by Chris Paulus
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove village officials recently took time to reflect on the year that was 2012.
Most trustee members voiced satisfaction with 2012. Village President Sean Michels and trustee David Paluch agreed that Sugar Grove’s greatest achievements this year included getting the Mallard Point/Rolling Oaks flooding issue resolved.
“This was a long process, and it’s a relief to have it finalized and to help all of those affected,” Paluch said.
The two also embraced the construction of a number of commercial buildings in the area. Michels said that the sales tax from those businesses helped produce a $200,000 surplus.
“We were able to put a lot of that money in the local roads and for other improvements,” he said.
Michels and Paluch commended the work of village departments and noted their own effort to keep the community financially sound and stable.
“Our bond rating from Standard & Poor was an A+, and our management style has been very good,” Michels said.
Paluch said it’s very important to keep the village’s economy in good shape.
“Our revenues for road repairs partially come from fuel taxes, so I would encourage people to buy gas in Sugar Grove, shop in Sugar Grove when possible—from our retailers to our restaurants,” he said. “And to our small business owners, please support our neighbors and local businesses whenever possible.”
Paluch added that a new restaurant will soon open on Route 30, and the village is looking at a few other developments.
In terms of Sugar Grove attracting new business, Jimmy John’s, American Heartland Bank and Walgreen’s were among the big-name businesses that set up shop in the village this year.
“These businesses pay their tax bill to the schools and the area, but they don’t send any children, so I think the schools appreciate that,” trustee Kevin Geary said.
Michels said he was particularly excited about the grand opening of the Saint Katharine Drexel Catholic Church.
“That was something that I’ve worked on with the Rockford Diocese for a number of years. It took them about four years to build the church,” he said.
Of course, not all of the village’s expectations for 2012 were met. Their was dissatisfaction with the fact that the state still has yet to approve a grant to help fund the Route 47/I-88 interchange. Geary said he would have liked to see more construction in commercial real estate, and hoped to utilize the newly constructed “L” roadway on Route 47 to bring in more commercial buildings.
“We also lost a great public servant, Police Chief Brad Sauer, to retirement,” Paluch said.