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Downers Grove to see infrastructure work, new developments in 2017

Infrastructure improvements and new developments are slated for Downers Grove in 2017.

The proposed 2017 village budget shows $6.8 million is allocated for street repairs and $3.8 million is geared toward stormwater system upgrades. Another $5.7 million will be invested in water system related projects.

Public Works Director Nan Newlon said the village looks forward to continuing its effort to make investments toward infrastructure. To add, she said many of these projects see similar budgeted amounts, compared to what’s been allotted in previous years.

Newlon said money-wise, the biggest changes in 2017 go toward roadway improvement.

“We are working on some of our larger arterial roads,” she said.

Street maintenance projects to go out for bid later this year include portions Finley Road north of Butterfield and another along Dunham Road between 55th an 63rd Streets. The village is expected to see 8 miles of road repair in 2017.

“We did a comprehensive look at our street system to ensure they’re in good condition,” she said. “Maintenance will result in a cycle of repair every 20 years.”

Newlon added that Downers Grove received grant money to help in this pursuit.

Newlon said some of the most significant expenses budgeted toward infrastructure includes water main replacements, water source tanks and back-up wells.

The most recent study of water mains guides village staff to determine what actions to take.

“If we don’t (examine them), what results is water main breaks,” Newlon said.

Newlon said it is also good village practice to look at its back-up water supplies.

Downers Grove’s main water source is Lake Michigan.

“We retain the wells we have,” she said. “At the time, it was seen as plan in case there was any concern for the water supply. We continue to maintain these wells. Right now, we’re doing a study to determine what work needs to be done to them.”

Village staff will continue to examine its stormwater system.

In 2013, Downers Grove saw a large flood occur. Following that, village staff had two flood studies conducted.

Each year, stormwater system replacements are budgeted at $500,000. In 2017 $400,000 go toward improvements near Saint Joseph’s Creek and another $2.5 million is earmarked for future drainage and floodplain improvement.

Other budgeted items this year include a replacement traffic signal at Lacey Road and Woodcreek Drive, parking deck maintenance in downtown Downers Grove and sidewalk improvements.

Residents can also expect to see a number of new business developments in the village.

Michael Cassa, president and CEO of Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation, said there are many reasons why it is important to see a rise in new development, including job creation, aesthetic and tax generation. To add, he said the main reason new development is significant is being able to understand how it keeps the village’s unemployment at the lowest rate, compared to other towns in DuPage County.

“Businesses are moving here, so that means jobs are hiring,” Cassa said.

There’s a new Chipotle coming to the southeast corner of Ogden and Saratoga Avenues. The 2,100-square-foot restaurant will be located within walking distance of Downers Grove North High School.

On Ogden Avenue and Lacey Road, people will find a car dealership, Packey Webb Ford. That new development will occupy about seven acres when they open in the fall.

Sketchers recently opened an 8,000-square-foot factory outlet store location on Butterfield Road.

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