by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—When Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels looks back on the village’s achievements in 2010, images of completed roads and golden arches will easily come to mind.
“We got a lot more accomplished (in 2010) than I think people realize, getting road projects like Esker Drive and Division Drive done, which obviously helps traffic patterns and helps move people around the community,” he said. “And the fact that McDonald’s is coming here says a lot about the village. We’re being recognized by retailers (who see) that Sugar Grove is a good community to be in, and we have some growth that they want to be a part of.”
The completion of Esker Drive means drivers will have a second access point to Harter Middle School. And Division Drive now connects with Galena Boulevard, which will give some people the option to completely avoid Route 47 if they desire.
And a McDonald’s in Sugar Grove has been on the wish list of several board trustees for over a decade, including Mari Johnson, who hopes the franchise will be open by its estimated date of June 2011.
“I’m hoping McDonald’s really sticks with their timetable. They say to build from the ground up only takes 10 to 12 weeks,” she said. “McDonald’s said they were hoping to approve everything in their budget in January, then they would go out to bid and then break ground at the end of March or beginning of April, and then be open in the beginning of June. It seemed like a pretty aggressive timetable.”
The Sugar Grove McDonald’s will be built on the southeast corner of Park Avenue and Route 47.
2010 in Sugar Grove wasn’t just about completed roads and a fast food franchise that has served billions of people, though, as Michels also praised former trustees Melisa Taylor and Mary Heineman for their work with the Between Friends Food Pantry and the village’s comprehensive bike trail plan, respectively.
“Mary has taken a myriad of ideas and put it into a written document that we can use to work off of towards the future,” he said. “(She) and her staff have done excellent work.”
Johnson said she was pleased with the completion of several punch-list items in the Prairie Glen and Walnut Woods subdivisions, and the agreement to gradually improve Mallard Point’s drainage problem.
“We have the agreement signed with the county, and they’re going to run a huge drain pipe from Mallard Point all the way down to the creek in Jericho Grove,” she said.
Despite the numerous successes of 2010, however, Michels sees the final approval for a McDonald’s franchise as the most important event of this year.
“We finally got McDonald’s to see the prospect of Sugar Grove, and really worked hard to get them here,” he said. “I think this McDonald’s will have a huge ripple effect and will bring other retailers to Sugar Grove.”