The summer letter from Lakewood Village President Erin Smith has arrived and I share it at the bottom of this article.
Missing from this second newsletter since the possibility of a SportsPlex near the intersection of Routes 47 and 176 was raised is any mention of the proposal.
I could find no information whatsoever. And there was plenty of room to put it.
When we got back from vacation, however, I did find this flyer opposing the idea in with my accumulated copies of the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times:
Given the fact that first impressions are quite important in public relations, I cannot understand why official village publications have ignored the issue, which certainly appears to be controversial.
The flyer, whose content I have tried to reproduce below, but for whose accuracy I do not vouch, says,
NO Lakewood Sportsplex
Did you know Lakewood residents:
- Will pay to develop Pleasant Valley Road.
- Will pay to bring water and sewer to the area.
- Will pay taxes to support the Sportsplex if it fails.
- Will pay for increased village services needed–police, fire, etc.
- Lakewood could be stuck with a 125,000 sq. ft. building to support.
Village of Lakewood told residents they would never have to support the golf course. GUESS WHAT? You, the residents, are supporting the golf course through increased taxes.
DID YOU KNOW…
- Location of the SportsPlex was given incorrectly to the county board when they applied for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Location is actually on Pleasant Valley Road, a small residential area that is not designed to handle 600,000 people.
- Developer claims 600,000 people annually would visit the site. From where would they come?
- $18 million of our taxpayers money is going to build this Sportsplex.
- $27 million will be sought from foreign investors.
- Foreign investors can buy a VISA that grants permanent U.S. residency to those who invest in this Sportsplex and after five years can apply for citizenship.
- People behind the Sportsplex are NOT investing any of their own equity in the project, but stand to make BIG money from this project.
$5,000,000.00 is being offered by YOUR VILLAGE LEADERS.
Remember our Lakewood Pool?
Contact your village council representatives to say NO to a Lakewood Sportsplex!
Check out First Electric Newspaper. Search for Lakewood Sportsplex.
I think you will agree that many Lakewood residents would have questions after reading the broadside above.
Village President Erin Smith’s letter follows:
In this edition of our newsletter, I am pleased to share with you many positive developments within our community during the past few months.
Primary among these is the annexation of 565 acres of new property into the Village of Lakewood.
This action was approved unanimously by the Board of Trustees at our meeting on June 8 and is consistent with both our signed boundary agreements with neighboring communities and our Comprehensive Plan. In general, the annexation follows
- the north side of Ballard Road west from the existing Autumn Ridge Subdivision;
- north along both sides of Illinois Route 47; and
- southwest along the northern leg of Illinois Route 176.
Our northwest boundary will now be the southeast intersection of Illinois Route 176 and Dean Street.
In addition to providing for future retail/commercial growth, the annexation brings four (4) existing businesses into our community, thereby nearly doubling our existing commercial
base. These businesses are
- Crystal Woods Golf Course,
- Craig Woods Golf Course,
- The Gardens of Woodstock, and
- Kolze’s Garden Center.
We are also happy to welcome Yuppy Puppy Dog Grooming and More to Lakewood Commons.
I strongly encourage you to visit the newest members of our business community and to welcome them. While I know that it’s sometimes difficult to change shopping habits, it is important to support all of our local businesses so that they thrive and your sales tax dollars stay in the Village of Lakewood to support our services.
AAA Bond Rating
As a part of issuing bonds for the construction of a new water tower, the Village of Lakewood requested that Standard and Poor’s issue a rating. Upon review of our information, I am very pleased to report that we have been assigned a rating of AAA, which is the highest rating possible. It has been determined that the outlook for this rating is stable. The rating was based in large part on Standard and Poor’s opinion of the Village of Lakewood’s:
- Participation in the deep and diverse Chicago metropolitan economy;
- Very strong reserves with balanced general fund operations, supported by good financial management;
- Very strong income and extremely strong market per capita levels; and
- Moderate debt burden.
This analysis and rating represents many years of prudent financial management by both the elected officials and staff. Not only does it allow the Village of Lakewood to issue debt at lower costs, but it is also a strong signal to potential investors that the Village of Lakewood is a strong and stable community in which to do business.
New Trustees and Committee Members
Trustees John and Dorothy Pfeuffer resigned from the Village Board following 3 and 5 years of service respectively, as they sold their home and moved from the Village. John and Dorothy both contributed many hours of service to the Village outside of meetings. I am especially appreciative of their roles in supporting the SSA-1 Lakes Committee and the Parks and Recreation Committee.
I am very pleased to announce that the vacancies left by John and Dorothy have been filled by former Village President Julie Richardson and former County Board Member Blake Hobson. Julie and Blake bring considerable experience to our Board at a very important time in our history. Both Julie and Blake were appointed just shortly before we formalized the recent annexations.
The appointment of Julie and Blake to our Board created two vacancies on our Economic Development Committee. In addition to these vacancies, we had a vacancy on the SSA-1 Lakes Committee. I am pleased to announce that Donald Miller and Gary Sexson have been appointed to the Economic Development Committee and that Christopher Fox has been appointed to the SSA-1 Lakes Committee.
Comcast Spotlight on Lakewood
If you are a Comcast cable customer, you may see me on Comcast Newsmakers throughout the last week in July. Comcast provides an opportunity for local officials to talk for 5 minutes about their community in a live interview. We will also load the short video on our Village website.
Pizza with the President
It’s time for my quarterly neighborhood meeting which will be held on Thursday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m. It will be held at the home of Rosalie and James Schraut, 9045 Underhill Court. I appreciate the opportunity to meet with neighbors in an informal environment. The meetings to date have provided a wonderful opportunity to discuss Village-wide and neighborhood-specific issues. Lou Malnati’s provides the pizza for the evening. Please call me if you are interested in hosting a future event.
When asked about when the village would let residents know about the SportsPlex, Smith emailed me that there would be a special newsletter dedicated to that subject this month or next.