taxpayer funded study — including mega warehousing projects like North Point Development’s Compass Business Park. After reviewing the current and past plans, North Point Development would undoubtedly destroy our area. Recklessly approving this project would cause monumental consequences, inhibit future growth, and cause irreparable damage to our county.
If North Point is successful, it will mark the beginning of the end of Will County as we know it.
We want to create solutions, but we cannot do so without taking a moment to stop and assess the situation we have. I applaud Mayors Roger Claar and Tim Baldermann for doing what is best for their communities by opposing large-scale projects like North Point’s. I urge Mayor Odekirk and the Joliet City Council to take pause, reflect on the negative regional and local impacts, and oppose North Point Development.
To approve any large scale developments at this time, including North Point’s project, would sabotage the study and waste taxpayers’ dollars. Let’s work toward a better Will County that keeps Will County Moving while not forgetting about the people who live here. Our future depends on it.
Lawrence M. Walsh
Will County Executive