Elburn moves forward in 2013
by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Elburn Village President Dave Anderson doesn’t like to call things the village gets done “accomplishments.”
“We’re just doing our job,” he said.
Even so, the list of items on the “Elburn doing its job” list in 2013 is quite long.
Tops on the list of village items completed this year is the approval of the Elburn Station development.
“That took the most time,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he is pleased with the process of how the decisions were made regarding the development plan.
“Everybody had the opportunity to put forth their opinion,” he said. “And when we voted, it was unanimous.”
The approval of the ShoDeen development included the annexation of numerous acres into the village surrounding the Metra station, from Keslinger Road to Route 38. The development will include single-family homes, duplexes, townhomes, apartments and condominiums, as well as commercial, industrial and service components.
“This process was a huge undertaking, and took more than 10 years to accomplish,” Village Administrator Erin Willrett wrote in a letter to village officials and staff.
The Elburn Station approval paved the way for construction to begin on the Anderson Road extension and bridge, something long sought after and celebrated by village officials.
The village this year hired a finance director, who has already begun streamlining the financial processes, allowing the village to work “better and smarter,” Anderson said.
The addition of Finance Director Doug Elder, who took on Willrett’s responsibilities while she was on maternity leave last year, has been a big positive for the village, according to Anderson.
Elder has also taken on the responsibilities of the village treasurer position, as well as the Pension Board treasurer. He led the fiscal year budget process, as well as the budget act ordinance, educating the board and staff members along the way.
The addition of Elder will free up some of Willrett’s time to focus more on the economic development of Elburn. A newly-appointed Economic Development Commission was created, which has met several times this year with a focus on future business development for the village.
A number of new businesses opened this year in Elburn, including Accelerate Rehabilitation Physical Therapy, Windy City Muscle Cars, Brianna’s Pancake House, Eddie Gaedel’s Grill and Pub, Lighthouse Academy Day Care, G.E.D. Pizza, E&S Fish Company, Beautiful U Re-Sale Shop, American Family Insurance, Focal Point Waxing Studio and Electrical Conduit Construction.
The Village Board approved a special use permit for a drive-through restaurant, paving the way for a Dunkin’ Donuts location in the Elburn Crossing shopping center.
“Sales tax money, jobs and real estate taxes. It’s all about bringing people to Elburn,” Anderson said.
With the help of a $100,000 grant, the village updated the Elburn Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the first update since 1990. The year-long effort included input from the community, elected and appointed officials, as well as an energetic group of Kaneland High School students.
This plan will provide the guidelines for future growth within the village.
With the help of an increase in the water and sewer rates in the village, work has begun on the modernization of the waste water treatment plant.
Several procedural items were completed, including amending the village building and housing code and the 2013 update to the codified ordinances.
Although Anderson is reluctant to call them accomplishments, he said he is pleased with what the village has completed this year, as well as staying within the budget.
“I’m very, very pleased with the staff within the village,” he said. “What a great, great group of people.”
He also said that there have been more and better discussions with the Village Board, with everyone contributing and coming to consensus on issues.