Economic development remains top village goal

By on July 23, 2010

SG officials see county impact fee as deterrent
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—At the top of the Village of Sugar Grove’s strategic goals list are enhancing economic development and restoring the village’s reputation with both residential and commercial developers.

“Our biggest goal is to promote the village and be developer-friendly, because we’ve been fighting that a bit over the years,” Village President Sean Michels said. “And by doing that, we hope to attract new residential developments, as well as new business developments, too.”

The Sugar Grove Village Board on July 20 reviewed its short-term and long-term strategic goals that it put into place in early 2009.

The Village Board focused a great part of its discussion on attracting business developments to the Village; several trustees expressed their desire to see more businesses relocate to Sugar Grove. However, the Kane County Transportation Impact Fee currently is a deterrent for anyone interested in making their business a part of the community, village officials said.

“That fee can be quite substantial because it’s based on the square footage of the facility, so we’re trying to minimize that (fee) and work with the county to earn credits,” Michels said.

“And in some cases, if it’s a good-size business that means enough to the development of community, we’ll even pay for that County Transportation Impact tax,” Michels said.

Board trustee Kevin Geary supported the idea of business relocating to the Village because it could create more jobs for the community.

“It has to be related to creating jobs,” Geary said. “I would like to see a multi-governmental board put together to explore through the county, school district, township and village and see if there is some way we can find some dollars to encourage businesses to relocate out here.”

Among the village’s other strategic goals are improving relationships at the state and federal level; networking with neighboring communities; establishing a transportation bike plan; reviewing current zoning ordinances for adjustment; and achieving an AA bond rating.

Village officials have postponed pursuing several other goals because of budget concerns, such as updating the village’s comprehensive plan, evaluating the current Route 47 corridor development plan, finalizing a street maintenance and transportation plan and purchasing a future Public Works Department facility site.